Texas’ Steve Sarkisian promotes ‘best win’ vs. Alabama ahead of CFP rankings

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Texas coach Steve Sarkisian wants everyone to remember the Longhorns’ résumé ahead of the first College Football Playoff rankings this week.

Especially that 34-24 win over No. 8 Alabama back on Sept. 9. No one, Sarkisian argues, has a better win so far this season.

“I haven’t shied away from this: I think we’ve got a pretty good football team,” Sarkisian said Monday. “I’d argue we have the best win in the country right now. The fact that we go into Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and beat a team that was 52-1 in the previous 53 games going in there. 

“I hear so much about how tough the SEC is, but I haven’t seen any of those teams go into Alabama and win either.”

The playoff rankings will be released Tuesday night. The No. 7 Longhorns have never been in the playoff but are 7-1 in a five-way tie for first in the Big 12.

The win over Alabama certainly created a lot of buzz about Texas at the time. The problem for the Longhorns is that the win was almost two months ago. A lot of time has passed and there have been other big games to attract eyeballs.

And Texas lost to No. 10 Oklahoma. The top five teams in The AP college football rankings are undefeated and one-loss Oregon is No. 6. Texas didn’t get a bump for beating BYU, 35-6, with backup QB Maalik Murphy in for injured Quinn Ewers.

“We’re a very versatile team,” Sarkisian said. “We started our backup quarterback against a 5-2 team and won 35-6. We get another opportunity this week to play with our backup quarterback. Not every team out has had to endure what we’ve had to. If they had their backup, how would they play?”

Sarkisian didn’t mention that Texas won three games in a row — Wyoming, Baylor and Kansas — against opponents playing their backup quarterbacks against the Longhorns.

Up next for Texas is a home matchup against No. 25 Kansas State (6-2, 4-1 Big 12) on Saturday (12 p.m. ET on FOX and the FOX Sports app).

“I feel pretty good about our team and I think over time this whole thing will play itself out,” he said.

He noted the logjam at the top of the Big 12 in the chase the league championship game.

“At the start of the year, a couple of teams in our league lost some games that maybe people didn’t think they were going to lose, and some teams won some games in other conferences,” Sarkisian said.

“We’re starting to find that I think our league is probably a little stronger than people give it credit for in early September … and maybe some of these other leagues aren’t quite as strong,” he added. “Our league is tough.”

Reporting by The Associated Press.

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