Texas football has never been the same since Colt McCoy went out injured against Alabama in the first quarter of the 2010 BCS National Championship Game. With the Longhorns driving early on, Alabama defensive tackle Marcell Dareus hit McCoy, who left the game with a severe shoulder injury. He would not return, and the Crimson Tide would win, 37-21.
McCoy wrote for The Players' Tribune that the hit changed his life.
You know, still to this day, what strikes me the most was how normal the hit was. It was the same hit I'd taken a million times growing up on those dusty fields in Tuscola. My dad didn't let me even play football until I was in seventh grade because he wanted me to learn the proper way to hit and be hit. So, I'd taken enough shots to know there wasn't anything particularly special about this one.
But for one reason or another, this tackle was different. This hit would change my whole life.
I remember immediately after the collision my only thought was, "What just happened?"
I didn't have any pain in my right arm. I didn't have any feeling at all. It was just entirely numb.
McCoy, a senior who was one of the top quarterbacks in the country, was replaced by freshman Garrett Gilbert, who threw four interceptions.
In the six years since that hit, McCoy has been an NFL journeyman, with the Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers and Washington.
The Longhorns haven't come close to returning to the national championship since, having gone a pedestrian 41-35, with two missed bowl games and three seasons of seven losses.