Originally Posted by Dutchrudder
In 2010 Texas A&M was definitely not the second or third best team in the conference, yet they were selected to play against LSU. They were at best 5th overall in the conference, behind Nebraska, Missouri, OU and OSU, all 10+ win teams. I think the selection process is much less rigid than you are assuming. Matchups and ticket sales seem to trump conference ranking.
The SEC has more leeway in the Cotton Bowl selection process (3/4/5th best team in conf), so there's a good chance they will have an opportunity to matchup. WVU looks like it will lose to Tech today, and they still have some tough games in KSU, OU and @OSU to play. If OU drops a game or two and KSU rolls, UT could tie for 2nd with one or two teams. They might lose the tiebreaker, but I'm not sure if that figures into the selection or not. There is still a lot of football to play this season, so we shall see, but don't be surprised to see these two match up at the end of the season in Dallas.
First, non-BCS bowls can pick from any bowl eligible team BUT they cannot choose pick below a team who is more than 1 conference win behind another school. So, for 2010 A&M was tied with 6-2 conference record with OU, OSU, Neb and Missouri, which allowed them to be picked for the Cotton Bowl.
Now, CAN Texas still get picked for the Cotton Bowl, yes, I suppose it's possible, but it's highly unlikely, especially since it doesn't seem like the B12 is going to get more than 1 team into the BCS and Texas still has to play Baylor, Tech (who beat WV), TCU and KSU (which is a likely loss).
Really, the only way Texas gets to the Cotton is if Texas wins out and A&M gets picked as well.