Colt McCoy's Heisman Loss Is More Fuel for Disrespected Longhorns

Jeff DillonCorrespondent IDecember 15, 2009

WACO, TX - NOVEMBER 14:  Quarterback Colt McCoy #12 of the Texas Longhorns leads his team in the huddle in the first half against the Baylor Bears on November 14, 2009 at Floyd Casey Stadium in Waco, Texas.  The Longhorns beat the Bears 47-14.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Be honest. You had to feel for Colt McCoy, if only a little.

This is the winningest quarterback in NCAA history we are talking about.

The guy who, in any other year, would have been a slam-dunk Heisman winner after the gargantuan numbers he produced in 2008.

The guy who kept a low profile, simply racking up wins while the media fawned over names like Tebow and Bradford.

This was supposed to be Colt McCoy's year.

Instead, when the 75th Heisman award was handed out Saturday night, it wasn't McCoy's year at all.

It was Mark Ingram's.

Perhaps the strangest part of it was that Longhorns fans had to see this coming.

After all, it seems Heisman voters have forgotten that Texas is, indeed, part of the union and does, indeed, still have a football program.

Is it the cowboy boots or what?

So now, the spurned McCoy and his teammates get the chance at ultimate revenge: a BCS championship game.

In Pasadena.

Against (guess who?) Ingram's Alabama Crimson Tide.

This should be worth watching.

Because just as soon as the "M" sound began emanating from Chris Fowler's mouth Saturday in New York, Colt McCoy had to be feeling something he's felt a lot in recent years: underappreciated.

Amazingly, this Texas team, which has dominated its opposition all season long en route to one of the more impressive seasons in recent history, has been a bit underappreciated from the get-go.

Despite opening the season ranked second in the country to defending champ Florida, the Longhorns were soon passed by Alabama (aka the national media's new SEC darling).

Anywhere you looked, people were talking about how Texas "just didn't look that good."

First, it was first-half scares against Wyoming and Colorado (games that ended in 41-10 and 38-14 blowouts, respectively).

Then came what was labeled an "ugly" win against Oklahoma.

Next it was the Big 12 championship game, following which the headlines ignored Texas title to instead focus on McCoy's near-blunder at the end of the game.

Then came Saturday night's Heisman defeat for McCoy.

And while McCoy smiled and said all the right things after having his heart ripped out a second season in a row, you have to imagine inside him were the following thoughts:

"I hate Alabama."

and ...

"I can't wait to show the world who really is the best player in college football."

and ...

"I should not have eaten that large, disgusting, New York deli sandwich over a taped luncheon with Tim Tebow. That was a mistake."

While the last thought probably won't mean much in the grand scheme of things, the first two could be exactly what pushes McCoy to a championship performance on Jan. 7.

Hey, it worked for Vince Young, right?

It's worked for several other Heisman hopefuls.

The truth is, as Mark Ingram lifted the Heisman trophy for the first time Saturday night, he may have simultaneously helped raise the chances of Texas winning the national title.

Undefeated Texas currently sits as five-point underdogs against Alabama.

But the Longhorns are getting used to playing the unlikely underdog role.

You surely won't hear McCoy or any of his teammates admit to it, but they have to know they are playing for more than just a championship in Pasadena.

They are playing for respect.

To show the world that they are the best team in the country, their program is among the nation's elite, and that their quarterback is the best player in the country.

And this time, McCoy will truly have a say in who earns the accolades.

No voters.

No underappreciation.

No deli sandwiches.

It still can be Colt McCoy's year, after all.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.