IRVING, Texas --- While Oklahoma got to play in the Big 12 and BCS championship games last year, Texas and Texas Tech had the same regular season record as the Sooners.
All three were 11-1 overall with a 7-1 mark in the Big 12 South, and each loss was to another team in that trio. The Big 12's fifth tiebreaker -- BCS standings -- was needed to send the Sooners to the conference title game they won.
All that even though the Soon-ers lost by 10 points to Texas, which lost at Texas Tech with one second remaining -- before the Red Raiders lost by 44 points at Oklahoma.
The tiebreaker formula hasn't changed, yet Texas coach Mack Brown said there is an easy way around it for the Longhorns.
"If we had played better at Tech and won the game, we'd have been in the conference championship game," Brown said Wednesday at the Big 12 media days. "A lot of that comes from us. We need to learn from that and move on, quit talking about the system and just go play."
The Longhorns, with Heisman Trophy runner-up Colt McCoy back at quarterback, should be in the title mix again this season.
Texas and Oklahoma tied for the top spot in the Big 12 South preseason poll determined from a media vote. Texas got 17 first-place votes and Oklahoma got the other 15, but both had the same number of poll points.
What about Texas Tech?
With quarterback Graham Harrell and receiver Michael Crabtree gone, it could be difficult for Texas Tech to match the Sooners and Longhorns again. The Red Raiders were fourth in the preseason poll, behind Okla-homa State.
Harrell threw an NCAA-record 134 touchdowns and finished with consecutive 5,000-yard seasons in which he completed more than 70 percent of his passes. Crabtree caught 97 passes for 1,165 yards and 19 TDs his sophomore season before leaving.
McCoy also pondered leaving early for the NFL. Already with a school record 32 victories, and virtually every Texas passing record McCoy came back to try to win a title of his own.