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This was a program that had underachieved for more than two decades. Sure the logo was iconic. The university as a whole was healthy, one of the nation's largest. Harley Clark's hookems were welcome everywhere. And there were moments when Texas flashed to the surface -- Mackovic in '95, McWilliams in '90, Akers in '77 and '83.
What Brown did was make sure Texas endured. He rebuilt the foundation of the program that had been first poured by Darrell Royal. He did it with those who had already invested in the program, players, boosters, fans and Royal at his side. What Brown did was understand there was an inherent pride to being a Texan and being a part of the state's university. That he understood this as an outsider from Cookeville, Tenn. speaks to his acumen to realize Texas is more than just about one man on one sideline in one game a year.
But coaches should be celebrated for reviving sleeping monsters. The Longhorns were coming off a losing season when Brown took over in 1998. After a rocky first couple of games, he immediately turned the Longhorns around as they went 9-3 and beat Mississippi State in the Cotton Bowl.
Stoops' resurrection project, however, was far more impressive. The Sooners were in greater disarray following the dark years of Howard Schellenberger and John Blake. OU went 7-5 in Stoops' first year, then captured the 2000 national championship with an undefeated season in his second. Along the way, the Sooners hammered Texas 63-14, which wouldn't even be OU's largest margin of victory over Texas in the Stoops era. Three years later, OU trounced Texas again, 65-13.