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 AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -Texas reported to training camp Saturday with a message from coach Mack Brown: Forget the system.
Forget the Bowl Championship Series formula. Forget the Big 12 tiebreaker that used the BCS ratings to send Oklahoma to the conference title game last season.
And forget how that system ultimately sent the Sooners, a team Texas beat on the field, to play for a national championship instead of the Longhorns.
Quarterback Colt McCoy said the Longhorns have already pushed all that out of their minds. He added there's no talk of preseason rankings or pursuing a national title. Not among the players, anyway.
For the average fan? It's all anyone is talking about.
d national title since 1969.
``You walk in the locker room, nobody's talking 'Let's win the national championship,''' McCoy said. ``All (the players) are talking about is winning the first game.''
And if the Longhorns win all their games, they know they'll get their shot, just as they did in 2005.
That didn't happen last year.
A last-second loss at Texas Tech unraveled a 12-1 season that saw the Longhorns rocket to No. 1 by midseason. That loss created a three-way tie in the Big 12 South before the league tiebreaker sent the Sooners to the conference title game.
``As long as you win all your games, you don't have to embrace the system, it will embrace you,'' senior offensive lineman Chris Hall said.
Seventeen returning starters and McCoy's runner-up finish for the Heisman Trophy last season have expectations running at a boil. Texas is ranked No. 2 in the coaches' preseason poll, right behind reigning BCS champion Florida.
Part two of Brown's message: Embrace the expectations, but then live up to them.
That's what happened in 2005, when the Longhorns started the season No. 2. They stayed there all year before beating Southern California in an epic Rose Bowl for the BCS title.
McCoy saw how that season unfolded. He was a redshirt freshman running the scout team in practice and carried a clipboard to chart plays for Young during the games.
till looking for a dominant running game and must shore up gaping holes in the defensive line, it will be McCoy shouldering most of Texas' expectations for the season.
Now a fifth-year senior, he already owns the Texas records for most wins by a quarterback (32), most passing yards (9,732), most touchdowns (85) and set an NCAA season record in 2008 with a 76.7 percent completion rate.
Another banner season puts him in back in the hunt for the Heisman along with the last two winners, Florida quarterback Tim Tebow and Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford.
``There's nothing that guy can't handle. He's comfortable with everything, everyone and every situation,'' Hall said.
Perhaps McCoy and the Longhorns are already eyeing Tebow and the Gators. Tebow was sporting a full beard at Florida practices and the Texas seniors have made a pact not to shave during their training camp. The first practice is Sunday morning. The first game is Sept. 5 against Louisiana-Monroe.
``We'll see who can grow the nastiest facial hair,'' McCoy said.
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