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Texas Longhorns return to the semifinals

AUSTIN – The Texas Longhorns joined an exclusive club this past season, becoming one of only 15 programs to make the College Football Playoff in the four-team era.

The door to that club is officially closed as the NCAA moves to a 12-team format next season. The Longhorns now have a better chance of reaching the CFP in the coming years, and it’s not surprising that they’re often included in way-too-early projections this spring.

Texas Longhorns running back CJ Baxter (4)

Texas Longhorns running back CJ Baxter (4) / Sara Diggins/American-Statesman / USA

According to a recent CFP projection from CBS Sports, the Longhorns earn the No. 6 seed in next year’s tournament and will host No. 11 Penn State in the first round.

Here are the projected 12 teams in the CFP from CBS Sports:

  1. Georgia
  2. State of Ohio
  3. Utah
  4. Clemson
  5. Oregon
  6. Texas
  7. Alabama
  8. Ole ma’am
  9. Missouri
  10. Notre Dame
  11. Penn State
  12. Boise State

The Longhorns are next expected to defeat Penn State before facing No. 3 Utah in the Fiesta Bowl. CBS Sports believes Texas will return to the CFP semifinals after beating the Utes, setting up a highly anticipated matchup in Arlington.

In this scenario, the Longhorns will face No. 2 Ohio State in the Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium. Texas would have some home field advantage in what was sure to be a close game.

These are the expected matches in the semi-finals:

However, the site predicts that the Longhorns will once again fall short of the title game, setting up a matchup between Ohio State and Georgia in the National Championship.