Texas’ players and coaches insist their collective focus will be on the next game, not the one that’s potentially looming a little further down the road.
With the BCS title game in their sights, the third-ranked Longhorns look to claim their first conference title in four years when they face No. 21 Nebraska on Saturday night in the Big 12 Championship game at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
The last time Texas (12-0, 8-0) played for a Big 12 title, it pounded Colorado 70-3 in 2005. Behind the play of quarterback Vince Young, the Longhorns then upset top-ranked Southern California 41-38 in the BCS title game in Pasadena, Calif.
Four years later, the Big 12 South champs again have a chance to head to Pasadena for a shot at the BCS title, but first must record a fifth straight victory over North champion Nebraska (9-3, 6-2). A win Saturday means the Longhorns will likely earn the right to face either No. 1 Florida or second-ranked Alabama in the national championship game on Jan. 7 at the Rose Bowl.
“I don’t think they’ll be thinking about anything other than winning the Big 12 Championship,” conference coach of the year Mack Brown said of Texas’ attitude. “That’s all they’re thinking about. I promise you they’re not thinking about anything beyond Saturday night.”
His players are whistling the same tune, especially after outlasting rival Texas A&M 49-39 on the road Thanksgiving night to remain undefeated.
“We felt like if we could get to this point we would have the chance to accomplish a lot of things,” senior quarterback Colt McCoy said. “We have handled our business each week so far this year. It’s going to be tough, but we are in the position that we want to be in. We have one more week.”
McCoy’s Heisman Trophy resume got a little more impressive after he passed for 304 yards and ran for a career-high 175 – including a 65-yard TD – on 18 carries against the Aggies.