Big XII lets down Texas

By John Hillman  |   Monday, January 12, 2009  |  Comments( 12 )

Texas Longhorns
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The Texas Longhorns upheld their end of the bargain this past college football season. However, bowl meltdowns by Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, and Missouri knocked Texas down to fourth in the final Associated Press rankings.

Ohio State gave the Horns all they could handle in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl and went in front 21-17 with just over two minutes remaining. But Colt McCoy engineered a touchdown drive in the closing seconds for a 24-21 come-from-behind victory. Texas finished the year one second short of a perfect season and deserved a better fate.

The Fiesta Bowl victory generates two positives for the Longhorns. McCoy emerged as next year’s Heisman Trophy favorite (especially if Sam Bradford opts for the NFL). McCoy’s return also makes Texas virtually everyone’s choice to win the Big XII South in 2009.

Offensively, the Horns return nine starters, and the McCoy-to-Jordan Shipley connection clicked for 11 touchdowns during the season. On the defensive side, Texas loses six from its 2008 starting lineup -- including the entire front four -- but the Longhorns enjoy great depth thanks to Mack Brown’s outstanding recruiting.

Offensive woes plagued the remainder of the Big XII field in bowl competition. Two second-quarter misfires in the red zone haunted the Sooners as they lost their bid for an eighth national championship with a 24-14 loss to Florida. Bradford never found his groove, and OU suffered accordingly.

The Red Raiders, Cowboys, and Tigers experienced similar difficulties. Texas Tech’s offense couldn’t budge a stiff Mississippi defense in the second half of the Cotton Bowl. Oklahoma State’s offensive output dropped dramatically when Dez Bryant injured his knee, and Oregon rallied to win the Holiday Bowl.

Missouri’s defense salvaged its Alamo Bowl encounter with Northwestern. But Chase Daniel produced only mediocre numbers for the Tigers with 200 passing yards in a 27-of-44 performance.

Unfortunately for the Longhorns, their 2008 schedule didn’t include additional top-ranked teams. Voters had to judge Texas against its conference opponents, and the field didn’t measure up when it counted. With undefeated Utah blasting Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, and USC manhandling Penn State in the Rose Bowl, both teams leapfrogged over the Horns in the final AP poll.

College football fans must accept this type of injustice with regularity. Championships don’t deserve to be determined by voters and their ballots. They should be decided on the gridiron with the scoreboard recording the winner and the loser.

The season should have continued for Florida, Utah, USC, and Texas. Currently, the NCAA holds a deaf ear to the complaints from the masses, but the outcry for a true national championship in Division I-A football won’t be squelched until it comes to pass.
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About John Hillman

John Hillman graduated from Baylor University in 1974 with a BBA in accounting and earned an MBA from Baylor in 1987. He worked for accounting firms until 1982 when he became the chief financial officer for an independent insurance claims adjusting service, a position he still holds today....
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CommentsComments: 12  |  Sign Up  View all comments
Hamm 'n Eggs
02:08 PM
Hillman, you sound exactly like all of the rest of the Cryhorns. Boo-hoo, the Cryhorns did not deserve this, Boo-hoo,...
09:05 PM
All I have to say is it't a good thing this season is over for UT, because if they had another win they might have...
John Hillman
10:54 AM
Hamm, You make some valid points. However, except for the Tech game in Lubbock, the Longhorns always found a way to...
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