A few weeks ago Colt McCoy signed a one-year extension worth $7 million with the Washington Redskins to be a back-up quarterback. To say the college football legend hasn’t enjoyed a long career is false. But no matter what happens with his career, McCoy will forever be remembered as the quarterback of the Longhorns.
And he didn’t win a national championship, and he hardly played in that national championship game.
That’s because of Marcell Dareus’ hit in the 2010 BCS Championship Game that injured McCoy’s shoulder and put the senior quarterback with more college football victories as a starting quarterback ever on the shelf.
The Longhorns only played Alabama (and Dareus) once, but that hit caused the most famous injury in Texas history. Thus, Dareus is one of the biggest villains in Texas history. His hit possibly cost Texas a chance at a national title and possibly helped ignite one of the greatest college football dynasties ever, the Nick Saban Era Crimson Tide.
Dareus is certainly one to consider, but is he in the top 10? With some help from American-Statesman sports editor Jason Jarrett, here is a two-part list of the 10 greatest villains in Longhorn history.
5. Bob Stoops
The best way to explain his inclusion exists here.
We encourage all Longhorn fans to develop their own Bob Stoops impression.
4. The Texas A&M Aggies
What’s your favorite Aggie Joke? Mine was the one about …
OK, I’m not here to tell jokes (well, I hope some things I write are comical) but Texas A&M is probably the most historical villain in Texas football history, but they don’t play each other any more so, like Arkansas, they’ve been pushed down a bit.
Today the rivalry exists almost exclusively in recruiting and often times it’s just kids giving other kids grief for picking the other school. It exists in homes between brothers and uncles and the now hypothetical arguments of “who would beat who.”
Whatever the rivalry is now, make no mistake, this is a blood feud – the Aggies branded Bevo! – that no other rivalry, not even Oklahoma, will ever come close to matching.
Texas is 76-37-5 against Texas A&M, so it’s not like this has been a particularly close rivalry, but it’s so much more than a game.
If this was just about two in-state schools playing each other, why does the Texas Tech-Texas game feel like just another game? Texas-Baylor, Texas-TCU – they tried playing these game around Thanksgiving, and it’s just not the same.
Why they are a villain: Because often the only thing that stood in the way of the Longhorns going to a BOWL game and going to a bowl game was the Aggies. Plus, Longhorns hate Aggies and Aggies hate Longhorns.
3. Barry Switzer
When Texas was running the wishbone offense, Oklahoma offensive coordinator Barry Switzer felt it was time to copy the Longhorns. Not only did he copy the offense, but he traveled to Austin and learned from the Texas coaching staff.
It was a decision that coach Darrell Royal regretted.
If a person was to create the ultimate anti-Longhorn figure, but couldn’t have any ties to Texas A&M, Switzer is it. He played college football at Arkansas in the late 1950s. He began his coaching career under his college coach, Frank Broyles, then was hired at Oklahoma. Those are the only two colleges he worked for in his career.
It’s easy for fans who have only known the Big 12 era of Texas football to forget that before 1996 Texas and Oklahoma was a non-conference, neutral-site game. So it’s not as though letting Oklahoma in on the fundamentals of one of the most unstoppable offenses would cost Texas a Southwest Conference crown, but it did cost them a loss many times when they played the Sooners following the wishbone transition.
When Switzer became the Sooner head coach in 1973 it didn’t take Oklahoma long to A) beat Texas and B) win a national title.
Texas’ introduction to Switzer-OU was a 52-13 loss to No. 6 Oklahoma in 1973. In 1974, Oklahoma narrowly beat Texas, 16-13, but would go on to win its first of three national titles under the Hall of Fame coach. Royal went 0-3-1 against Switzer. His replacement, Fred Akers, fared much better, going 5-4-1 against OU, while David McWilliams went 0-2 against Switzer.
It’s not just the on field performance that makes Switzer the biggest single villain in Longhorn history, it’s his brashness and bravado. It’s his ability to recruit to Texas. It’s his unleashing Brian Bosworth, from Irving MacArthur High School, onto the world. It’s him tweeting congratulations to Texas, only for Texas to lose and fans accusing him of “jinxing” Texas.
Of course the most famous incident was in 1976 when Royal accused Switzer of spying on Texas’ practices. Royal offered to donate $30,000 to charity if Switzer, an OU assistant and an OU booster could pass a lie detector test proving they didn’t spy on the Longhorns. Switzer said he didn’t do it because it was “worth more money to me to have (Royal) look for ghosts.”
Turns out, Oklahoma was, kind of, spying on Texas.
Why he is a villain: Above all else, Barry Swizter is a villain because he went 9-5-2 in 16 games against Texas from 1973 to 1988 and was 4-0 in his final games.
2. The daunting expectations placed on every Texas team
In 1908 – 1908 – W. E. Metzenthin, already the 11th coach in program history since 1894 – quit coaching the Longhorns after a 11-5-1 two-year record because he said he was tired of the criticism of being the coach.
In 1915, the most successful Longhorn coach at the time, Dave Allerdice, who had a 33-7 record at Texas and once led the Longhorns to a 92-0 win, left as coach of the Longhorns citing “super critical nature of the Texas fans.”
Blair Cherry, who followed Dana X. Bible as head coach in the late 1940s, wrote an article titled “Why I Quit Coaching” and cited, among other things, the critical nature of the media and fans over the few losses he suffered. Cherry was 32-10-1 from 1947-1950.
This villain has been around for years and has thwarted more successful coaches than any one rival program or player ever has. Whether you want to blame the local and national media and go all Donald Trump on them and label them the “enemy of the program” or if you want to blame Johnny Q. Longhorn who tailgates for five hours, drinks a six-pack and thinks the program needs to clean house after every first down allowed, the unrealistic expectations for Texas’ success is a blessing and a curse.
Texas should be good every year with all the advantages the state and the local flair give them. But at some point it gets silly. Wanting Mack Brown out as coach because he won nine or 10 games every year from 1998 to 2003 is laughable.
If daunting expectations exist every year, the program is doing something right because only a handful of programs (Ohio State, Alabama, Michigan and USC to name a few) have that distinction and when programs lose the annual overwhelming exceptions, something bad has happened.
Why they are a villain: Not reaching lofty expectations placed on them by local and national media and fans can give the impression that the program is failing when it is probably succeeding.
1. The Oklahoma Sooners
Not even 10 years ago, Texas A&M would be here.
But then they left for the SEC.
Not even 30 years ago, Arkansas would have made a case to be here.
But then they left for the SEC.
Thank god for Oklahoma, ’cause if they left, we’d have to put (gasps) TCU up here?
Bob Stoops and Barry Switzer got individual shout outs on this list, but think about all the pain and frustration this particular program has put Longhorn fans through over the year, especially since the turn of the century. Whether it’s the early 2000 dismantling of Mack Brown squads, or the recruiting battles Oklahoma won (there’s an alternate universe where Adrian Peterson is a Longhorn playing with Vince Young and Colt McCoy) – heck, Oklahoma probably even helped sucker fans into buying Brian Bosworth movie tickets.
No out-of-state school has beaten the Longhorns more on the field and in recruiting than the boys from Norman. In a constant “Keeping up with the Joneses” cycle, Oklahoma always seems to have a great counter punch for Texas, like hiring Stoops to counter Mack Brown, finding Sam Bradford to quarterback after Texas anointed Colt McCoy, and there are more.
When the two schools joined the same conference in 1996, the rivalry grew more intense, and Oklahoma has come out on top more times over the past 22 years than Texas and has 11 Big 12 titles to Texas’ three.
Why they are a villain: No team – even Texas A&M – has been a bigger thorn in the side of Texas than Oklahoma.
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