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Monday, November 30, 2009
Brown remembers Texas upset of Nebraska

By staff

Texas coach Mack Brown remembers Texas' stunning Big 12 championship game victory over Nebraska in 1996 -- all too well.

Brown was coaching at North Carolina, where he had directed the Tar Heels to a 9-2 record. A strong finish had Tar Heel  fans excited about a potential trip to the Fiesta Bowl, which would have been the school's first trip to the Bowl Coalition.

But a funny thing happened for Brown and his team on their way to the desert. James Brown and Texas earned a stunning 37-27 victory over Nebraska, and both Big 12 teams -- not North Carolina -- went to the Bowl Coalition.

"Yeah, that game cost us the Fiesta Bowl," Brown said. "We're going if Texas doesn't beat Nebraska. I was mad. We're in and we're a lock. And then we go to the Gator Bowl."

The Tar Heels notched a 20-13 victory over West Virginia in the Gator Bowl, finished the season with a 10-2 record and finished 10th in the final Associated Press poll.

Brown was 11-1 the following year and was ranked sixth in the final AP poll. But he never advanced the Tar Heels higher than the Gator Bowl in the ACC's bowl pecking order before leaving the school.