Thursday Longhorn Sports Page

Stay up to date on all things Burnt Orange with a daily stop at IT's Longhorn Sports Page, with links to the latest news and opinion articles on UT football, basketball, baseball, recruiting and other sports from around the web.

Football Recruiting

5-star talks recruiting
InsideTexas.com
Jamarkus McFarland is one of the top of defensive prospects in the entire country and wanted by pretty much every school in the nation. For the last few months McFarland has been keeping a pretty tight lid on his recruitment in both speaking with the media and visiting schools.

Football

Can Texas Go Back To The Future?
InsideTexas.com
KANSAS CITY - There's a reason why Texas retired Vince Young's jersey this month. But can the 2008 Longhorns return to championship form without Superman behind center?

The Boys of Summer
InsideTexas.com
KANSAS CITY -- If Texas stands head-and-shoulder pads above all Big 12 foes by December, it will largely result from the foundation that Longhorns say has already been laid this summer.

Looking up from under the radar
Austin American-Statesman
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In case you missed the breaking news on the CNN scrawl at the bottom of your television set, Mack Brown announced here Wednesday that he will field a football team this fall. Some may have begun to wonder. Judging from speculation about preseason polls and the lack of buzz surrounding its upcoming year, Texas has all but become the Atlantis of college football. More myth than substance.

Longhorns trying long-shot role in Big 12
Dallas Morning News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Oklahoma continues to stalk a Big 12 three-peat. The Texas Tech pass-and-catch combo of Graham Harrell and Michael Crabtree can be seen on just about every newsstand, although not at the conference media days. Missouri dominated Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl. Kansas beat Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl. And that leaves Texas, three years removed from a national championship, exactly where in the conference hierarchy? If you believe the Longhorns, try underdogs – or at least as vulnerable as any time since early in the Mack Brown era.

Brown: Coaching UT still part of the plan
Dallas Morning News
Mack Brown was the 12th and final coach on the podium as Big 12 media days came to a close (slow clap). In his question-and-answer session, Brown talked about his future coaching plans, why he views the Longhorns as underdogs in the Big 12 and how big a factor a healthy Brian Orapko can be this season.

Oklahoma's no-huddle offense isn't ready just yet
Dallas Morning News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops isn't sold on the no-huddle offense just yet. The Sooners spent last spring speeding up their offense by often calling plays without huddling, primarily to prepare for the NCAA's new 40-second play clock rule.

Baylor may throw two QBs at you
Dallas Morning News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – New Baylor coach Art Briles added a twist to his four-man quarterback race Wednesday at Big 12 media days. Briles said two potential starting quarterbacks could be on the field at the same time this fall.

Texas answers underdog questions
San Antonio Express-News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Mack Brown's credentials as a salesman are unparalleled, but even he is sometimes guilty of trying to pitch more than the public is willing to buy. So when he took the dais at Big 12 media day on Wednesday and pronounced that his Texas Longhorns had suddenly become underdogs, he had his share of skeptics.

Big 12 Notebook
San Antonio Express-News

Texas Longhorns say a healthy Brian Orakpo is a must
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Texas coach Mack Brown has big plans for improving the Longhorns' porous pass defense this season, despite returning only one starter in the secondary. A key ingredient in that plan is the improved health of defensive end Brian Orakpo, who missed four games last season with a knee injury and played through pain while accumulating the brunt of his 5.5 sacks and nine tackles for losses in the team's final seven games.

Oklahoma determined to have a strong finish
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
KANSAS CITY, Mo.— Oklahoma safety Nic Harris called it like he sees it. "Our whole mentality now is WTLG [win the last game]," Harris said Wednesday. "Come out and finish. It's national championship or bust." Too often from a national perspective, the Sooners have been a bust despite consecutive Big 12 Championship Game victories, boosting them to a conference-best five trophies in six title-game appearances. The elephant in the room is four consecutive losses in subsequent BCS bowl appearances.

Texas' Brown in no hurry to retire
Houston Chronicle
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Texas coach Mack Brown still has a sense of humor. At the opening of his question-and-answer session with the media Wednesday, Brown was asked, "How long are you going to keep doing this?" "About 10 minutes," Brown joked. "Depends on how many questions there are." Of course, the question was how many more years does Brown continue to coach the Longhorns.

Briles, Baylor has a burning hunger for success
Houston Chronicle
KANSAS CITY, MO. — With 12 consecutive losing seasons on Baylor's ledger, first-year coach Art Briles says he has some hungry Bears .

'Horns the new underdogs: Young players, tough schedule combine to put Texas in unfamiliar role
Daily Texan
KANSAS CITY - Texas has a new role this season as an underdog in the Big 12 South. Coach Mack Brown spoke on the last day of the Big 12 media days about how that could be a good thing for his team.

Texas' day in the media light: "Coaching staff ready to give players more freedom in hopes of curing struggles"
Daily Texan
KANSAS CITY - One overwhelming theme for Texas at Wednesday's Big 12 media day was turning people loose. Once hampered by a knee brace, senior defensive end Brian Orakpo is finally free. After struggling most of last season, Texas' offensive revival started with the Holiday Bowl win over Arizona State and the team hopes to continue the momentum from it this season. And new defensive coordinator Will Muschamp will unleash the hounds on that side of the ball. If last year was a season of frustration, this year is all about relieving it.

Returning players have Sooners favored
Daily Texan
After winning three of the last four Big 12 championships, the Oklahoma Sooners were picked to finish first in the South division in the Big 12 media poll.

Are the Longhorns really underdogs this season?
ESPN.com
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Texas coach Mack Brown claims his team is in unfamiliar recent territory. Many preseason polls have the Longhorns out of the national top 10 for the first time in the new millennium. The Longhorns were picked behind Oklahoma in every poll tracked by the website Stassen.com and have been picked in some polls to finish behind the Sooners and Texas Tech in the South Division. Brown relishes the challenge of leading his team this season, despite the diminished expectations in Texas' rare role as an underdog.

Strange new world: Texas appears to be an underdog
Kansas City Star
Two full seasons have passed since the Longhorns rode Vince Young to the 2005 national championship, and the landscape in the Big 12 couldn't look more different. Texas has gone 10-3, missed out on the Big 12 championship game and lost to Kansas State and rival Texas A&M in back-to-back seasons. Missouri and Kansas in the North and Texas Tech in the South — all led by quarterbacks that Texas passed on recruiting — are threatening the Longhorns' status as one of the assumed top two teams in the league.

UT still trying to rejoin the elite
Oklahoman
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Mack Brown thinks the term "legend" is tossed around too loosely in reference to college football players these days. But the Texas coach doesn't hesitate to label his former quarterback, Vince Young, as a legend. Of course, it's rightfully earned from Brown's perspective; his only national championship came with Young at the helm in 2005. Now Brown must prove he can get his team back among the nation's elite — or even back to the Big 12 title game — without Young.

Stoops, Brown working on a rivalry for the ages
Oklahoman
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Finally, the rock stars arrived at the downtown Marriott. The two coaches who define Big 12 football. The two coaches who can walk through the lobby and turn heads. The two coaches who have brought Middle America its gridiron glory this century. Mack Brown and Bob Stoops. A Big 12 football carnival that for two days had been celebrity-challenged got a double dose Wednesday, the finale of media days.

Texas: Big 12 underdog?
Tulsa World
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In each of the 10 seasons since Mack Brown became the University of Texas' head football coach, the Longhorns have finished no worse than second in the Big 12 South. This year, Oklahoma is a heavy favorite to capture its third consecutive South crown. Texas was at No. 2 in the league's preseason media poll, but Texas Tech is the trendy pick as possibly the next-best squad in the South. In the league as a whole, Texas is viewed by most as no better than No. 3 (behind OU and North favorite Missouri). With the Longhorns having posted consecutive 10-win seasons, there has been no dramatic drop-off since the 2005 national championship season. But Texas is considered to be somewhat vulnerable this year, primarily because of a brutal schedule.

Texas QB wishing best for CU's Scott
Denver Post
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — No hard feelings, Texas junior quarterback Colt McCoy said Wednesday when asked if he looked forward to seeing Colorado freshman running back Darrell Scott when the Longhorns visit Boulder on Oct. 4.

UT's Brown selling underdog role
Boulder Daily Camera
KANSAS CITY, Mo. --- The vast majority of college football coaches come before the media masses each summer and swear they pay little or no attention to preseason magazines, polls and prognostications. Texas coach Mack Brown usually has been, perhaps, the most high-profile member of this group of rolling eyes. But this year, not so much. In fact, Brown greeted reporters Wednesday as the final coach to speak at Big 12 Conference media days here by committing what some in his profession would certainly consider heresy. Brown admitted in public that he, his assistant coaches and players have taken notice of the fact so few seem to believe the Longhorns have the stuff to win the Big 12 South Division, let alone compete for a national championship.

Longhorns still face Texas-sized hopes
Topeka Capital-Journal
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Any assessment of Mack Brown, and why he should win in his current coaching position, can be addressed by crossing a few Ts. Tradition, talent, television ... all are markets Texas corners. In addition, a few million other reasons — fueled in part by Texas tea — also exist for why Brown should succeed along the football sideline at Royal-Memorial Stadium. The largest football budget in the Big 12 was supported with a league-high $101.5 million in revenue in 2006-07.

Which is real McCoy?
Lawrence Journal-World
Kansas City, Mo. — He knew the question would come sooner or later. As he sat on the second floor of the Marriott Downtown on Wednesday, hands folded in his lap, Colt McCoy felt quite certain that the dreaded "sophomore slump" inquiry eventually would find its way into the steam of questions being hurled his way by members of the Big 12 Conference football media. Of course, that didn't keep him from cringing a bit when it did.

Texas seeks return to top
Wichita Eagle
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Colt McCoy has heard enough about sophomore slumps.

Texas already on Buffaloes' minds
Longmont Times-Call
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Time has passed. Pain remains. The Colorado Buffaloes are nearing their first date with Texas since the infamous 70-3 shellacking they suffered to the Longhorns on Dec. 3, 2005, in the Big 12 Championship Game.

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