A perception has been developed during Mack Brown's coaching tenure that Texas players are "soft" as they advance in the NFL.
Despite claims from some draft analysts about his former players, Brown begs to differ about that point.
"I think we have 47 active players in the NFL," Brown said. "We have three guys that have gained 1,000 yards as running backs in the NFL this year. And people keep saying our NFL guys are soft.
"Well, some guys keep drafting them, so I can't figure out why, but they do. They're all playing and playing very well."
That reputation has trickled down to the current program. It's a perception that chafes at Brown's image of his team.
"This football team has won 26 of 27, and they're soft? Lord, I hope they can get tougher again tomorrow night," Brown said.
Some of the perception might start from Brown, an engaging conversationalist, who is different when compared with some of the bland sentiments offered by Nick Saban and his process-oriented development of the Alabama program.
"I smile. I shake hands. I laugh. I like for the kids to have fun," Brown said. "But these kids are tough. They compete. Alabama's kids are tough, too. They're going to compete."
And in a not-so-subtle dig at other teams that played in the major bowl games this season, Brown said he expects the Alabama-Texas game to be a good one because of the toughness of the two teams.
"You're not going to get a bad team in this game," Brown said. "You may get one in the BCS, but you're not going to get one in this game. There's two good teams in this game."