Texas defensive end Brian Orakpo and quarterback Colt McCoy were on a conference call this afternoon to discuss their upcoming awards opportunities. Orakpo, who won the Bronko Nagurski Trophy on Sunday, is a finalist for the Lombardi Award, which will be announced Wednesday.
McCoy remains in the mix for the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award, Maxwell Award and Heisman Trophy.
During the call, Orakpo said the Longhorns "have to dismiss" any remaining thoughts about a split-poll national title -- a remote possibility, at best, considering Texas is only No. 3 in the latest AP poll -- and focus on their Fiesta Bowl matchup against No. 10 Ohio State.
"We have to get over the fact that we didn't make it to the (BCS) title game, just put it to rest," Orakpo said.
Part of doing that, he said, is seeking to be part of a Big 12 sweep of the league's seven bowl games. Orakpo said league pride definitely is involved.
"That's what makes the bowl games so unique," he said. "The conference teams forget about their rivalries and hate for one another and call a truce and root for each other."
Would that include Texas (11-1) rooting for Oklahoma (12-1), the archrival the Longhorns beat on the field (45-35 on Oct. 11) but rebounded to pass Texas in the BCS standings and advance to the national title game against Florida?
"I don't know about that one, man," Orakpo said. Moments later, he chuckled and added, "I'm just playing."
Asked if he would be supporting fellow Big 12 teams during bowl season, McCoy said: "We want them to play great and win their bowls to show how tough it is to play in the Big 12."
Even the Sooners?
"That's going to be a great game," McCoy said. "It's a big honor to play in the national championship game. So, the best of luck."
Based on the previous comment, we assume he means "best of luck" to the Sooners. But because he did not specify a team with his "best of luck" comment, we'll leave it to you to decide.
_ Jimmy Burch