The first College Football Playoff Rankings of the 2023 season will be released Oct. 31, and Texas coach Steve Sarkisian wants his 7-1 Longhorns to receive credit where credit is due for their Week 2 victory at Alabama. Sarkisian opined Monday that his team's win against the Crimson Tide -- the first by a visitor at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, since 2019 -- stands as the best win by anyone this season and that the Longhorns' position in the rankings should reflect that triumph.
"I'd argue that we have the best win in the country right now," Sarkisian said during his weekly press conference. "The fact that we go into Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and beat a team that was 52-1 in the previous 53 games [before] us going in there ... and 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. I feel pretty good about our team and I think over time this whole thing will play itself out."
Texas and Alabama are both 7-1 and sit side-by-side in the AP rankings at No. 7 and No. 8, respectively. In beating the Crimson Tide, who are 3-0 at home since, the Longhorns own the third-highest ranked victory of 2023 based on the current AP rankings. No. 5 Washington beat No. 6 Oregon in Week 7 while No. 10 Oklahoma served Texas its lone loss during the Red River Rivalry in Week 6.
No. 3 Ohio State and No. 22 Kansas also each have a win against an AP Top-10 team. The Buckeyes beat No. 9 Penn State in Week 8 before the Jayhawks toppled the Sooners for the first time since 1997 in Week 9.
Of course, AP rankings are completely independent of those that will soon be released by the College Football Playoff selection committee, though it appears the Longhorns should fare well as they enjoy their best eight-game start since 2009.
Texas will have a chance to pad its résumé again in Week 10 when it hosts Kansas State, which reentered the AP rankings at No. 25 after posting a 41-0 win against Houston in Week 9. The two are part of a five-way tie atop the Big 12 standings at 4-1 in league play. The Longhorns could start Maalik Murphy at quarterbaack for a second straight game as Quinn Ewers remains week-to-week with a shoulder injury.