Second round: The greatest Longhorn of all time bracket

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Photo Credit: Christina Peebles | Daily Texan Staff

With March Madness and the entire sports world coming to a screeching halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Daily Texan created a tournament of its own. Divided into four quadrants, the bracket has matchups between 16 of the top Longhorn athletes of all time, broken down by members of the Texan sports staff. Check here for the results from the first round.

Moody Quadrant Regional Final: 1. Vince Young vs. 2. T.J. Ford

So it’s time for the second round, and right away, the going gets tough. 

First and foremost, both Young and Ford were trailblazers on the Forty Acres. Ford was the leader of what probably was the greatest Texas men’s basketball team to ever play, pushing the 2002 Longhorns to their first Final Four since 1947. If you don’t know what Young did, then I probably can’t help you at this point, but his leadership gave Texas football its only National Championship in the last 50 years.

But more than that, these two were walking highlight reels. This old-school Ford mix, which transports you back to the mid-2000s, is a display of his sheer athleticism and knack for flashy plays.

TJ Ford Mix

here are some highlights of TJ ford career so far.

Even so, Young gets the edge. He may be the most exciting player to ever step foot on a college football field, and his ability to hurt teams with his arm and legs, especially in the biggest games, gave substance to his skill.

— Marcus Krum

DKR Quadrant Regional Final: 1. Earl Campbell vs. 2. Colt McCoy

Legend and legend, mano a mano. It doesn’t get much better than the matchup between two football greats.

Yes, Campbell finished with a ridiculous 5.8 career yards per carry and is one of college football’s all-time greatest running backs. 

But, in upset fashion, the edge goes to McCoy in this one. Not only did McCoy put up unreal career statistics, he got the Longhorns to one unfortunate injury away from a second national title in four years. For that, and probably some recency bias, Colt pulls off the upset.

Alabama - Texas 2009 - Colt McCoy hit

1. Davis should not have been running the option with Colt 2. Sucks for Colt , he deserved to be able to play in this game

— Marcus Krum

South Mall Quadrant Regional Final: 1. Ricky Williams vs. 3. Sanya Richards-Ross

When you stack Williams’ accomplishments next to Richards-Ross’, it’s hard to pick one or the other. Take away what they accomplished outside the Forty Acres, and it still isn’t easy. 

Williams won the Heisman Trophy in 1998 while setting the NCAA career rushing yard record. Richards-Ross, who was just Richards when she was at Texas, won the NCAA national championship in the 400-meter dash.

While Williams never brought a national championship back to Austin, he did use all four years of collegiate eligibility when he almost certainly could have declared for the NFL Draft. Richards-Ross only spent two years at Texas before turning professional. Since this is the greatest Longhorn, Williams will continue running to the Final Four.

— Cameron Parker

West Campus Quadrant Regional Final: 1. Roger Clemens vs. 2. Kamie Ethridge

Clemens and Ethridge are both serious contenders, having left truly all-time marks at the University of Texas.

Clemens helped the Longhorns win back-to-back Southwest Conference championships in 1982 and 1983, two seasons in which the Longhorns finished No. 2 and No. 1 in the national rankings. In the 1983 National Championship season, Clemens set the school record at 66 wins and threw 669 innings.

But Ethridge’s impact on women’s basketball at UT and also in the world of women’s sports can’t be overlooked. Ethridge is an Olympic gold medalist and has three more golds playing for Team USA. She was an NCAA champion who never missed the Sweet 16 in her playing career, and just last year became the first female Longhorn to ever have her jersey retired. She left a legacy like no other.

— Seth Forman