AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -For 40 minutes, Texas coach Mack Brown looked relaxed, cracked a few jokes and talked about his players, his wife and whether he's ever had a corny dog at the State Fair of Texas.
For the record, he hasn't. The only corn dog he's had was back in his hometown of Cookeville, Tenn.
What he doesn't have to talk about any more is his legacy and the ugly losing streak that dominated the Texas-Oklahoma series for five years.
From 2001-2005, the Monday before Texas played Oklahoma had to be one of the worst days of his entire year as Brown faced reporters and the tough questions about why he couldn't seem to get one over on the Sooners and coach Bob Stoops.
That might as well be ancient history now. With two wins in the past three years and a national championship with Vince Young in 2005, the ugly past has been put to rest.
the game's impact on the national championship race, the Heisman Trophy, the Big 12, and just about everything else.
In fact, he even started talking about it while the Longhorns were walking off the field last week after beating Colorado.
``We'll have everybody in America talking about the game,'' Brown said, ``and that's what we want.''
The old Brown would have insisted fans give his team a chance to enjoy the victory. The new Brown was talking about what a big game it was and breezily spoke about OU deserving the No. 1 ranking. It was almost like he was saying ``Bring 'em on.''
It was a five-game losing streak - including a pair of horrific losses - that had turned the rivalry into a college football soap opera with Brown as the melodramatic lead. Oklahoma's wins of 63-14 in 2000 and 65-13 in 2003 embarrassed him and the Texas program.
The series was so one-sided that, in Austin at least, it elevated Stoops into a mythic figure who couldn't be defeated.
Asked this week about his 6-3 record against Brown, Stoops dodged any direct comparison between the coaches.
a few times.''
It wasn't just that Texas lost, it was how they lost. Brown led some good teams into the Cotton Bowl only to find out they either couldn't score or keep the Sooners out of the end zone.
Television cameras did close ups of a grimacing Brown and he seemed to get tighter with every loss. In 2002, he famously grabbed the microphone and snapped at a reporter who asked quarterback Chris Simms why he seemed to have his greatest struggles in the biggest of games.
Texas finally beat Oklahoma in 2005, a win that got swept into the euphoria of the national title run. Another win in 2006 behind the freshman McCoy shook off any nasty comments that Brown couldn't beat the Sooners without the dynamic Young.
Even though Texas lost 28-21 last season, it wasn't the kind of defeat that suggested a seismic gulf of player talent and coaching like some of the previous blowouts did.
M. Brown's new nemesis seems to be the in-state rival he used to dominate.
Brown can worry about the Aggies later on Thanksgiving. On Monday, back in front of some of the same reporters who used to pester him with all those questions about his legacy, he was at ease talking about the fun part of the Texas-OU rivalry and how his team dominated its first five opponents.
He even got asked what he thought of Stoops' recent struggles in bowl games, which he didn't really want to answer.
``None of us are perfect,'' Brown said.

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