All-Time, All-Hypothetical

By 11W Staff on December 24, 2008 at 7:00a
0 Comments

I couldn’t bear the thought of waiting on a game pitting a 6-6 Notre Dame team against a mediocre Hawaii team that comes equipped with its own, built-in bowl appearance, so….

What I did was imagine a fantasy game between “all-time” Texas and Ohio State teams. The criteria wasn’t much: I tried to pick players from somewhat recent memory (no 1895 fullbacks made the list), while still showing respect for each program’s rich history. When two players of roughly equal merit were up for a roster spot, I took the one who played most recently. Offensive and defensive line and linebacker spots were considered interchangeable. I also tried to look solely at collegiate accomplishments – pro careers were somewhat irrelevant, though a few sneaked in.

Argue with my picks, cat-call, do what you will. Keep in mind that I am not a Longhorns fan, so I took a good, long look at their history over the weekend, and did the best I could.

Offense

Quarterbck
Ohio State Rex Kern, Troy Smith
It’s all about the “10s” here, and – Florida disaster aside – Troy was as good as they get.
Texas Vince Young, Bobby Layne
The great Bobby Layne (’44-’47) was a four-time All-SWC selection, and a great pro.
Running Back
Ohio State Archie Griffin, Chic Harley, Keith Byars, Eddie George, Pete Johnson
How do you choose just five? There are three Heisman Trophies here, and Harley might have had three all by himself, had the award existed. Johnson is here to block and pick up key thirds-and-one. I might see an argument for dropping Byars in favor of Hopalong Cassidy, but I’m partial to anyone who could lay out Pepper Johnson.
Texas Earl Campbell, Ricky Williams, Chris Gilbert, Roosevelt Peaks, Cedric Benson
Two Heismans, three Doak Walkers and seven All-American selections in this group. Campbell was a monster.
Line
Ohio State Jim Parker, John Hicks, Orlando Pace, Korey Stringer, Jim Lachey
Lachey was a prototype for the NFL’s new tackle position; Hicks was the greatest lineman ever to grace Ohio Stadium – just try to beat his 1973 season.
Texas Bob Wuensch, Jerry Sisemore, Justin Blalock, Dick Harris, Scott Appleton
Harris was a four-time consensus All-American.
Tight End
Ohio State John Frank, Jan White
White No Hamby = no dropped passes. Hair-challenged? Dr. Frank can help you.
Texas Pat Fitzgerald
No, not this guy. Not a position of historical strength for the ‘Horns, either.
Wide Receiver
Ohio State Cris Carter, Terry Glenn, Paul Warfield
An embarrassment of riches at wideout, but I could only take three: Carter was clutch, Glenn electric, and Warfield versatile.
Texas Roy Williams, Cotton Speyrer, “Hub” Bechtol
Bechtol (’44-’46) started his career a Red Raider, finished it a Longhorn, and lived to tell the tale after racking up three consensus All-American selections.

Defense

Line
Ohio State Jim Marshall, Bill Willis, Jim Stillwagon, Mike Vrabel, Will Smith
Will Smith was under-appreciated at OSU; Jim Marshall was an Ironman defensive lineman in the pros, after excelling on the offensive line at Ohio State.
Texas Tony Brackens, Steve McMichael, Tony Degrate, Kenneth Sims, Casey Hampton
Two Lombardi winners are here, as well as Casey Hampton, an All-Pro who plugs the middle for the Steelers’ 3-4 defense.
Linebackers
Ohio State Randy Gradishar, Chris Spielman, A.J. Hawk, Andy Katzenmoyer
Some might ask for Marcus Marek or Tom Cousineau, but Katzenmoyer taught Big 12 quarterbacks not to run the option, and Gradishar never gets the press he deserves.
Texas Jeff Leiding, Derrick Johnson, Tommy Nobis
Not a lot of greats here, until you get to Nobis. Never heard of him? Run – don’t walk – and find out. He was Jack Tatum, only at linebacker, and turned out to be an even better man.
Secondary
Ohio State Jack Tatum, Shawn Springs, Antoine Winfield, Chris Gamble, Michael Doss
Tatum + Doss = no patterns over the middle, and no draw plays.
Texas Bryant Westbrook, Quentin Jammer, Johnnie Johnson, Michael Huff, Raymond Clayborn
Johnson was a unanimous All-American in ’78 and ’79, and went into the College Football Hall of Fame in ’07.

Special Teams

Punter
Ohio State Vic Janowicz
When even your punter has a Heisman, you’ve got a good program.
Texas Russell Erxleben
A straight-ahead kicker who could do it all; he hit a record-setting 67-yarder against Rice.
Kicker
Ohio State Mike Nugent
Noooooooooge!!!
Texas Russell Erxleben
See above.
Returner
Ohio State Ted Ginn, Jr.
I agonized over this one.
Texas Eric Metcalf
Never set the world on fire as a Brown, but tricky, speedy, and tough to find on kicks.

There’s one thing left to do: name the coaches. I don’t think Texas can pass up Darrell Royal, but the Ohio State job is up in the air. I have to tell you: for this particular game, with the talent on the edges, I’m going with Earle Bruce. He’s a Buckeye through-and-through, gives a heck of a pep talk, had a winning record against Michigan, and would probably toss some darned fool triple reverse in there, somewhere. He also wins – and wins big – against teams from Texas when dressed as a gangster. Just what we’d need.

I see a close game, but – all homerism aside – I think Ohio State wins this one in solid fashion – say, by 10 points or so. Anyone want an over/under on the total number of rushing yards?

0 Comments