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Texas joins teams with No. 1 dreams

Kansas City Star

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Texas, join the party.

The why-not-us-as-national-champs festival.

Utah and Southern California, the ink not dry on their BCS bowl victory statements, were the early arrivals. And now the Longhorns, after their dramatic 24-21 victory over Ohio State in Monday’s Fiesta Bowl, become part of the college football debate.

Just not the national championship picture.

It won’t happen with the top two teams in every ranking meeting Thursday in the BCS national championship game. Oklahoma or Florida will receive the crystal ball trophy at Dolphin Stadium, even before the final voting.

The only hope for championship recognition would be in The Associated Press poll, but that also is unlikely. Entering the bowl season, fifth-ranked Southern California and No. 7 Utah received no first-place votes.

Texas, a solid No. 3, received six first-place votes and was only 10 poll points behind the Sooners. Florida was a definitive No. 1 with 50 first-place votes.

“I don’t think anybody can beat us,” Trojans coach Pete Carroll said after the Rose Bowl.

“What else do we have to prove?” Utah quarterback Brian Johnson said after the Sugar Bowl. “Without question we’re one of the best, if not the best team in the country.”

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