When jockeying for BCS position, oftentimes there will be other teams standing in the way while climbing the ranks.
After nine weeks of the 2013 college football season, the first of the last set of BCS rankings were released with Alabama, Florida State and Oregon coming in at the top of the list.
The Texas Longhorns are unranked in the initial rankings, but could still make some noise after a 4-2 start to the season. Undoubtedly, the Longhorns will need some help if they want some BCS credibility heading down the stretch.
The 'Horns would be in control of their own destiny should they run the table, giving them a spot in the BCS as an automatic qualifier. But given the unlikeliness of that scenario, Texas will need some particular teams to finish strong.
(1) Ole Miss has had some late-game drama in its recent matchups, and Texas should be rooting for the Rebels every chance it can.
The Rebels took it to the 'Horns in Austin, but despite laying an egg against No. 1 Alabama, Ole Miss can help itself while it helps Texas along the way.
Hugh Freeze's team began SEC play on a three-game losing streak, dropping games to Alabama before narrowly losing to Auburn and Texas A&M.
And now coming off a big win over No. 6 LSU, the Rebels could be looking at a potential four-game winning streak (vs. Arkansas, vs. Troy, vs. Idaho) before hosting No. 5 Missouri.
The Rebels are all but out of the race to win the SEC West, but they can sure cause some havoc down the stretch with an incredibly balanced offense. And the more they win, the better off Texas can be.
The (2) BYU Cougars are currently 5-2 riding a four-game winning streak. In their five wins, BYU has scored at least 31 points in each of those contests. Their two losses came by seven points or less.
So while the Cougars' winning streak is nice to see in Texas' rearview mirror, the problem is that BYU does not play a team that is currently ranked.
The Cougars do play Boise State, Wisconsin and Notre Dame in the second half of the season, but all BYU can do for Texas is win games.
The Longhorns will end their season playing against three ranked teams in No. 19 Oklahoma State, No. 10 Texas Tech and No. 8 Baylor, and Texas will be looking at its conference counterparts for some help in the BCS.
(3) Oklahoma is still slated to play OSU, Texas Tech and Baylor, meaning the Sooners will have every opportunity to make Texas look much stronger with wins in those three matchups.
(4) Baylor, meanwhile, can provide the biggest soapbox for Texas for the end-of-the-year clash between them. If the Longhorns can pull off the upset against the Bears, the 'Horns will want Art Briles' team ranked as high as possible.
(5) Texas Tech still has Baylor, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma on its schedule, and the Red Raiders end their season on Thanksgiving in Austin. Kliff Kingsbury's team will come prepared with one of the best offenses in the FBS, and its strength will be great fuel to the fire if the Texas wins.
The Bottom Line
At the end of the day, Texas needs to win against convincing competition.
A loss to Ole Miss looks a heck of a lot better when that same Ole Miss team beats a No. 6 LSU and possibly a No. 6 Missouri late in the year.
Texas controls its own destiny in the Big 12, but in the BCS, it will need some help.