Brown, Tressel coach in shadows of legends

January, 3, 2009
1/03/09
12:58
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- They are polar opposites in public and represent two very different regions of the country, but Texas' Mack Brown and Ohio State's Jim Tressel have forged a common bond the last few seasons. 

Both men oversee big-time programs with big-time fan bases and big-time expectations. Both recruit at an extremely high level. And both coach in the shadow of legends, Texas' Darrell K. Royal and Ohio State's Woody Hayes. 

Despite two impressive head-coaching résumés, both of which include national championships, Brown and Tressel, whose teams meet Monday in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, recognize they'll likely never measure up to icons like Royal and Hayes. 

"These are two men that he and I idolized growing up," Brown said. "It's not like we're sitting around thinking, 'I'm going to be Darrell Royal.' Even [Royal] said one day, 'I hope you break all my records.'

"I said, 'Coach, I'm not going to be alive long enough to break all your records, so don't worry about it.'"

Brown is 114-26 in 11 seasons at Texas, a winning percentage of .814, while Tressel boasts an 83-18 mark at Ohio State (.822). Two outstanding records for sure, but not quite at the level of Royal and Hayes, who combined to win eight national championships. 

"We both believe that the game is bigger than us," Tressel said of himself and Brown. "We both believe that the schools we're at filled the stands long before we came and we'll never be the Woody Hayeses of the place, but we are the people that have the responsibility to try and maintain that type of excellence."

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