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Tuesday, May 14, 2013
The 10 best Big 12 players ever: No. 5

By David Ubben

We're in the middle of counting down the top-10 players in the history of the Big 12. I'm sure you'll all agree with my selections.

See more on my criteria here.

Let's move on with the list:

No. 5: Colt McCoy, QB, Texas (2005-09)

Why he's on the list: McCoy started 53 games at Texas and won 45. Until Kellen Moore came along at Boise State, that was more than any quarterback in the history of college football, and it's one of the stats that defined McCoy's stellar career. Along the way, he was the portrait of consistency, carrying Texas football to great heights throughout his four years as starter. He was merely a three-star recruit from tiny Tuscola, Texas, but did more than anyone could have expected without possessing rare physical attributes like a huge arm or frame. He was deceptively fast and ran for 1,589 yards and 20 touchdowns to rank No. 3 all-time for Texas quarterbacks. Oh, and there were those 13,253 passing yards and 112 touchdowns, both school records. He also completed more than 70 percent of his passes. He completed nearly 77 percent in 2008, and was the only two-time All-American at quarterback in Texas history. No quarterback in NCAA history has won 10 games in all four seasons as a starting quarterback. Sure, McCoy had a lot of help with the Longhorns, but no way does that happen without McCoy's efforts.

He never captured a Heisman trophy, but the list of awards he did win rivals that of any player in history. He won the Walter Camp Award twice and the Davey O'Brien Award and Maxwell Award as a senior in 2009. His career came to a crushing end with a fluky shoulder injury in the first quarter of the 2010 BCS National Championship Game, robbing him of a chance to end the SEC's run of national titles. Who knows how that game might have turned out if he had remained healthy, but that forgettable finale was only a footnote on what was otherwise one of the greatest college careers ever.

The rest of the list: