Golf, media conference begin Alamo Bowl festivities
SAN ANTONIO -- A joint press conference between Texas head coach Mack Brown and Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz headlined the AT&T Alamo Bowl Golf Classic, which kicked-off the Alamo Bowl's December calendar of events. Making their only appearance in San Antonio before returning with their teams for bowl preparation, the two coaches opened a day of fun for a sold-out field of 260 golfers at Silver Horn Golf Club in San Antonio.
Proceeds from the AT&T Alamo Bowl Golf Classic will benefit the Alamo Bowl's scholarship program. This year, the bowl will award $52,000 to be split among 26 graduating high school seniors in San Antonio.
Following the media conference, Brown returned to Austin to prepare for a busy weekend which will include the annual Football Banquet on Friday night, an important recruiting weekend and the Longhorns' first practice for the bowl game.
Mack Brown, Texas Head Coach
On importance of winning Alamo Bowl: You want to win every game, so every game is important. When you lose a game at any time, it affects your program. I don't think it affects recruiting at programs like this because most of the kids know where they want to go for the last ten years. It's not an issue to us and I'm sure that both coaching staffs will be using this to finish off a great run with a senior class and also to start fresh next year.
On Colt McCoy's status: It is entirely too early to rate. I think they just told us it is a wait and see process.
On defensive coordinator position: I can reiterate the fact that I said a week ago that we would not talk to anyone about the defensive coordinator's job or a defensive position until after the bowl game as respect to our team, seniors and defensive staff.
On Ohio State: I think tomorrow night when the Heisman is announced that Troy Smith has the best chance to win. Troy did for Ohio State what Vince did for us last year. He made the plays he needed to make in critical situations with his head, his feet and obviously his arm. I remember when we first were scheduled to play Iowa in this game I looked at the schedule and the first thing I saw was Ohio State, Michigan and Wisconsin, who are arguably three of the best teams in the country right now. That is unique that both Iowa and Texas were playing Ohio State at a time where we both could have got in that mix. But give them credit, they have a great team and had a great year.
On Vince Young in the NFL: We are excited for him and Jeff Fisher, they have won the last two games. Jeff seems to be one of the nicest and best coaches in the business. At the same time, Vince will have an exciting weekend coming back to Houston and it will be fun for him to go back home. I thought he handled the draft questions so well and now he is playing for the Titans and not angry at Houston. He will play with the same enthusiasm at home that he would anywhere else to try to continue to get their team back toward the playoffs. It also shows you the power of one guy. He can make a lot of other players play well around him and that seems to be what is happening right now.
On fan reaction to first Alamo Bowl appearance: It has been an unbelievable reaction from our fans. I am proud of them. We obviously didn't finish the season like we wanted to, but if you're not playing in the BCS, you need to play some place that wants you. If you can play a really good team that you have great respect for in front of a full house on ESPN, if you're not going to be in the BCS, it doesn't get any better than that.
Kirk Ferentz, Iowa Head Coach
On playing in the Alamo Bowl in 2001: I quickly learned exactly why our fans are so enthusiastic about this venue and about the bowl game. We had just an outstanding experience and when we had the opportunity to come back here we were thrilled to death. Our players don't know what a great experience they have in store.
On Hawkeyes from Texas: It is an opportunity for eight young men on our roster to come back to their home state and Drew is probably the most prominent player in that group. To have the chance to come back and play in front of family, friends and former coaches, I think that is really a special and significant thing. I know guys like Drew, Scott Chandler and Ken Iwebema are all very excited to be participating back in their home state.
On team's finish: One of our focuses coming into the season was getting off to a faster start. The last two years we have been 2-2 in the initial part of the season and then done very well in October and November. This year, ironically we got off to a much better start (5-1) and then obviously the second half didn't go the way we chose. I think if I'd pick one word it would be consistency. We didn't play well enough consistently. Our special teams really didn't do much to distinguish themselves and that is something we really pride ourselves on over recent years. Defensively we gave up too many big plays to expect to win against good competition and on offense we had more turnovers this year than we have had in any of our eight years at Iowa.
On Ohio State: Traditionally Ohio State and Michigan have always had great football teams. I can't recall if either of the schools have had a team as strong as they've had this year. It really was an exceptional year when you have two teams that strong playing in one conference and things like that do happen, cyclically I guess. Ohio State is just an outstanding football team and I don't know if they have any weaknesses right now. They have an outstanding cast of characters in that organization that are extremely well coached and I have as high of respect for Michigan too. They are a great football team.
On importance of winning Alamo Bowl: There a couple of things that take place in a bowl game. First and foremost, you want to win the football game and finish on a positive note. If you look back at the teams that have won the last couple game here, they have gone on to do great things. Most importantly you want to win it for this year, finish on a positive note and as coach said, you want your seniors to go out with a great pace. You have a couple things going on at once, but first and foremost on the 30th everybody is going to be thinking about that day and the great opportunity in front of them.