What else can be said about the Rose Bowl?
It had the greatest amount of pregame hype I have seen in a long time. But the game was greater than the hype.
And the performance of Vince Young was greater than the game.
Everything we were supposed to see we saw – and much more. Most people picked the score about right, just had the wrong team to win. And every athlete was as good as advertised, but Young on this day simply was the very, very best of all.
I never have seen a guy who can run so well and also throw with such accuracy.
If Young can duplicate this type of performance over and over in the future, and I don't see why he can't, then he'll be one of the true pro greats.
Young was the reason Texas won, but he wasn't the only difference. The Texas defense holding USC to 38 points – yes, holding to 38 – was an incredible performance, particularly given its two enormous fourth-down stops.
Did anyone think USC would lose if Leinart, LenDale White and Dwayne Jarrett played the way they did, especially in the second half (although Bush cooled off a bit)? I've got to give defensive coordinator Gene Chizik a lot of credit for adding the last piece to the Longhorn puzzle, scheming for a fast, aggressive defense that gave Texas a chance to win every game.
And Texas had the talent to match USC, too. Although not every player had a marquee name or played the marquee positions, Texas had as many NFL-caliber players as USC. Michael Huff, Rod Wright, Limas Sweed, Selvin Young – to name just a very few – are studs. It's not just the Vince Young Show.
So where does this leave everybody? Mack Brown goes from the guy who couldn't win the big one to the elite class of coaches. Bobby Bowden didn't win his first national title until he was 63, and Tom Osborne was almost the same age before he won his three. With his record Brown can get into that category if he sticks around.
As for USC, the Trojans of the last three seasons still should be remembered as one of the great dynasties in college football, with a share of one national title, a consensus championship and a No. 2 finish. Though this loss to Texas may detract from any argument that this was the best team of all time, it still has to be argued.
But most importantly, Texas didn't buy into all that hype before the game. The Longhorns refused to drink the cardinal and gold Kool-Aid. They came to Pasadena ready to play and did that all the way to a national championship &dnash; and all the way to the end of an incredible college football season.
- Vince Young