Texas players insist that avenging last season's 39-33 loss to Texas Tech, which knocked them out of the national championship picture, won't be a motivating factor when the Red Raiders visit Austin on Saturday.
"It's just another game for us," Texas quarterback Colt McCoy said. "I've never been a revenge-type guy."
Apparently, the majority of the Texas roster feels the same.
"When you've got 120 players, you never know what motivates them," Texas coach Mack Brown said. "I really think [Texas players] will remember last year's game, but they've moved forward. That was last year's team. This year's team is 2-and-0. College Game Day is here, there's a national TV audience and we're playing a team like Texas Tech that's undefeated. If that doesn't get them motivated, we need to get them checked."
Still, checking the replay of last season's game figures to get the Longhorns' ire up. They rallied from a 16-point deficit to take the lead, only to lose on a touchdown pass from Graham Harrell to Michael Crabtree with one second remaining.
Adding to the disappointment, Texas safety Blake Gideon dropped an apparent interception on the play immediately before the game-winning touchdown pass. If Gideon would have held on, that would have clinched a Longhorns victory.
Texas Tech coach Mike Leach didn't think of that as a pivotal play.
"I didn't think he would catch it, for one," Leach said. "And for another, it's always interesting to me that they highlight that play because I can probably rattle off 10 other things that would have allowed us to win by more. So I don't see that as particularly significant."
That point could be argued. What cannot be argued is that this game - even though moved up from a traditional late-season date to accommodate national TV - again figures to be crucial.
With Oklahoma's offense plagued by injuries and Oklahoma State's defense still in question, the Texas-Texas Tech winner could have a significant advantage in the Big 12 South Division race, especially with Red Raiders quarterback Taylor Potts picking up where Harrell left off last season.
Harrell departed Texas Tech as the NCAA record-holder in touchdown passes. Potts already has thrown nine touchdown passes in two games, including seven in last week's victory over Rice. Five of those scoring passes came in the second half.
"I thought it was really an impressive second half," Leach said. "It was one of the more impressive halves we've had as a team around here. [Potts] was a big part of that. Everybody had a hand in that, but he kind of led it."
But Texas Tech's first two games were played in Lubbock. The Red Raiders often struggle on the road, especially in Austin, where they're 0-5 against Brown-coached teams and frequently have been blown out.
So maybe it's Texas Tech that should be seeking vengeance.
Key matchup: Texas Tech pass offense vs. Texas pass defense. Last season, Texas Tech's passing offense got the best of Texas' secondary with the last-second, game-winning touchdown pass. Once again, that's the most compelling matchup. After two games, Tech has taken its usual spot atop the national rankings in pass offense. As mentioned above, Potts already has thrown nine touchdown passes. Four receivers already have at least eight catches. The Longhorns have not allowed more than 200 passing yards in either of their first two games. SS Earl Thomas and CB Curtis Brown each have four pass breakups. Texas opponents have completed just five of 22 passes on third down. Texas also posted five sacks against Wyoming last week.
On the spot: The Colorado Buffaloes. Two weeks ago, Colorado coach Dan Hawkins' goal was "10 wins and no excuses." The Buffaloes are halfway there. Ten wins? Doubtful. But there are no excuses for the way they've played. The Buffaloes rank 111th in the nation in total defense, 104th in sacks allowed, 104th in turnovers lost and 106th in yards penalized. And this is after facing Colorado State and Toledo. "We're not where we want to be wins and losses, but I think we're finding ourselves offensively," Hawkins said. "I think we've done a good job, special teams-wise. We have to clean up a couple things on defense and we have to iron that out." The 0-2 Buffs would have to win the rest of their regular season games to reach Hawkins' goal, and they haven't even gotten to the difficult part of the schedule. A three-game stretch against West Virginia, Texas and Kansas begins in two weeks.
Numbers game: Nebraska is seeking to end a nine-game losing streak against ranked opponents against No. 13 Virginia Tech. The last Huskers victory over a ranked team was a 28-27 win over No. 24 Texas A&M in 2006. The Huskers have lost 11 in a row against teams ranked 20th or higher. If Nebraska defeats Virginia Tech, it would be the highest-ranked team Nebraska has beaten since topping No. 6 Tennessee in the 2000 Fiesta Bowl.
What they're saying
"How many times did Texas and Oklahoma take to get the right coach? About four. But we're not about to give up on Dan Hawkins." - Colorado athletic director Mike Bohn, to the Denver Post after the Buffaloes' 54-38 loss to Toledo.
"I love challenges. I can't wait to get after them. Their defense is going to bring it, and our offense is going to bring it." - Nebraska WR Niles Paul, on Saturday's game at Virginia Tech.
"I think the more we focus on it now as we encounter our first road date, it starts to become a distraction, especially after not playing well against the University of Iowa. If we can maintain our focus on our preparation and eliminating mistakes and executing well, eventually this road-losing streak will come to an end." - Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads, on the Cyclones' 17-game road losing streak. The Cyclones play at Kent State on Saturday.
Etc.: Texas A&M's prospects for gaining bowl eligibility brightened last week, and the Aggies didn't even play. Kansas State, Iowa State and Colorado were dealt embarrassing losses that raised serious doubts about the strength of their teams. Those are the three teams from the North Division that A&M plays this season. The Aggies (1-0) face Utah State and UAB the next two weeks, and will be strong favorites in both games. ... Oklahoma is seeking a school-record 26th consecutive home field victory when it faces Tulsa this week. The Sooners' current 25-game home win streak is the longest in the nation and equals their previous record streak, which ended in 1953 with a 28-21 loss to Notre Dame. ... Oklahoma State RB Kendall Hunter isn't expected to play against Rice because of an injured foot. ... Baylor LB Joe Pawelek is tied for the national lead for tackles by active players. Pawelek and Louisiana Tech's Antonio Baker each have 320 career stops. Pawelek also ranks 11th among active players with nine career interceptions. ... Iowa State SS David Sims, a junior college transfer, has distinguished himself early this season. He leads the Cyclones with three interceptions and ranks second with 19 tackles. ... Kansas WR Dezmon Briscoe needs 210 receiving yards to set a career school record. He currently has 2,057. He's had five consecutive 100-yard receiving games and needs one more to be the Jayhawks' sole leader in that career category with nine. ... Missouri, which faces Furman, is 8-0 all-time against FCS opponents. The winning margin in each win was at least 21 points. ... Not only does Oklahoma's defense rank second in the nation against the run, but already 17 Sooners have posted tackles for loss this season. All-America DT Gerald McCoy has 5.5. ... Oklahoma State's Perrish Cox has set a Big 12 record for career kickoff return yardage with 2,300. Cox trails Western Michigan's Brandon West among active players. Cox has four kickoff returns for touchdowns in his career. ... Kansas State RB Daniel Thomas, a junior college transfer, leads the Big 12 with 240 rushing yards. He's the first K-State player since 1996 to start his career with consecutive 100-yard rushing performances. ... Nebraska junior WR Niles Paul has always had potential, but last week he finally turned it into production. Paul had 169 all-purpose yards and scored two touchdowns - one on a 30-yard run - in a win over Arkansas State. He had career-highs with six catches for 69 yards. ... Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman played 13 true freshmen in the Aggies' opener. Only once has A&M used more true freshmen in an entire season (1980). Three of the first-year players were starters, including WR Uzoma Nwachakwu, CB Dustin Harris and LB Jonathan Stewart.
Olin Buchanan is the senior college football writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.