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 second round.
Semifinal: 1. Vince Young vs. 2. Colt McCoy
It is only fitting that the two best quarterbacks in Texas Football history face off in the Final Four of the greatest Longhorn bracket. With Vince Young under center from 2003-2005 and Colt McCoy following him from 2006-2009, the Texas Longhorns had a 79–12 record and a National Championship win in 2005.
McCoy was tasked with following in the footsteps of the most prolific quarterback in Texas history when he stepped on the field for his first start as a redshirt freshman in 2006, and by the time he ran out of eligibility in 2009 he had broken nearly all of Young’s records. McCoy compiled a 45–8 record in his four years at Texas and is the current record-holder for most passing yards in a single season (3,859 in 2008), most career passing yards (13,253) and most career touchdown passes (112), to name only a few of his achievements.
If this bracket was based off stats, McCoy would surely be moving on to the championship. Unfortunately for McCoy, Vince Young’s performance during the 2005 season while leading the Longhorns to their first national championship in 35 years outweighs any statistical records.
Young etched his name in Longhorn lore when he sprinted for the corner of the end zone on 4th and five with the National Championship on the line to defeat the heavily favored USC Trojans in the 2006 Rose Bowl. In what is widely considered the greatest college bowl game of all time, Young passed for 267 yards and ran for another 200 with three touchdowns to carry Texas to victory.
Vince Young gave Texas its most memorable undefeated season and its most recent championship. For these reasons, he moves onto the finals.
— Carter Yates
Semifinal: 2. Kamie Ethridge vs. 1. Ricky Williams
With Ethridge’s No. 33 jersey hanging in the rafters of the Frank Erwin Center and Williams’ name and statue enshrined at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, both athletes have reached Texas immortality, making this Final Four matchup one for the ages. Get ready — it’s going to be a heartbreaker.
Ethridge, a two-time All-American point guard, helped bring an NCAA Championship to the Forty Acres in 1986, strengthening UT’s winning tradition. In 1986, Ethridge also became a recipient of the Wade Trophy, which is awarded annually to the best women’s basketball player in NCAA Division I competition. As if her 776 career assists at Texas weren’t enough, Ethridge continued to give the Longhorn faithful plenty to cheer for after leaving UT by helping Team USA win a gold medal at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, Korea.
Ethridge’s accomplishments and legacy pack a punch, but Williams’ résumé is just too potent.
Running back Williams ran his way to Texas and NCAA rushing records, two unanimous All-American selections and numerous other accolades, including the prestigious Heisman Trophy.
After a stellar junior season where Williams rushed for 1,893 yards and 25 touchdowns, he could have taken his talents to the NFL. But Williams stayed at Texas for his senior season and bested his marks from the previous year, rushing for over 2,000 yards and 28 touchdowns. Williams’ athletic abilities, coupled with his 12-year stint in the NFL and his undying loyalty to the Longhorn brand, give him the upper hand in this fierce matchup.
— Myah Taylor