They're back? Well, maybe not back in regards to the College Football Playoff since the Texas Longhorns have never made the semifinals and only finished in the final rankings three times in the nine seasons of the current postseason system. Their only appearance in a New Year's Six during this span only occured because Oklahoma made the playoff and the Big 12 was guaranteed a spot in the Sugar Bowl.
But enough about the past. The present is that Texas established itself as a favorite for this year's field after its impressive defeat of Alabama. So if they're back it's harkening to the days of the Bowl Championship Series era when the Longhorns were contending for national honors and were one of the nation's best programs.
The authoritative nature of the road win against the Crimson Tide moves them in to the playoff field in this week's bowl projection. Texas replaces the team it beat Saturday with Alabama tumbling to a New Year's Six position. Joining the Longhorns are the three other teams picked for the semifinals last week − Georgia, Michigan and Florida State.
MISERY INDEX: Loss to Texas exposes issues at Alabama
HIGHS AND LOWS: Winners and losers from Week 2
The challenge next for the Longhorns is how they handle success. Will it be like previous seasons where optimism was high after a big win only to see it fade after losses to teams it should be putting away? We'll likely have to wait until next month when Texas faces rival Oklahoma.
Reminder: Some conferences may not fulfill their bowl allotment. Asterisks denote a replacement pick. Teams in bold have accepted berths.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Bowl projections Week 2: Texas Longhorns in College Football Playoff