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Horns Having Success in the NFL

By Joe O'Connell, 4:30PM, Mon. Dec. 4, 2006

Yes, Longhorn fans, it’s cringe-worthy indeed to see the very same Oklahoma Sooners that your team so soundly thrashed this year waltz into a BCS bowl game against mighty mighty Boise State. Can we only dream of a potato-lover’s upset? Take heart. In the back of his mind, Bob Stoops, when not obsessing over the Oregon win the refs robbed him of, has a festering sore that is Mack Brown. Two losses in a row, Bob. Just pretend it doesn’t bother you. We believe you. Honest, we do. Yes, the Okies topped Nebraska, another loser to Texas, in the just-doesn't-matter Big 12 Championship game. Neither team looked like a contender.

None of this excuses the Horns’ season-ending collapse, which was a train wreck from which it’s hard to look away, but do look. Look to the future. All the way to the National Football League where former University of Texas players are everywhere and kicking ass:

+ Cedric Benson is starting and scoring for da Chicago Bears, who clinched the NFC North this weekend.

+ Phil Dawson kicked a field goal in overtime to seal the Cleveland Brown’s win over the Chief.

+ Roy Williams became the first Detroit Lions receiver with more than 1,000 yards since Johnnie Morton in 2001. Oh, and he likes to hang with teammates DE Cory Redding, DT Shaun Rogers, and OT Jonathan Scott.

+ Vince Young (oh, we miss you, Vince …) is slowly making believers of Nashville Titans fans with his second straight come-from-behind victory.

+ Chris Simms is the second-best former UT QB in the NFL even when he’s not playing. There are two of them? I still can’t believe it.

+ Vince’s favorite throwing target of late? Ahmad Hall. (Am I the only one who keeps wanting to call him Ahmad Brooks?) Of course, Vince can also aim for tight end Bo Scaife.

+ Quentin Jammer is a tackling machine for the 10-2 San Diego Chargers.

Depending on who’s counting (can we really count Ricky Williams these days? Some do.) 30+ former Horns are playing in the NFL, which would put UT in the top ten of all colleges with players in the pros. Just as important, a lot of the UT grads are making a major impact. This is the sign of a long-term winner. That's what the Horns are despite two losses that made them look like a sleepwalker peeing on the living room wall. The glass is indeed half full in Austin, where this bodes well for the future. Uh, anyone for a road trip to the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio? I hear they have some fine Mexican food there…

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