" /> Colt McCoy – Quarterback for the Texas Longhorns: November 2006 Archives

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November 30, 2006

SNEAD GONE

By Danny Reagan / Abilene, Texas

_smallUTlogo.gifUPDATE: New stories about Snead leaving, Coach Fran's apology and Colt's recovery are now on "Colt in the News." Also, a bunch of people have been leaving comments in the chatroom.



Both Dallas and Austin newspapers are reporting that Jevan Snead of Stephenville will transfer out of UT at the end of this semester.

snead.jpg Where he's going isn't exactly clear, although Houston, Louisville and TCU have been mentioned. Supposedly, Mack Brown will let him out of his scholarship.

You can't blame Snead for leaving, and you can't blame Mack Brown for being crazy like a fox and signing both Colt McCoy and Snead. As I mentioned weeks ago, Snead is too good to be a backup somewhere. He sure was powerful insurance at the quarterback position, though.

The 'Horns have QB Sherrod Harris in a red shirt right now, while two other blue-chippers have made verbal commitments - John Brantley and John Chiles. They're supposedly two of the best in the nation.

I'm still hoping Snead opts for my alma mater - Texas Tech.

ANOTHER COLT SIGHTING? Chances are Colt will be back in Abilene this Saturday to watch his father and two brothers as they lead the Graham Steers (7-5) into the third round of the playoffs.

The McCoy boys will take on Midland Greenwood (11-1) at 4 p.m. at Shotwell Stadium.

Two weeks ago when Colt - recuperating from the KSU stinger - was at Shotwell to watch the Steers beat Dalhart, 33-15, I was standing in line with my son at a Wal-Mart in Dallas trying to get a Wii.

If you're part of the Burnt Orange Nation, and IF Colt does visit Abilene, don't expect to see him much. Last time he stayed cloistered in the press box to help keep the focus on the field where it should be.

November 29, 2006

NOW WHAT?

By Danny Reagan / Abilene, Texas

UPDATE: Colt McCoy has just been named "AP Big 12 offensive newcomer of the year." (See more detail in news link above).

For the regular season being over, there sure is a lot of news.

Here's a brief rundown, but you need to click on the "Colt in the News" link above to get more details.

_smallUTlogo.gifColt is feeling just fine, coming back nicely from that pinched nerve in the neck which looked so scary at first. Father Brad says he'll be ready by bowl time.

newgator.jpg_smallUTlogo.gif What bowl would that be? I thought it was going to be the Cotton Bowl, but they're going to take the OU/NU loser. Now everyone is saying the Longhorns will either be going to the Gator Bowl on Dec. 29th in Jacksonville, Florida, or the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 30th in San Antonio. They'll know Sunday.

The Alamo Bowl has already chosen Iowa (6-6) for one of its teams, and good money is on either Texas (9-3) or Texas Tech (7-5) to be the other school playing. Either of those is fine with me and would prompt me to alter my holiday travel plans somewhat.

The Gator Bowl - more prestigious because of its longevity and being higher up on the "picking pecking" order - wouldn't be as popular with fans as the Alamo bowl (my personal favorite because the RiverWalk is just a few steps away).

_smallUTlogo.gif Colt was chosen "Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year" yesterday. Despite the injuries and subsequent dropoff in stats, I expect he'll pick up a few more awards before it's all over.

_smallUTlogo.gif Father Brad says Colt looks in on this site's chatroom from time to time to see the comments from friends, relatives and fans. He's supposed to respond in an email sometime soon, and I'll post that. Brad says Colt really appreciates all the comments.

_smallUTlogo.gif Two teams that UT beat this year will be playing Saturday for the Big 12 championship. The Big 12 crown should really be worn by a team in Texas. If not Tech or Texas ... shoot, I would even prefer A&M (the team that set up this horrible scenario) over Nebraska or OU. (FYI: The Aggies are going to the Holiday Bowl in San Diego to face Cal on Dec. 28th).

November 27, 2006

NEXT?

By Danny Reagan / Abilene, Texas

That would probably be Monday, Jan. 1, 2007, in the Cotton Bowl against Arkansas.

Shades of the old Southwest Conference, huh?

But why dwell on the past ... whether it's 30 years ago or 3 days hence?

OK, but just for a second. One thread in the chatroom suggests the Aggies were intentionally trying to hurt Colt McCoy. A couple of others suggest he wasn't completely healed from the Kansas State stinger.

heard.jpgJudging by the berating Aggie redshirt freshman Kellen Heard took from his own teammates on the sideline following his late, blind-sided, cheap-shot hit, I doubt if the "Hurt Colt" campaign was team-wide. Defenses all over college football want to "hurt" the opposing quarterback, leaving him with bumps and bruises. But for the most part they strive to do it legally and not to the extent that the QB is carried out of the stadium. Heard got what he deserved - an instant ejection and placed high on the radar for next year's game.

We'll never know if Colt was 100% for the game (although he hit 13-of-16 the first half), but again you win as a team and you lose as a team. A bad rushing day for the Longhorns (read lackluster offensive line) and that porous defensive backfield caught up with them, not to mention an Aggie defense that came out of the locker room for the final two quarters ready for an upset.

More than a month remains now for Colt to recuperate. That should be sufficient.

Maybe that's long enough for a bunch of bruised egos to heal as well.

November 24, 2006

SCARY

By Danny Reagan / Abilene, Texas

FINAL UPDATE: Statesman.com reports that Colt suffered a severely pinched nerve in his neck. A "full recovery" is expected, but there's no speculation whether Colt could play if the Longhorns get into the Big 12 title game if OU loses tomorrow.

LATEST UPDATE: Less than an hour ago (about 6:30 p.m.), Colt McCoy walked out of a hospital in Austin under his own power, so that means there is no serious injury. Whew! The guy's tough, but that was scary for a while.

UPDATE: Colt is at a hospital in Austin for "observation," but he reportedly has use of "all of his extremities," so that's good news.

EARLIER: Two wicked hits in the final minutes of the game were too much for the gutsy quarterback. One was a cheap shot that resulted in an ejection, and the last was brutal from every replay angle.

coltstretcher.jpg
Hopefully, the "immobilization" precautions in the final 20 seconds were just that, and all - and I don't say "all" lightly - he sustained was a concussion. Stingers and concussions aren't to be sneezed at, but at least they aren't broken bones or spinal cord injuries.

As far as the loss, I don't think it was rust for the Longhorns, although Colt sure didn't look like himself except on the short out-passes.

At the end, it was pretty simple.

The Aggies knew how to convert third downs - especially in the fourth quarter - and the Longhorns couldn't quite shake a funk that started when McCoy sustained a stinger in Manhattan, Kansas, two weeks ago.

The TV announcers suggested Colt's arm strength wasn't back to normal. Some costly underthrown passes (2 of which resulted in interceptions) might point that way, but I can't imagine Mack Brown would put him back in still ailing - not with Jevan Snead ready to go.

What a difference two weeks makes. From talk of possibily repeating the national championship to a real possibility of not even playing in the Big 12 title game.

But guess what ... when you're saying a prayer for someone, outcomes of games and BCS rankings don't mean much.

November 22, 2006

EARLY BIRD

By Danny Reagan / Abilene, Texas

Burnt orange is just about the color of rust, isn't it?

A good ingredient for getting rid of sports rust is adrenaline.

Colt McCoy will have gone almost two weeks without facing charging linemen and blitzing linebackers. And before that was 10 straight weeks of come-from-behind, take-a-hit, run-and-gun action. He should have plenty of adrenaline in reserve.

turkey.gifBut even if Colt and his Longhorn buddies are a little rusty, I just hope they're awake. It's a bit too early at 11 a.m. for football. At least the turkey from the day before should be well digested. I'm sure the network execs figured out how to fully monetize the plethora of holiday weekend telecasts, but the athletes who have to play first in the morning got the short end of the drumstick.

I'm going to play football analyst and point to the three things each team has to do to win the game. I think it's going to be very close.

For the Aggies: 1) Blitz Colt McCoy almost half the time; 2) Have more than 300 yards passing; 3) Think about Coach Fran's future.

For the Longhorns: 1) No KSU loss/BCS "what-ifs" hangover; 2) Colt McCoy throws 3 TD passes; 3) UT rushes for 175 yards.

coachfran.jpg
I mentioned Coach Dennis Franchione because many "experts" believe a loss in Austin might just seal his fate ... meaning he won't be back as head coach of the Aggies.

That would indeed be a shame. He almost has the A&M program back where the Aggies would have a realistic shot each November at the Big 12 South title.

I haven't met too many Big 12 coaches, but I did meet Coach Fran in Austin right after he took the A&M job. He said College Station was the exact place he wanted to be, and he was sure he could bring the Aggies back to prominence. I believed him then and I still do.

And just because the Aggies lose Friday doesn't mean they aren't thisclose to prominence once again.

November 20, 2006

HE'S BAAAACK!

By Danny Reagan / Abilene, Texas

You may have already heard (or at least guessed), but just in case you haven't, Colt McCoy will start Friday against the Texas A&M Aggies.

Here is the blurb from the AP wire:



AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Texas freshman quarterback Colt McCoy, knocked out of the No. 11 Longhorns' loss to Kansas State with a shoulder and neck injury, was cleared to play this week against Texas A&M.

Offensive lineman Justin Blalock, who has started 49 consecutive games, also was cleared to play against the Aggies, coach Mack Brown said Monday.

McCoy sustained a stinger while scoring a touchdown in the first quarter of the 45-42 loss. He has a school-record 27 touchdown passes for the Longhorns (9-2, 6-1 Big 12), who must win Friday to secure a berth in the conference championship game.

Blalock left the Kansas State game in the third quarter with a knee injury.


That should be a heckuva game, and I for one plan on eating my leftover turkey sandwich in front of the tube instead of this computer.

More about this classic battle and why there is no longer any ice in the drinks at College Station soon.

Just kidding about that "ice" thing. There won't be any Aggie jokes on this blog. [B-P

Oops, I mean }:-)

November 16, 2006

LIFE GOES ON

By Danny Reagan / Abilene, Texas

The Longhorns resumed practice, Colt McCoy is recuperating and Mack Brown feels like talking again.

In fact, he said a lot of stuff following Tuesday's practice. Here are a couple of them edited down from the press conference:

coltsmallPUBmug.jpg About Colt: "We learned in about week three or four that Colt was a great leader. Anytime you take a guy out of your team that has taken a lot of snaps, touched the ball every time he was on the field, and everybody was talking about for the Heisman, it’s going to affect you some. It’s going to affect you as a team. What we’ve got to do is do a better job when something like that happens. That’s part of the game; you have to step up and everybody has to play a little bit better." (Source: mackbrown-texasfootball.com)

About Jevan Snead: "I thought he did really, really well. If you look at where he was compared to where Colt [McCoy] was at Ohio State, they both played very similar games. They made some big plays, they kept us in the game, they gave us the chance to win, and we needed to help both of them more. We felt like for Jevan’s first game, he showed a lot of skill, ability and poise and that was like putting Colt in that first one against Ohio State. There was a tremendous amount of pressure on the road ..." (Source: mackbrown-texasfootball.com)

thumb.jpgI think both those quotes reflect Brown's confidence in his young quarterbacks. Losing Colt was obviously a downer for everyone in burnt orange, but despite being snakebitten on defense and special teams, the Longhorns almost pulled it out. Snead definitely got better as the game wore on. It just didn't wear on long enough.

But that was then and this is now, and Texas A&M is next.

As Indiana Jones might say ... "Aggies, why'd it have to be Aggies!?"

But at least the game's not on the road. }:-P~

November 13, 2006

HOMECOMING

By Danny Reagan / Abilene, Texas

There's a good chance Colt McCoy will be coming "home" Saturday ... almost to Tuscola.

Brad_McCoy.jpg The Texas Longhorns don't have a game that day, but father Brad McCoy's Graham squad sure does - a playoff game against powerhouse Dalhart at 4 p.m. in Abilene's Shotwell Stadium.

"He hasn't been able to see his brothers play all year," said Brad, "so he is looking forward to coming to the game if it's at all possible."

It all depends upon the speed of his healing. When a stinger occurs, the nerves are traumatized in such a way that they swell up and cause the muscles around them to lose strength.

The body can heal those nerves pretty quickly, but Coach McCoy has seen players take anywhere from a day to a week to recover completely.

Brad's telephone "rang off the hook," all day Sunday and Monday morning as friends, family and members of the press called checking on Colt's condition.

Oh, he'll be ready for the Aggies.

I look forward to the Texas/Texas A&M game each year. As a Red Raiders fan I always enjoyed how they'd really let each other have it. Now, as a Colt McCoy fan, I'm looking forward to seeing how he responds to THE Rivalry, especially following the big disappointment in Kansas.

We've seen how Colt plays with the pressure of quarterbacking for the National Champions with the buzz of the Heisman in his ear ... and with the pressure of the Burnt Orange Nation just waiting to call for his head if he falters (see numerous examples about Mack Brown over the years).

So now, all that pressure is gone. But truthfully, I don't know how he could play any more relaxed than he has been.

P.S. For those of you headed to Shotwell Saturday, here's a brief preview:

autograph.jpg
Brad's Steers (5-5) will have their hands full with the Dalhart Golden Wolves (8-2), but Graham won its final three games of the season to sew up the District 6-3A crown, while Dalhart lost two of its final three to finish 1-2 in District 5-3A

The power rating calculated by strength-of-schedule and point differential has the Steers behind about 15 points, so they're definitely the underdog.

With big brother Colt in the stands, however, look for the McCoys on the field to be motivated. Freshman Case will probably complete a bunch of passes to senior Chance to make this a happy family reunion.

Just don't ask for too many autographs. Remember, he's recuperating.

THE PROGNOSIS

By Danny Reagan / Abilene, Texas

Brad McCoy knew something was wrong when his son didn't immediately spring up after scoring a touchdown.

"I know his body language. He just doesn't show pain, but his arm was hanging."

And as everyone knows who was watching the Kansas State game, Colt McCoy was showing real pain once he got to the bench.

coltksu.jpg
"I was really concerned. I thought he had broken his collar bone," said Brad, who was able to get to the locker room at halftime to discover the injury was a "stinger" or nerve impingement.

He was also able to talk with Mack Brown for a second.

"Basically, Coach Brown said, 'we're not going to risk it.' The dad in me really appreciated that." (Photo courtesy of mackbrown-texasfootball.com)

Brad also saw Colt briefly at a distance as he took the field after intermission. "His eyes said to me he was going to play." But his father knew differently.

Colt hung around the coaches throughout the third quarter in full uniform and pads.

"He was trying to egg them on and have them put him back in," said Brad, "but Coach Brown finally told him to get his pads off."

At the end of the game when the Kansas State fans charged the field, Brad rushed headlong into the galloping herd as fast as he could to reach Colt.

"I don't know how people don't get killed in those things," he said. When he finally reached his son in the middle of the field, he could tell Colt was just "sick at heart."

mccoyold.jpg "I just felt helpless," Colt said as his father put an arm protectively around him and led him to the locker room. "I can't believe this happened. I knew what they were going to do."

"He did have them pegged," said Brad, recounting the game's first drive. "He told me it was the most helpless feeling he had ever had" standing on the sidelines watching.

But Sunday was a little brighter day for the McCoy family.

Numerous X-rays and a couple of MRIs revealed absolutely no damage - nothing torn, nothing broken.

After the game, Colt couldn't hold his arm parallel to the ground, according to Brad, but Sunday he had a lot of movement.

"He told me if the injury was a 10 on Saturday, it had eased to a 6 on Sunday," Brad said. "So we're headed in the right direction."

If no other play showed that football is indeed a game of inches and those inches can have a profound effect on the outcome of a game, Colt's dive showed that. NO, not the one where he was injured! The plunge from the one-yard line right before that fateful one when the refs said the ball didn't break the plane of the goal line, so the Horns had to try it again.

There's a great picture showing Colt AND the ball lying across the goal line after that first attempt. Colt is looking for the call. (Wish I could show it to you, but it's exclusive to the Statesman).

If that first try had indeed been called a touchdown, it would have been an entirely different ballgame.

Colt had them "pegged."

(NOTE: It appears our comments link was temporarily out of order. Use the SUBMIT link above to send us a comment if it goes down again, and CLICK HERE to see an e-mailed comment on the Kansas State game).

November 12, 2006

ONLY A STINGER?

By Danny Reagan / Abilene, Texas

Haven't been able to talk to Father McCoy yet (Brad), and that's the only diagnosis I'll trust at this point, but ...

From wire sources, it appears that Colt sustained a "stinger" on his right shoulder last night. That's like a very serious nerve pinch around the neck and shoulders. In high school my son got two in consecutive games. They are scary because they happen in the spine area, but they can be overcome in a day or so.

X-rays supposedly showed no damage or separation, but stingers will just take the strength right out of the arm on the side where you were hit.

In medical-ese, stingers happen "when the spinal cord in the neck is compressed as the head is forced backward and sideways, or when the nerves in the neck and shoulder are over-stretched as the head is forced sideways away from the shoulder."

On that play last night, it looked as though both of those things happened to Colt on two different, quick hits as he dove over the line.

You know Colt wanted to go right back in, but credit goes to Mack Brown. He knows that if a stinger isn't treated properly and time allowed to pass, it can make the player more susceptible to them in the future. Colt is just a redshirt-freshman.

I'm sure Colt's family and friends appreciate the coach doing the right thing. Even if some people might think it cost the Longhorns a game.

Hey, the national title can wait another year. Colt's health can't.

November 11, 2006

BAD NEWS


LATEST UPDATE: (10:43 p.m. CST) Well, Kansas State won, 45-42, and a return to the BCS championship game will not be in the cards this season for the Longhorns. I'd like to think that if Colt had been in there, it would have been a different story, but the Wildcats were definitely pumped. Hopefully Colt will be back for the Aggies game the day after Thanksgiving.

(9:52 p.m. CST) After a quick scoring drive, Texas look energized, but after holding KSU, they had to punt. Only seconds left in the 3rd quarter, UT is behind, 42-28, and the cameras just showed Colt on the sidelines in street clothes.

(9:35 p.m. CST) So much for a chance at the BCS title game. Texas is falling apart. KSU blocks a punt, and a couple of plays later it is 42-21, and the "who's the best one-loss team" question is just about moot.

(9:28 p.m. CST) The bad news just keeps getting worse. Two fumbles by the Longhorns and the Wildcats scored two TDs in less than a minute to lead 35-21, halfway through the third quarter.

(9 p.m. CST) Mack Brown has told a sideline reporter that "Colt McCoy is done for the night." Colt is in uniform and standing on the sideline. (Texas tied the game, 21-21, after blocking a punt on the Wildcats' first possession of the second half)


By Danny Reagan / Abilene, Texas

Just in case you're not watching the game, Colt McCoy was injured sneaking over for a touchdown in the first quarter against Kansas State.

coltmug111106.jpg He had completed 4-of-4 passes for 51 yards on the opening drive of the game before taking the ball in himself from the one-yard line on a dive. As he crossed the end zone he was hit hard ... a couple of times.

He has been taken into the locker room while Stephenville's Jevan Snead takes over the quarterbacking duties. They haven't mentioned Colt's injuries, but he looks to be hurting in the shoulder and neck area.

But he was up on the sideline and gingerly tossing the ball around before heading to the locker room at the end of the first quarter.

No word on if he'll be back in the game or not.

Update at Halftime: The injury to Colt appears to have inspired Kansas State while at the same time taking the fire out of the Longhorns. KSU leads 21-14, and it's not really that close. The second UT TD was a gift on a weird fake punt call. And the Wildcats get the ball first in the second half.

McCoy alert on AP wire: MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) - Texas quarterback Colt McCoy was hurt on a touchdown carry in the first quarter of the fourth-ranked Longhorns' game against Kansas State on Saturday night.

McCoy, who went up the middle from a yard out on fourth-and-goal to put Texas up 7-0, was buried under a pile of defenders on the play.

He was holding his right shoulder after the play and he later left the sideline.

The redshirt freshman, whose 27 touchdown passes this year are a school record and two shy of the NCAA freshman record, was replaced by freshman Jevan Snead.

It was the first action of the year for Snead, who had pushed McCoy hard for the starter's job this summer. He was 0-for-2 and had one carry for 14 yards on his first possession.

November 10, 2006

DESTINY'S CHILDREN

Booked your hotel room in Glendale, Arizona?

Hope the Louisville Cardinals hadn't made their travel plans.

If the Longhorns don't stumble in their final three games (that includes the Big 12 championship), the real question is will someone in burnt orange be playing in the Tostito's Fiesta Bowl on New Year's Day or in the same stadium a week later.

bcschamp.jpg
It's the Fiesta Bowl's year to host the BCS National Championship on Jan. 8 (and the Big 12 champ hosts the bowl game there a week earlier if that team is not in the Big Kahuna game).

After the upset of the Cardinals last night, I'm starting to think this is a "Year of Destiny" for Texas.

Spearheaded by a young quarterback whose mugshot should be next to the word "destiny" in the dictionary, Texas could actually be back in that title game.

Those BCS knuckleheads ... Let me start over.

Any reliable, human-generated poll would have had the Horns ranked No. 3 already. Louisville should never have jumped ahead of them, and they proved that in New Jersey.

And the only reason Florida is .0019 in front of the Horns is because of some close wins against SEC foes.

But the SEC isn't nearly as tough this season as in the past, and Rutgers is long shot at impressing pollsters (even with a cool mascot) at the end of the season playing Cincinnati and Syracuse. And they still have to face West Virginia in the season finale.

The Gators still have a couple of tough games left as well.

whoknows.jpgThat would open it up for the Ohio State/Michigan winner and Texas to meet in the championship game.

Why? Well, Texas has been on an impressive tear since losing to the nation's No. 1 team. And thanks to Colt McCoy, they've also been getting a lot of good national publicity lately.

And the "what-have-you-done-for-me-lately" voting of the human pollsters should neutralize the cold algorithms of the machines to prevent deja vu (Buckeyes/Wolverines) in Glendale.

Plus, during the past five games, Texas has played much better ball than Michigan, averaging more points a game (37-to-24) and beating better opponents. And who was scared by Ball State last week?

The Buckeyes have been playing great over that same stretch, despite the scare by Illinois.

So, if Ohio State beats Michigan on Nov. 18, the Longhorns will know exactly what they'll have to do on Nov. 24 against the Aggies to impress the BCS number-meisters and get within spitting distance of No. 2.

AND, the Wolverines are done - no more games. Texas would have one more chance to impress the BCS-azoids in the Big 12 championship game in Kansas City on Dec. 2.

Destiny. That has a nice ring to it, even if it wasn't my daughter's name.

November 8, 2006

THE PATH TAKEN

By Danny Reagan / Abilene, Texas

You know how football is a matter of inches sometimes?

One inch more here or one less inch there and seasons can be successful or wind up in the dumpster.

That's kinda like being in the right place at the right time ... especially in sports. Seize the opportunity no matter how it presents itself to you.

A couple of years ago we announced to the world in his "hometown" newspaper that Colt McCoy would be attending the University of Texas. I say "world," but only fans in West Texas really paid much attention at the time.

"Colt, who?" and "Tuscola, where?" were common reactions out in the rest of the world. That world was more interested in if Vince Young would live up to his potential.

perrilloux.jpg sanchez.jpg A few months later in 2004, prep quarterbacks Mark Sanchez (left) of California and Ryan Perrilloux of Louisiana announced they would also sign with UT. Everyone had heard of them, and the world outside of West Texas definitely took notice.

On a personal sidenote (remember, I'm a Red Raiders fan, too), a year after that Greg McElroy of Southlake Carroll announced he was going to Texas Tech.

Back to our narrative of remarkable life trails, ironies and coincidences - only flash forward to today.

You know Colt's story (if not, you're definitely on the wrong website). And, of course, Young did live up to his potential.

But what about the others?

Before signing day in 2005, Sanchez and Perrilloux had changed their minds about where they were going, even after "strong" verbal commitments.

Sanchez, who decided to stay "home" at USC, also competed this season for the starting job as a red-shirt freshman, but he's only thrown 6 passes in 3 games. John David Booty is leading the Trojans to the promised BSC-land now.

Perrilloux, THE nation's top blue chipper from Louisiana whom everyone wanted - cut in the exact mold of Young - opted for LSU instead and has thrown all of 4 passes this season for the Tigers, completing one.

Neither former bluechipper has a touchdown pass, much less being two away from tying the national record for TD passes by a freshman (29).

mcelroy.jpgOh, and McElroy changed his mind, too. He's currently red-shirted at Alabama, as sophomore John Parker Wilson is having a pretty good year leading the Tide. I'm still hoping McElroy regains his senses and transfers to Tech.

What's my point? Well, I'd like to think at least Sanchez and Perrilloux are kicking themselves for not keeping their word.

Of course, they couldn't have foreseen the 2005 storybook year for Young and the Longhorns, or that Young would leave one year early for the NFL.

Can you imagine what a four-way competition for starting quarterback this past summer among Colt, Jevan Snead, Sanchez and Perrilloux would've been like?

Mack Brown would have definitely lost all his gray hairs. And his ultimate choice probably wouldn't have changed.

So now, Colt has already set two school records (6 TD passes in a game, 27 TD passes in a season) and is on the verge of two more (total offense for a freshman and total passing yards in a season).

And oh yeah, I don't see anyone else mentioned above on the current Heisman Poll. Colt is No. 4 this week (two votes shy of edging up to No. 3).

And just in case you haven't heard yet, yesterday Colt was named a semi-finalist for the 2006 Davey O'Brien Award, which recognizes the nation's best college quarterback. That's right, Vince Young won it last year.

November 7, 2006

ALL IN THE FAMILY

By Danny Reagan / Abilene, Texas

bradmccoymug.jpg
Graham High School head football coach Brad McCoy is thinking about post-season.

No, not the Big 12 championship game nor the machinations of the BCS (Bowl Championship Series) points-ranking system that is becoming more and more important to his quarterback son Colt at the University of Texas.

The elder McCoy's Graham Steers host the Burkburnett Bulldogs Friday night in the regular season finale. Both teams are 2-1 in league play, and the winner walks away with the District 6-3A title.

chance.jpg Senior wide receiver Chance McCoy and freshman quarterback Case McCoy will be pivotal players in that game.

"They are both doing well this season," said their father and coach. "Case is playing with a lot of 18-year-olds and has taken some big hits, but he is leading us really well."

Case has accounted for about 2,000 yards through the air and 11 touchdown passes for the Steers (4-5, 2-1) ... many to his brother.

Chance has been looking at "several places" to play college ball and has already had some offers, according to Brad. Tulane, Tulsa, Oklahoma State, Abilene Christian and, yes, even Texas are interested in the "middle" McCoy as a recruit.

"He's leaning toward ACU, and that would be a good option for him," said Brad. "He really likes Coach (Chris) Thomsen and Abilene, so I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up there."

When Colt was a senior and Chance was a sophomore at Jim Ned High School, the tandem accounted for 67 completions for 1,000 yards and 15 touchdowns.

"They had a big year together," said Brad of his two sons who were named All-State for that remarkable 2004 season.

Despite the long hours involved with being a high school coach, father McCoy has been able to attend every Longhorn game during his eldest son's record-breaking year at Texas.

"I've been really fortunate with these late evening games," he said.

After the Steers games on Friday nights, McCoy has been able to get back in his office early on Saturday mornings, work on game films, etc., and for UT home games still be able to leave by noon for Austin and arrive an hour before game time. Then after a late-night trip back to Graham, preparation for the next Steers’ game begins on Sunday after church.

Even though seasoned television analysts are amazed by Colt's composure as a red-shirt freshman this season, his father is not surprised at all.

"I think when you talk about an athlete who's been well-trained and who has had a priority goal in mind the better part of his life to be in this situation, it is natural," said McCoy. "Whether he's playing in front of 5,000 people or 95,000, he can focus everything out but the 22 guys on the football field. To him, that's what it's all about. That's the way it was for him in the seventh grade, that's the way it was playing for the state championship in high school, and that's the way it is now. He has an uncanny ability to do that."

case.jpg Brad suggested that Mother McCoy may be feeling the most overwhelmed by all the attention paid to her oldest son.

"It's been tough on Debra, just having to deal with the everyday scrutiny of her son and what he's doing," said Brad. "Everyone's writing nice things about him now, but those early articles were not very nice, and she had to deal with those issues."

Littlest brother Case is probably suffering the most, said Brad.

"He just really misses his brother. When they were growing up, there were many times when Case never left his side. The most impact has been on him. He just needs to see Colt often, but we've all missed him a lot."

The entire McCoy family talks with Colt several times a week, and the brothers talk "all the time" on the phone.

For a father with three sons in two pivotal football games involving Longhorn logos on their helmets this weekend, the elder McCoy sounded remarkably composed discussing it all.

That will no doubt change on the sidelines in Graham on Friday night and in the stands in Manhattan, Kansas, Saturday evening.

THE PC COLT

By Danny Reagan / Abilene, Texas

No, PC in this context means Press Conference, not politically correct.

Following is a highly edited-down version of the comments Colt McCoy made at yesterday's players press conference in Austin. And yes, he was politically correct.

On all the talk about him: There are so many outstanding players on our football team you can just start naming them off. That's why our team's coming together, because our motto this year is, "Just do what you do."

teammates.jpgOn the attention he has received: It does [get uncomfortable talking about myself] but it's like Coach Brown says, "You're going to get a lot of praise, but it's not just you, because without your teammates and coaches, none of this would be possible." I really believe that because without my teammates and coaches it wouldn't be possible.

On his progression since the Ohio State game: It's just growing up. You want to get better every time you step on the field, and I feel like as a team we've accomplished that. We still haven't played our best game by far.

On getting recognized more now: It is a lot different now. It's fun. I enjoy it, but you do get noticed everywhere you go. I just sit back, enjoy it, and meet new people.

On setting the UT-record for touchdown-passes thrown in a season: It's crazy to think about, but I give all the credit to my teammates and all the receivers catching the touchdowns and linemen blocking for me. I can't say enough about my teammates.

On possibly setting the NCAA single-season record for touchdowns thrown by a freshman quarterback: I never would have believed you. Coach (Greg) Davis has prepared me so well each week, so I've gone out there and just tried to do what the defense has told me to do, and I've got to continue to do that.

On Kansas State: They're tough; their defensive coordinator [Raheem Morris] spent some time at Tampa Bay, so he is going to probably throw a lot of different looks at us. We're going to have to be prepared just like we are every week.

coltsweedOHS.jpg On the receivers: During the game last week they were double-teaming Limas (Sweed). He's had a great season and this was really the first time that a team dedicated somebody over the top of him, and he kind of got limited during the game, which incidentally, opened up other parts of the field for us.

On what he is happiest with when watching himself on film: I think most of all, it is managing the offense whether it's a run-play, pass-play, just being able to read the defense and figure out where the ball needs to go. I feel most comfortable doing that right now.

On weather conditions : We've got a lot of route-combinations and route-concepts that are going to fit whether we're going into the wind or not. I'm sure it's going to be cold at Kansas State. It's a night game, but I haven't seen the forecast, but I'm sure it will be cold. But really every game, we've got to establish the run game because when the running game opens up, the passing game is there.

SOURCE: MackBrown-TexasFootball.com

November 6, 2006

SOMETHING IN THE AIR

By Danny Reagan / Abilene, Texas

I guess you saw Mack Brown is trying to nip that Heisman talk surrounding Colt in the bud.

His spin is the Heisman should be for a senior or someone who has been around long enough to show some real consistency. Not that Colt hasn't been consistent, mind you.

andthewinner.gif Brown's motivation no doubt stems from the "Distraction Factor" any mention of the H-word brings. Nope, don't need that messin' with anyone's head down the stretch when Brown wants his quarterback focused on resounding wins to impress the BCS computer.

What about other national awards? Colt surely has an inside track on NCAA Freshman of the Year, Big 12 Player of the Year, a host of other "Freshman of the Year" awards and several All-America lists. [NOTE: A couple of days after this was written, Colt was named a semi-finalist for the Davy O'Brien Award which recognizes the best quarterback in the nation.]

Whatever happens, the trophy case at the McCoy household will have to be expanded.

As you know by now Colt's 27 touchdown passes pushed him past Vince Young and Chris Simms for the UT single season record. They each had 26 (Young's were last year).

Three more TD passes and Colt races right by Nevada's David Neill, who holds the NCAA freshman season record of 29 TD passes, set eight years ago.

snead.jpg Speaking of great quarterbacks from the Big Country, what about Jevan Snead?

Ever since Brown decided to go with Colt over Stephenville's Snead, rumors have persisted that the young man - whom you will recall was the state's No. 2 quarterback prospect coming out of high school - will transfer.

He is really much too good to be warming the bench, and I bet he does transfer to the University of Houston as "conventional blog wisdom" (is that a diametrically opposed phrase?) suggests.

There are way too many Stephenville connections already surrounding Art Briles' team of Cougars to not think this won't happen.

That will go a long way in making the Houston resurgence complete. They haven't been doing too badly with yet another bluechip area QB at the helm - Kevin Kolb.

Must be something to these wide-open spaces after all.

November 4, 2006

NOT BAD ... NOT BAD AT ALL

By Danny Reagan / Abilene, Texas

Not too bad a sports day overall.

My Red Raiders won, my daughter scored the winning goal in all three games and ... oh yes, Colt McCoy set a school record for touchdown passes in a 36-10 victory over Oklahoma State.

coltosu.jpg So the Longhorns can play ball while ahead. Who woulda thunk it? I assume Colt McCoy was named Player of the Game for the 7th time this season, since he threw for a career-high 346 yards and three TDs in a 23-of-29 gutsy performance.

Bobbie Reid for the Cowboys was supposed to be a Vince Young. He's a good athlete, but on this night he wasn't even a Colt McCoy, much less a Vince Young.

Colt's performance against the Cowboys can best be described with one word - toughness. He took hits, threw blocks, shook off a powerful late hit and survived a profusely bleeding forearm.

He gets a lot of late hit calls ... not just because he's not afraid to stand in the pocket until the very last second, but because opposing defenses are probably thinking, "OK, you baby-faced redshirt freshman, I'll show you what it's like to play in college." He's taken every hit and shook every one of them off.

Game-winners are cool, and I'm just about to kiss one of them good night.

Yeah, not a bad day at all.

START THE COMEBACK WITHOUT ME

By Danny Reagan / Abilene, Texas

Here I am on gameday stuck in Midland. Don't believe this is burnt orange territory.

But at least my daughter won her first game of the soccer tournament. And at least the Hilton has an ethernet connection and TBS.

colter.jpgSpeaking of Longhorn comebacks on television, they'll have to start his one without me. I probably won't get in front of a set until the second half ... when the good stuff usually starts to happen. Guess it's too much to ask for the 'Horns to lead the entire game.

So what if it takes them a half to get the adrenalin flowing. They'll wave bye to the deficit by the fourth quarter. No biggie.

Colt McCoy and comebacks are the topics of most news stories dealing with UT today. On this season already steeped in irony (see previous entries), here's another one. Colt didn't have much experience in leading comebacks when he was in high school. Those Jim Nedders usually built up a big lead by half and the other team was hoping there was a 45-point mercy rule.

Again, there's nothing wrong with comeback wins. As Mack Brown so dryly stated earlier this week, "it's better than losing."

Well, gotta run. Next tournament game is less than an hour away. See you after the game ... the one with the comeback win, that is.

November 3, 2006

NO, NOT THAT KIND OF PUB

By Danny Reagan / Abilene, Texas

If you were watching the Louisville/West Virginia game on ESPN last night you heard at halftime that Colt won his second Cingular ESPN All-America Player of the Game award for his methodical and effective leadership of the Longhorns out of the ashes of the first half at Lubbock.

cingular.jpg He also won that prestigious national award for his great effort against Baylor a couple of weeks ago - does 6 TD passes ring a bell? Speaking of ringtones, doesn't "Cingular ESPN All-America Player of the YEAR" have a nice ring to it? No one else has won two so far this season, and maybe - just maybe - you remember which quarterback in burnt orange won that award last season. UT's Cedric Benson won the inaugural national award in 2004. Three for three anyone?

For those of you who haven't been keeping count, Colt has also been named "Player of the Game" all 6 times UT has been nationally or regionally televised this season - even in the Ohio State loss.

I don't think the TV cameras bother him.

That brings us to today's sermon. Please turn to Proverbs, chapter whatever. I'm sure there must be something in there about believing your own pub.

tablet2.jpg Probably not, but that's where a lot of individuals or teams fall - when they start believing their own publicity - buying into the feel-good hype surrounding their success.

I believe that's what happened to the Mountaineers. You, me and the other guy thought West Virginia would take that game last night. Nope. Turned out to be not even close.

You can probably think of a faltering team from your own past experience - preps, college or pro. It just happens. It's hard to win week in and week out, not matter how good you are.

Eventually, you let the off-field, distracting glow of praise seep into your gameday brain.

Brad and Debra McCoy didn't raise such a foolish boy.

Judging by what I saw in high school, if Colt has a bad game, it won't be because he's gone all "Hollywood" in the head - counting on his mental fingers how many weekly awards he's received. It'll be because he came up against a defense that took him off his game and beat him at that game.

And on second thought, that's what happened to West Virginia last night. Louisville was ready to make a little pub of its own, and they played like it.

The Longhorns probably already realize Oklahoma State is feeling the same way coming into Austin this weekend.

November 2, 2006

AN ALTERNATE UNIVERSE

By Danny Reagan / Abilene, Texas

There's a good story on Statesman.com this morning about the Longhorns and how they should focus on an Associated Press national title and forget about the BCS.

bcszoids.jpg Shoot, we might consider that "giving up" out here in West Texas where Colt McCoy hitched up his bootstraps, but I admit the odds are astronomical that Texas will get back into the BCS championship game.

One of the six undefeated teams will fall tonight, two don't really "matter" to the BCS (Rutgers, Boise State), and someone has to lose the Michigan/Ohio State game.

That would leave two undefeated teams that the BCSazoids would count, and the Longhorns would be out in the cold.

Conventional wisdom has the Buckeyes and the Mountaineers playing for the BCS championship.

But - and there's always a but - I've done the math, and of the top 10 teams in the nation, eight of them could finish 10-2 and two could finish 11-1.

buckeye.jpg In this theoretical universe, those two 11-1 teams would be Michigan and Texas. BCS math or not, 11-1 would have to trump 10-2, right?

To boil down the hypothetical details quickly so you can start your scoffing, after the Ohio State Buckeyes whup up on Illionois this week, they go to Northwestern and are upset. Disheartened, they are easy fodder for the Wolverines the following week. Oh the humanity! And, I almost forgot, the week before, Michigan is upset at Indiana.

After West Virginia beats Louisville tonight, they lose at Pitt and later at Rutgers - a team that is really motivated to impress the 'Zoids.

Louisville also loses to Pitt, and Auburn loses to Alabama in the regular season finale. Couple that with a loss by Florida to the Seminoles, a loss by Tennessee in one of their four remaining games, and all that remains is the left coast.

bonfire.gif Easy enough. USC beats Notre Dame but falls to UCLA, and California loses to the Trojans.

There, everyone got that straight? Good.

Here's the rub ... Texas has to win out against Oklahoma State, Kansas State and a very good Texas A&M team that will get extra motivation by the resurgence of the bonfire three days before the big matchup.

Most teams would consider 2-1 a good record during that stretch.

We'll see if Texas - with a quarterback who has exceeded everyone's expectations and will win the hypothetical Freshman Heisman Trophy - is most teams.

(CLICK HERE to comment upon this crazy theory)

November 1, 2006

REACH FOR IT, PAHD-NUH!

By Danny Reagan / Abilene, Texas

OK, who's the latest gunslinger with an itchy trigger finger to come to town to challenge our West Texas hero Colt McCoy for the title of "Quickest Arm in the Big 12"?

bobbyreid.jpgThat would be Oklahoma State's Bobby Reid, a formidable opponent who played prep ball at Galena Park North Shore in Houston. And yes, there's already talk of an upset.

Easy now! Upset talk just seems to strengthen the resolve or our Top Gun and make his aim a little truer (see results of Oklahoma, Nebraska and Texas Tech games).

On paper, Colt has Reid beaten in every passing category (albeit closely), but Reid's team of Cowboys is starting to believe in him just as the Longhorns started following their leader after the Oklahoma game.

Colt has 5 more touchdown passes and 89 more yards passing than Reid. Colt also has a better passing completion rate (67.7%-to-59.8%) and fewer picks - 4 to Reid's 7. They each have the same number of sacks (10).

So explain it to me how Reid is the third-rated passer in the nation (177.35) to Colt's 166.55, which puts him in 7th place? Must be that BCS math or something. The only passing category Reid leads Colt in is yards per attempt (10.3 to 7.9).

coltbrennan.jpgIn another bit of irony, the top-rated passer in the nation is also named Colt. Last name is Brennan, and he plays for Hawaii. No, he's not from Texas, but California. And that guy's arm does travel. He has 33 TD passes, almost 3,000 yards through the air and only 5 INTs for a 185.00 rating.

The Brennan kid's a junior, so Mack, if there's a spot left on the 2007 schedule, what a showdown that would be!

P.S. If you notice at the top of this page, there's a new link - to a "Chatroom." Just put it up last night. Leave Colt a message or talk about Longhorn football.