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Monday, August 3, 2009
Weird similarities between '05, '09 Texas teams

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

I remember when I was a kid growing up, I was amazed and a little frightened when I first learned about the eerie similarities between the assassinations of Abraham Lincoln and John Kennedy when I was in elementary school. I still recall learning about these facts of the unusual parallels between those two events nearly 100 years apart.

It's left me with the idea that history sometimes can repeat itself.

I still follow how history sometimes continues in some unusual patterns.

And I'm thinking there's a chance at it definitely could happen this season for Texas, which has numerous similarities coming into the 2009 season to when it last won the national championship in 2005.

Here are some of them:

In 2005, Texas had an offense revolving around a playmaking quarterback with striking pass-run skills in Vince Young.

In 2009, Texas has an offense revolving around a playmaking quarterback with striking pass-run skills who the offense revolves around in Colt McCoy.

In 2005, Texas' starting quarterback had five letters in his last name -- Y-O-U-N-G.

In 2009, Texas' starting quarterback has five letters in his last name -- M-C-C-O-Y.

In 2005, Texas had a defensive coordinator who had made his national reputation by leading a Southeastern Conference team to earlier defensive success -- Gene Chizik at Auburn.

In 2009, Texas has a defensive coordinator who has made his national reputation by leading a Southeastern Conference team to earlier defensive success -- Will Muschamp at Auburn and LSU.

In 2005, Texas was building on momentum after a dramatic comeback victory over a Big Ten team in a bowl game to conclude the previous season -- a triumph over Michigan in the Rose Bowl.

In 2009, Texas is building on momentum after a dramatic comeback victory over a Big Ten in a bowl game to conclude the previous season -- a triumph over Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl.

In 2005, Texas started the season with a home game against a Sun Belt opponent from Louisiana -- Louisiana-Lafayette.

In 2009, Texas will start the season with a home game against a Sun Belt opponent from Louisiana -- Louisiana-Monroe.

In 2005, Texas' second game of the season was a road game to an opponent where it had never played before -- Ohio State.

In 2009, while quite not as challenging, Texas' second game of the season will be a road trip where it has never played before -- Wyoming.

In 2005, Texas played a Big 12 schedule that included home games against Texas Tech, Colorado and Kansas. The Longhorns' road games were against Missouri, Baylor, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M with a neutral-site game against Oklahoma in Dallas.

In 2009, Texas will play a Big 12 schedule that will include home games against Texas Tech, Colorado and Kansas. The Longhorns' conference road games will be against Missouri, Baylor, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M with a neutral-site game against Oklahoma in Dallas.

In 2005, Texas entered the season with big questions at running back. Ramonce Taylor, Jamaal Charles and Selvin Young shared carries with QB Vince Young.

In 2009, Texas enters the season with big questions at running back. Carries are expected to be shared by Fozzy Whittaker, Cody Johnson, Vondrell McGee, Chris Whaley and QB Colt McCoy.

In 2005, Texas' pass rush received a boost by the transformation of a linebacker into a pass-rushing specialist at defensive end -- Brian Robison.

In 2009, Texas hopes to receive a pass-rushing boost by the transformation of a former linebacker into a pass-rushing specialist at defensive end -- Sergio Kindle.

In 2005, Texas entered the season with its last loss as a disappointing defeat that ultimately cost them a shot at the Big 12 South title and a perfect record -- a 12-0 loss to Oklahoma was the only blemish in the 2004 season.

In 2009, Texas enters the season with its last loss a disappointing defeat that ultimately cost them a shot at the Big 12 South title and a perfect record -- a 39-33 loss to Texas Tech that was the only defeat in the 2008 season.

In 2005, Texas was looking for its first Big 12 championship to stop a string of three Big 12 titles by arch-rival Oklahoma since Texas' last Big 12 championship. Texas won the 1996 title, followed by Oklahoma Big 12 championships in 2000, 2002 and 2004.

In 2009, Texas will be looking for its first Big 12 championship to stop a string of three Big 12 titles by arch-rival Oklahoma since it last won a Big 12 championship. Texas won the 2005 title, followed by Oklahoma Big 12 championships in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

In 2005, the Big 12 championship was played in an NFL stadium in Texas -- Reliant Stadium in Houston.

In 2009, the Big 12 championship will be played in an NFL stadium in Texas -- the Dallas Cowboys' Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

In 2005, the Longhorns entered the season ranked No. 2 behind a talented returning national championship team that beat Oklahoma for the national title the previous season -- USC defeated Oklahoma in the 2005 Orange Bowl.

In 2009, the Longhorns have been ranked No. 2 in most every early preseason poll behind a talented returning national championship that beat Oklahoma for the national title the previous season -- Florida defeated Oklahoma in the 2009 BCS title game.

In 2005, that defending national champion had a quarterback who had previously won the Heisman Trophy -- USC's Matt Leinart.

In 2009, that defending national champion has a quarterback who has previously won the Heisman Trophy -- Florida's Tim Tebow.

And most importantly, Texas claimed the 2005 national championship with a victory over No. 1 ranked USC in the Rose Bowl.

We don't know if Texas and Florida will have a shot, but the BCS national championship game will be played in the Rose Bowl this season.

Coincidence or not, those are some stunning parallels from one season to another one.

Can Texas fulfill the legacy of the 2005 team this season?

We'll have to see.

But if you believe history repeats itself, the Longhorns might have a chance.