The initial BCS Rankings are hot off the press, and the Texas Longhorns slip in at No. 25 following an eye-opening demolition at the hands of No. 9 Oklahoma.
In that 63-21 loss, the Longhorns had very little positives to go with a whole bunch of negatives. Still, after a lopsided contest that put Texas on the rough end, the Horns have had their wake-up call.
From this point forward, with the Big 12 Championship seemingly out of reach, the Longhorns will be on a quest to earn the best bowl bid possible.
With six more games before the final BCS release, Texas faces quite the uphill battle with a hefty schedule still ahead.
Who is Around
Upward movement in the rankings ultimately is decided by those teams above.
In terms of immediate control, the Longhorns sit directly behind No. 24 Iowa State and No. 23 TCU, who are both upcoming Big 12 opponents, and wins in both of those contests could catapult Texas up the rankings.
The bottom-fifth is filled by No. 22 Boise State and No. 21 Cincinnati, and a two- or three-loss Texas team would probably look better than both of those teams come season's end, but that discussion is for another day.
Truth be told, Texas can feel lucky to be included in the initial rankings, given the complete and physical dominance it suffered on Saturday.
Looking at the bigger BCS picture, there is definitely room for the Longhorns to move up, but expectations have to be tempered considering the circumstances.
What is Next for Texas
Having already faced two of the Big 12's best, the Longhorns get somewhat of a reprieve in the coming weeks to gather themselves.
Texas hosts Baylor this weekend before going on the road to Kansas the following Saturday.
Those two contests precede matchups with No. 17 Texas Tech, No. 24 Iowa State, No. 23 TCU and No. 4 Kansas State.
Ranked opponents have been killing the Longhorns in recent memory, so if Texas is to challenge for a top bowl bid, it will have to flip its fortunes against a handful of formidable opponents.
Having said that, despite the stumble that Mack Brown's Longhorns have taken, the opportunity to make up the ground is squarely in front of them.
Down, but Not Out
The endgame here for Texas is that it is down, but definitely not out.
Securing a strong bowl bid means the Longhorns will have to overcome a number of challenges and injuries. But with five Big 12 teams sitting ahead of them, the Horns will need some help along the way.
The rest of the season will serve as a huge challenge for the team's mental strength. With a chance to regroup against Baylor and Kansas, Texas can do itself plenty of favors by responding to adversity in the strongest way possible.