Big 12: Bart Starr

McCoy named winner of Unitas Award

December, 3, 2009
12/03/09
5:47
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Texas quarterback Colt McCoy has been named the winner of the 2009 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award presented to the nation's top senior quarterback.

The award is presented by the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation, Inc., and Transamerica.

McCoy has led the Longhorns to their first 12-0 regular season in school history as they head into Saturday's Big 12 championship game against Nebraska. He is also the all-time winningest quarterback in NCAA history with 44 victories and the only quarterback in NCAA history to lead his team to four 10-win seasons.

"Wow, what a great honor it is to receive an award named after Johnny Unitas, one of the greatest football players ever,” McCoy said. “I had a chance to talk to John, Jr. and Raymond Berry last night when they told me I was this year's winner and I was pretty speechless.

“With all of the great quarterbacks around the country it’s definitely humbling to be picked as the winner of the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award. But, like I told them last night, this is an honor I can't wait to share with my teammates and coaches. Without them I wouldn't be able to accomplish anything, so this is an award that reflects the success we've had as a team and is a tribute to all of them."

McCoy becomes the first Longhorn to win the award, which has been presented since 1987. A ceremony will be held in Baltimore on Dec. 11. Presenters at the awards ceremony will include NFL Hall of Famers Bart Starr and Raymond Berry, along with many other former Baltimore Colts teammates of Johnny Unitas.

“We're so happy for Colt and this team that the Johnny Unitas Gold Arm Award has selected him this year's winner,” Texas coach Mack Brown said. “He certainly has had another great year and is deserving of all of the recognition he receives. When you look at the 44 career wins and all of his records, he has been one of the greatest to ever play at Texas and in college football, but he's also a kid that is graduating this semester and is a national scholar-athlete who constantly is giving back in the community. With all of his success on the field, you really have to appreciate what a special person he is off of it to."

McCoy is the fourth player from a Big 12 school to win the Unitas Award. Previous winners include Graham Harrell of Texas Tech last season, Nebraska's Tommie Frazier (1995) and Oklahoma's Jason White (2004).

Big 12 lunch links: Watts decides not to run for governor

May, 22, 2009
5/22/09
1:21
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Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Former Oklahoma quarterback J.C. Watts always had the flair for the dramatic.

Whether it was breaking big runs as a wishbone quarterback under Barry Switzer or the way he directed the Sooners to back-to-back Orange Bowl victories in 1980-81, Watts always had star power.

After he left football he has carved an enviable career as a politician. He's accustomed to tackling challenge issues. One of the most interesting was his work as a lobbyist on Capitol Hill trying to curry favor among congressmen and senators for the Bowl Championship Series.

Many thought it was only a matter of time before Watts returned to the political arena.

But that idea will have to wait after he announced Friday he won't be running for governor of Oklahoma in this year's election to replace outgoing Gov. Brad Henry.

As such, I would imagine that Watts has more time to keep up with his old team. And I can't think of a better way to do that than by reading these daily links.

Here are a few I hope will enlighten him if he gets the chance to read them today.

  • Texas Tech coach Mike Leach tells Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram why Bart Starr's picture hung on his wall when he was a kid and why he enjoys boxing and rugby but hates golf.
  • Even as the Big 12 cuts the largest distribution pie in conference history, the conference is still considering ways to save money, according to Austin American-Statesman reporter Randy Riggs.
  • The Dallas Morning News provides a video look at the new $40 million high-definition video boards at Cowboys Stadium. The facility will host three Big 12 regular-season games in the upcoming season and the Big 12 title game.
  • The Los Angeles Times' Chris Dufresne lists three Big 12 games among the 10 national contests he can't wait for in 2009. Included are Georgia-Oklahoma State, Texas-Oklahoma and Texas-Texas Tech.
  • The Kansas City Star's Jeffrey Martin reports on a new twist on Kansas State's lawsuit against former football coach Ron Prince. The Star's editorial page ripped the contract between Prince and former Kansas State athletic director Bob Krause, calling it a "stain on collegiate sports."
  • Texas A&M's season opener against New Mexico likely will not be shown on national television as Texas A&M officials earlier had hoped, Robert Cessna of the Bryan Eagle reports.  
  • The Columbia Daily Tribune's Dave Matter answers questions about Missouri's offensive line, numbers he expects Missouri to retire and Chase Daniel's chance to stick with the Washington Redskins.
  • The Lincoln Journal-Star's Brian Christopherson has the interesting story of Nebraska philosopher Hartley Burr Alexander, whose legendary "In the Deed the Glory" maxim put some big ideas into a few words on the side of Memorial Stadium.
  • Trey Bradley of bleacherreport.com included two Big 12 jobs among his list of the nation's top 10 coaching jobs.

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