10 guys with the most to prove
December, 21, 2005
Nothing beats bowl season -- and there's no better time for guys to show what they're made of. Last winter, Vince Young proved he was a bona fide star in the 2005 Rose Bowl. BC's Mathias Kiwanuka elevated his pro stock with a dominating performance in last year's Continental Tire Bowl. USC put some teeth in its dynasty talk with its romp over OU in last season's FedEx Orange Bowl. This week's list is about the 10 guys with the most to prove during bowl season. 1. Gene Chizik, Texas defensive coordinator: Until I sat down to actually write this blog, the top guy on the list was going to be Mack Brown. But the more I thought about it, I think it has to be Chizik. No doubt, the guy is a rising star in the business and really elevated his rep last season by developing the Auburn D that thumped its way through the SEC to an undefeated season. Chizik has worked a similar brand of magic in Austin. But shutting down, or at least containing, what many believe is college football's all-time greatest offense would be the crowning achievement for any college assistant. If UT wins, Brown obviously will shed any remaining skeptics who say he's just a recruiter and can't win the big one. (Count how many times you hear someone ask if you would bet on Mack Brown or Pete Carroll when they both have a month to prepare.) Still, in the postmortem of the "upset" Chizik would probably be hailed as the next Belichick.