Big 12: Shaun Rogers
Darrell K. Royal/Texas Memorial Stadium now has more than 100,00 seats. The Longhorns have a designated successor for Brown in place with rising star Will Muschamp. And that pesky problem with Bob Stoops has been alleviated recently with four victories in the last five seasons over the Sooners.
Times are good for Brown.
Here's a look at the Longhorns’ all-decade team during that time.
QB: Vince Young
RB: Jamaal Charles
RB: Cedric Benson
WR: Jordan Shipley
WR: Roy Williams
TE: David Thomas
OL: Justin Blalock
OL: Jonathan Scott
OL: Derrick Dockery
OL: Leonard Davis
C: Lyle Sendlein
DL: Brian Orakpo
DL: Cory Redding
DL: Shaun Rogers
DL: Casey Hampton
LB: Sergio Kindle
LB: Derrick Johnson
LB: Roddrick Muckelroy
DB: Earl Thomas
DB: Michael Huff
DB: Nathan Vasher
DB: Aaron Ross
P: Richmond McGee
K: Hunter Lawrence
KR: Quan Cosby
Offensive player of the decade: QB Vince Young. The most electrifying player of the decade capped his career by scoring the game-winning touchdown to lead his team to the national championship in his final drive. Brown finished with a 30-2 record, 6.040 passing yards and 3,127 rushing yards.
Defensive player of the decade: LB Derrick Johnson. He wasn’t around when the Longhorns won the national championship, but was perhaps the best player at his position at the school since Tommy Nobis. He capped his career with the Nagurski and Butkus Awards after earning All-America honors in each of his last two seasons.
Coach of the decade: Mack Brown. Remember when people used to joke about his inability to win big games or how he coddled his players. That all changed as the decade progressed. Brown got tougher and made some astute moves at defensive coordinator to help his program take the next step with the addition of coaches like Gene Chizik and Will Muschamp.
Moment of the decade: Vince Young’s run leads comeback victory to the 2005 national championship. Young’s game-winning 8-yard TD run with 19 seconds left boosted the Longhorns to a 41-38 victory over USC in the 2006 Rose Bowl, providing the margin of victory in one of the greatest college football games in history. Michael Huff’s fourth-down stop of LenDale White on the preceding drive set up Young’s heroics to snap the Trojans’ 34-game winning streak.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
There was an interesting item the other day in Mike Sando's fine NFC West blog about the preponderance of Pro Bowl defensive tackles that the Big 12 has produced.
Sando's research indicates there are currently six players from Big 12 schools who have earned Pro Bowl honors at defensive tackle: Oklahoma's Tommie Harris (Chicago), Oklahoma State's Kevin Williams (Minnesota) and Jamal Williams (San Diego), Texas A&M's Pat Williams (Minnesota) and Texas' Shaun Rogers (Cleveland) and Casey Hampton (Pittsburgh).
No other conference has more than four Pro Bowl defensive tackles at the present time.
That esteemed Big 12 group better get ready for a couple of new members. Because if Nebraska's Ndamukong Suh and Oklahoma's Gerald McCoy are nearly as good as I suspect they will be at the next level, it wouldn't surprise me if either of them make a Pro Bowl roster or two in the future with continued health and development.
Looking at the Pro Bowl list showed me several players who were dominant in college in Harris, Rogers and Hampton. Kevin Williams was a strong player at Oklahoma State who really didn't come on until his senior season. And Jamal Williams and Pat Williams have really blossomed once they made the NFL. Pat Williams, in fact, didn't play in the Big 12 and has blossomed in his mid-30s while playing in the NFL.
Sando's list made me think about who I think have been the best 10 defensive tackles in Big 12 history. These rankings are subjective and based solely on their performances in college football.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
So much for any rest for the weary. Texas coaches are out recruiting for 2010 and already have attracted the foundation of a strong class -- less than a week after national signing day.
Alan Trubow of the Austin American-Statesman writes today that the Longhorns have already picked up five verbal commitments in their 2010 class.
And their early signees have already helped fill what appears to be their biggest positional need at defensive tackle. Among the five players are two of the state's most highly ranked players at the position in Alief Taylor's DeAires Cotton and Denton Guyer's Taylor Bible, Trubow reports.
Other verbal commitments over the weekend came from Galena Park offensive lineman Trey Hopkins, DeSoto wide receiver Darius Terrell and Garland Naaman Forest receiver John Harris.
Bible, a 6-foot-3, 280-pounder, picked the Longhorns over Oklahoma. Recruiting analysts see that he could develop into the next line in a succession of Longhorn players at the position like Casey Hampton, Roy Miller, Frank Okam, Shaun Rogers and Marcus Tubbs.
The high school junior had an interesting comment on why he picked Texas.
"I guess the best way to describe it was Texas just feels like my own bed," Bible told the American-Statesman. "You know when you spend a lot of time on the road and you just get sick of that hotel bed? Well, a lot of schools feel like that bed. It's uncomfortable. But when I'm at Texas, I feel like I'm in my own bed."
That feeling of comfort works for Bible at Texas. And it's why Mack Brown's recruiting efforts already are off to a good start early in the recruiting game for next season.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
The Big 12 held up with a good, but not great, showing Tuesday when the Pro Bowl rosters were announced by the NFL.
A check of the rosters of both the AFC and NFC indicated that eight former Big 12 players were selected. That total ranks the conference third among the other conferences.
Here's how the conferences rank in Pro Bowl players.
- Atlantic Coast: 19
- Southeastern: 14
- Big 12: 8
- Big Ten: 7
- FCS teams: 7
- Conference USA: 6
- Pac-10: 6
- Big East: 4
- Mid-American: 3
- Mountain West: 3
- Sun Belt: 2
- WAC: 2
- Independents: 2
- Comm. college: 1
Here's a breakdown of how Big 12 schools were represented
- Texas 2 -- Dallas G Leonard Davis, Cleveland DT Shaun Rogers
- Texas A&M 2 -- Oakland P Shane Lechler, Minnesota DT Pat Williams
- Colorado 1 -- Dallas C Andre Gurode
- Oklahoma 1 -- Minnesota RB Adrian Peterson
- Oklahoma State 1 -- Minnesota DT Kevin Williams
- Texas Tech 1 -- New England WR Wes Welker
And the Big 12 teams hardly ranked among some of the nation's powerhouse programs. Here's a look at how the schools with multiple selections broke down
- Miami: 6
- Florida State: 5
- Tennessee: 3
- Alabama: 2
- Auburn: 2
- California: 2
- Central Florida: 2
- Kent State: 2
- LSU: 2
- Michigan: 2
- Mississippi: 2
- North Carolina State: 2
- Notre Dame: 2
- Ohio State: 2
- Pittsburgh: 2
- Texas: 2
- Texas A&M: 2
- Utah: 2
- Virginia: 2