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Q&A with my Heisman Trophy pick, Texas quarterback Colt McCoy

What does Colt McCoy want for Christmas? Why is Maine the team that McCoy would most love to play in 2009? Why does he have an apology letter from Lou Holtz? And, most importantly, could the Texas quarterback ever date a girl from Oklahoma?

The Watch asked those questions and many more to McCoy, who finished No. 1 in the final Heisman Watch of 2008. His answers gave an insight to a side of the Longhorns quarterback that the public rarely sees.

SI: Thanks for taking the time out, Colt. I asked this of Tim Tebow last year after he finished No. 1 on The Watch, and now I'll ask you. The Heisman ballot asks voters to select the "most outstanding" college football player in the country in 2008. Everyone has their own definition of most outstanding. But what's your definition?

Colt McCoy: I think the definition of that is one that not everybody can see. I think being the most outstanding player has to do with obviously your performance on the field, obviously your numbers, the wins and losses by your team. But the second part of that is the way you lead your team, the way that your teammates follow you, the way your teammates respond to you in good and bad situations. If you're going to be the best player in college football, you're going to be the leader on your football team.

SI: So what were your emotions when you heard the news that Texas had been edged out by Oklahoma in the three-way tiebreaker for the Big 12 South?

CM: We were just disappointed. We felt like we did everything we could all year long. We left it all out on the field. We finished strong like we wanted to. If we had gone to Lubbock and handled our business better [Texas lost 39-33 to Texas Tech], we wouldn't have been in that position, so we were frustrated about that. But at the same time, we felt like after beating OU and Missouri, it was kind of unfortunate that we didn't get to play for the Big 12 championship. But we still have a lot to play for. We'll just see what happens.

SI: Has the disappointment and frustration waned a little bit now that it has been a few days or are you just as disappointed as you were on that Sunday?

CM: It has kind of waned a little bit; we've kind of put it behind us. We can't change that at this point. Coach [Mack] Brown told us to let it rest and move on. He also told us to prepare to play the best bowl game that we've played and let it be the best game we've played all year. So that's truly been our focus at this point.

SI: What would be your Big 12 South three-way tiebreaker have been?

CM: I say you take the two top-rated BCS teams and take what happened between those two teams head-to-head. I think that's the best thing. The lowest team [of the three] in the BCS gets dropped out.

SI: Now to the fun questions. After you appeared on the cover of SI on Oct. 20, 2008, it was all over the news that you stood up in front of your teammates and threw the magazine into the garbage. Is the magazine really in the trash or was that just for show?

CM: [Laughs] Yeah, they ran with that story. I just wanted to make the point that it's about team. I don't care about the other stuff. Personally, [being on the cover] was great. I loved that. My family loved that. That was awesome. But I was trying to make a point. I just wanted to say, "Look, we're a team. Anything that comes out is because we're a team." You know how that goes. Don't take it personally.

SI: That's what I thought. OK, what's the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

CM: Brush my teeth. I brush my teeth before I even eat breakfast. Everybody I talk to is like, "Dude, why do you do that?" I'm like, "It's just something that I do." And I always brush with hot water.

SI: Best show on television and why?

CM: I watch TV, but I haven't watched anything this year. Hmmm [pause]. OK, right now, my favorite TV show is Deal Or No Deal. I like the risk; I like the way people have to think about winning a million dollars or not. And I also like the looks on the show.

SI: Did you say the look or the looks?

CM: The looks. You know, the girls with the briefcases.

SI: [Laughs]. That's what I thought you said. [Laughs] OK next question. You spend way too much on ...

CM: I spend way too much on food.

SI: Speaking of food, what is your favorite food?

CM: My favorite food is steak and potatoes. I'm a meat-and-potatoes-type guy.

SI: Receiver Jordan Shipley makes a great roommate because ...

CM: [Laughs] Jordan makes a great roommate because I'm the quarterback, so obviously I'm the leader, so he has to do what I say on the field and when we get home.

SI: I always do (blank) before I go to bed.

CM: I always pray.

SI: Do you have a favorite Bible verse?

CM: I do. It's Colossians 3:23. It says for whatever you do, work at it with all of your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.

SI: Tebow is very open about sharing his faith with others. How much do you share yours?

CM: I do it as much as I can. I think God has put me in this position of leadership. He has given me this opportunity, and it is all about Him. I know I wouldn't be where I am without Him. He's definitely put me in this position to share his love.

SI: OK, more fun questions. What's sitting on the floor of your truck?

CM: A bunch of UT clothes. Everybody in my family wants something UT for Christmas. I get stuff up here, and I throw it in the truck, and it is lying all over the floor, all over everywhere. I may have to wash it before I give it to them.

SI: So what do you want for Christmas?

CM: I want to win our bowl game.

SI: What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever said to you?

CM: Last year, I was on my way to the bowl game [the Holiday Bowl in San Diego], and I had made a stop in Phoenix. I was sitting in the airport, and I had on a couple of my UT things, not really noticeable. There were a couple other guys on the team that were right there. Then this lady walked up and talked to the other two guys, and they're bigger guys. She said, "Oh, good luck in San Diego, good luck in the bowl game."

Then she walked up to me and she goes, "I see you're wearing UT stuff. Are you a fan?" I was like, "Yeah, I'm a fan." Then she goes, "Well are you going to the game?" I was like, "Yeah, I'm going to head up to the game." She asked, "Do you do anything for UT?" I said, "Yeah, I go to all the games. I like watching the games and being a part of them." She goes, "Well, do you play in the band?" I was like, "Nah, I don't." She said, "Well, you just look like someone who might play in the band. I didn't know." I said, "Yeah, I'm not in the band, but I enjoy watching the game and being a part of them."

It was pretty neat, and about halfway through the flight to San Diego, after other people had recognized me and said, "Good luck," she finally realized who I was and was so embarrassed.

SI: I bet that doesn't happen a lot. I'm guessing that you walk around town and can't really hide from people.

CM: You're exactly right. You can't go anywhere. It's pretty crazy, real crazy.

SI: Is there a drawback from being such a huge celebrity?

CM: I don't know if it's a drawback because it's really nice. It's fun. You meet a lot of cool people and have a lot of relationships with different people. So it's not a drawback, but at the same time, it's difficult to even stop at a convenience store and get gas or go to H-E-B and get some groceries. Other than that, I enjoy it.

SI: What's the toughest class you've taken at Texas.

CM: Sports Law.

SI: Which gives you the bigger thrill, running for a touchdown or passing for a touchdown?

CM: Passing. I enjoy putting the ball between two defenders and making a good throw or making a not-so-good throw and watching a guy make a great catch.

SI: I know you have a girlfriend, but hypothetically, if you didn't, could you ever date a girl from the University of Oklahoma?

CM: Hmmm, probably not from Oklahoma. I couldn't do it. Sorry, Carrie [Underwood].

SI: What's getting the most play on your iPod right now?

CM:George Strait. Every time he comes on the radio, I have to tip my hat.

SI: What song do you play best on Guitar Hero?

CM: I am the man on Guitar Hero -- on medium [difficulty level]. I can do three fingers 100 percent. Once I start putting those four, five fingers in, I kind of go down the drain a little bit. But Sweet Child O' Mine is definitely the song I rock to.

SI: Tebow said last year that someone made up a fake Facebook page pretending to be him and got thousands of friends. Do you have a Facebook page?

CM: Not that I've made. I think in the last two years, I've deleted over 20 Facebook pages that were not mine. It also happens on MySpace.

SI: Have there been other instances in which you've been burned by your celebrity?

CM: It happens all the time. Today I took my final in two different classes. I was late to my second final because after the first class there were about 30 people wanting me to sign things for their little brothers or sisters or dads for Christmas. It was pretty crazy, but that's all a part of being in the position that I'm in. You have to enjoy it.

SI: Now Chase Danielhad a little Freudian slip when he was talking to ESPN about you.

CM: I heard about that. I haven't seen it, but a bunch of my teammates have told me that it's probably one of the most hilarious things they've ever seen.

SI: If you could schedule any team for Texas to play next year, who would it be and why?

CM: I would like to play Maine, if there is a team in Maine.

SI: There is a team.

CM: Are they Division I?

SI: No. They're I-AA. Why Maine?

CM: Because it's the farthest part of the United States from us. I would love to go out there. If not Maine, I would love to play Notre Dame at Notre Dame. If you enjoy college football, there's so much tradition from that place, so many great players. You hear about it all the time. I think it would be a pretty special place to play.

SI: Speaking of Notre Dame, did you see Lou Holtz's cursing rant about you on ESPN's College Football Final from earlier in the season?

CM: I did not see it. I heard about it from some people, and Lou Holtz sent me an apology letter in the mail. I love Lou Holtz. I love listening to him. I love his "Dr. Lou" [segment]. I didn't really know what happened. I'm glad I didn't see it, but at the same time I think it shows the character of him being able to write a letter of apology and know that he was doing his job. They got in a little debate, he's a competitive man, and he wanted to win the debate.

SI: Back to some more serious things. You announced in October that you'd be returning to Texas next year. How much did you really consider turning pro before making that announcement?

CM: I didn't at all. I'm so fortunate to be able to have four years here. I love my coach, and I love my teammates. We're going to be really good again next year; we have a lot of guys coming back. That's all that I'm thinking of. I enjoy having fun, and I'm having a blast doing what I'm doing right now.

SI: Texas went 11-1 this season but was left out of the BCS championship game. Do you rate this season as a success?

CM: I do. We've been really successful. We accomplished all the goals that we could've accomplished that were in our control. We had no control over who was in the BCS or the Big 12 championship; that was unfortunate. We beat both of those teams (in the Big 12 title game). We were super excited with the success we had and the way we played. We want to finish that off right. We're extremely satisfied with where we are because we did what we could do. We controlled what we could, and everything else was out of our hands. So we're excited, and coach Brown told us to be prepared to play the best game we've played all year.

SI: It seems like the Horns' best chance at winning a share of the national championship would be for Oklahoma to win the BCS championship game and then maybe Texas, although highly unlikely, would win the AP title. In that case, could you find yourself rooting for Oklahoma?

CM: I hadn't thought about that whole scenario. But you want to see teams in the Big 12 be successful. You want to see all them win their games and show how tough our conference is. But when it comes to that [cheering for Oklahoma], you never know. It'll have to be a gametime decision.

SI: Colt, thanks for taking the time out and congratulation on a great season.

CM: Thank you very much.

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