Fiesta Bowl opponents have a lot in common

The #3 Texas Longhorns (11-1) are headed to Glendale, Arizona to face the #10 Ohio State Buckeyes (10-2) in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. Both schools enter the contest as at-large BCS selections and as two of the most storied programs in college football history. The two programs have only played twice in their long histories but they have more in common than many people realize.

The Texas Longhorns and Ohio State Buckeyes have more in common than most people know. Before they square off in Arizona in the Fiesta Bowl, Burnt Orange Beat decided to look at some of the similarities in these two storied programs.

800 Win Club – Both schools are a member of a very small fraternity of programs who have won 800 ball games. That fraternity includes Michigan (872), Texas (831), Notre Dame (830), Nebraska (825), Ohio State (808), and Penn State (800).

Taking care of business at home – Over the last six seasons, both schools have only lost four games at home. Ohio State is fourth in the country in home winning percentage at .905, and Texas is fifth at .892.

63 wins in six seasons – Both teams have won a remarkable 63 games since the beginning of the 2003 season. That mark ties them for fourth in the country during that time span.

2008 Major Award Winners – Both teams have won a lot of major awards for their on-field performances. Senior Buckeye cornerback Malcolm Jenkins won the Jim Thorpe Award for top defensive back in the country. Senior Buckeye linebacker James Laurinaitis won the Lott Trophy which equally recognizes the personal character and athletic excellence of the top defender in the country. In addition, Laurinaitis won the Big 10 Defensive Player of the Year.

Texas senior defensive end Brian Orakpo hauled in the Nagurski Trophy for the nation's top defensive player, the Lombardi Award for the nation's top lineman, and the Hendricks Award for the nation's top defensive end, and was named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year.

Colt McCoy, Texas' junior signal caller, won the Walter Camp Football Foundation Player of the Year and was the runner-up in the Heisman voting.

Academic Heisman - The Vincent dePaul Draddy Trophy is awarded by the National Football Foundation that is given to the American college football player with the best combination of academics, community service, and on-field performance. Texas Longhorn senior running back Chris Ogbonnaya was a Draddy Award semifinalist. Buckeye wide receiver Brian Robiskie was a Draddy Award finalist. The 2007 Draddy Award winner was Texas center Dallas Griffin.

Players in the NFL – The Texas Longhorns have 35 former players in the NFL, while the Buckeyes have 37. The Tennessee Titans have the most Longhorns of any NFL roster with five, including quarterbacks Chris Simms and Vince Young, safety Michael Griffin, fullback Ahmard Hall, and tight end Bo Scaife. The Titans have one former Buckeye, safety and special teamer Donnie Nickey. The Atlanta Falcons have the most Buckeyes of any NFL roster with four, including Simon Fraser, Ben Hartsock, Michael Jenkins, and Alex Stepanovich. The lone former Longhorn on the Atlanta roster is Justin Blaylock.

Decorated Senior Classes - The 24-person Longhorn senior class has a 44-7 record over the last four seasons while the 28-person Buckeye senior class has accumulated a 43-7 record. These senior Longhorns have one national championship, one Big 12 championship, and two BCS bowl appearances. These senior Buckeyes have three Big Ten titles, two appearances in the BCS national championship game, and three total BCS bowl game appearances.

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