With the Big 12 South Division tiebreaker settled, albeit not to the liking of Texas coach Mack Brown, here are some of Sunday’s comments from the less-than-happy Longhorns.
Below are comments from Texas players, as well as the full text from Brown’s Sunday statement, in which he reacts to the Longhorns being jumped by Oklahoma in the BCS by saying: “We don’t like it, we don’t agree with it or think it’s fair. But, like anything else, we’ll handle it and move forward.”
BROWN’s FULL STATEMENT:
“Going into the last couple of weeks, we knew that a good team was going to be left out of the Big 12 Championship. Unfortunately, in this situation, it was us. It is what it is. We don’t like it, we don’t agree with it or think it’s fair. But, like anything else, we’ll handle it and move forward.
“I’m really disappointed for our kids that two teams we beat this season
will be playing for the Big 12 Championship. I’ll try to explain it to them,
but most importantly, my message will be that you’ve done enough to put
yourself in position to play for the conference championship, you had a
great season and there still is a lot out there for you to play for. We’ll
wait and see how everything plays out and where the system sends us, then be ready to play our best game of the year wherever that is. I do appreciate all of the respect many of the poll voters and fans gave to our season and the importance they placed on the head-to-head matchup in the end, but, unfortunately, it was not enough.
“Since this situation has never happened before in the Big 12, I think the conference should follow the lead of all of the other BCS leagues with
championship games (ACC/Conference USA/Mid-American/SEC) in how they settle three-way ties. I think their systems are fairer and give more credit to how the two highest ranked teams performed against each other on the field.”
TEXAS QB COLT McCOY:
“Today was a really tough day, waiting around to find out we didn't make the Big Championship game. That was very disappointing because we had finished the season so strong and done so well against the two teams that are playing in the game. But, we had a great team meeting and Coach Brown pushed all of the positives with us, like he always does. He told us that it was okay to be disappointed but after the meeting it was time to move forward and be prepared to get ready for a big bowl game. As a leader on this team, it’s one of my jobs to make sure we do that. There is a lot left out there to play for and crazy things happen all the time in college football. So, who knows where we’ll end up? We'll stay focused and be ready to finish this season strong, especially for our seniors. Once we know where we're going, we'll get ourselves prepared to play our best game of the season.”
TEXAS DE BRIAN ORAKPO:
“Coming into the season, we faced a lot of adversity. There were a lot of people saying that we weren’t going to be that good. A lot of people doubted us. But, we played great this season. We were consistent each and every week. We worked hard, played hard and acted right during the year. The word I would use to describe it is phenomenal. There aren't a lot of people that can say they were 11-1 during a college football season, especially considering that we beat both of our rivals. It is a great accomplishment for this team and it shows how much hard work we put into this season.
“This has been my favorite season. It’s been great playing with these guys each and every week. We've had a lot of fun. We really haven’t cared about anything but playing with our teammates, playing for the guy beside you out on that field, and the main thing was having a lot fun.
“Now, we'll get a chance to play in a great bowl game. I’ve just been
telling the guys to keep their heads up. We have a lot to play for. We’ll
use this as motivation. We still want to prove to everyone that we're the
best team in the country. It's really important to us that we play well in
the bowl game because we want to finish this season off right.”
TEXAS WR QUAN COSBY:
“We’re still in a good position. It’s very unfortunate for us that two teams we beat are playing in the Big 12 Championship, but that¹s the way it works. We have to stay positive, and I think that’s what the older guys and leaders on the team are doing for the younger guys. We still have a lot to play for. We’re fortunate enough to have a really good bowl record. We take big pride in that and preparing for that. First and foremost, we¹re going to try to get healthier in these days off and relax and take care of schoolwork, but then get right back to work and be hungry to play in a great game.
“There are a lot of teams who would love the opportunity to have been to two BCS games in the last four years, and even three in the last five, and would love to be in our situation right now. All of the one loss teams out there are really good teams. That’s the way it works out and you have to play with the cards you’re dealt.
“This team is a family. We’re going to let this go. One of our goals was the Big 12 title, but we slipped up in the process. Now we have to overcome it, come closer as a family and play as a family in our bowl game. We still have other goals in front of us: ¬for one, to be in BCS bowl, and two, to win the bowl game in general. Fortunately, we’re going to be in a really nice one no matter how it plays out. Everybody wants to go the National Championship, but to be in a BCS bowl is great and we’re going to come together, work hard and prepare well.”
_ Jimmy Burch