• Texas takes a back seat (Jan. 3)
• L.A.'s hippest club (Jan. 3)
• The People's Voice's love/hate relationship (Jan. 2)
|Preview Star Power | Season Highlights: USC - Tex|
This is the one you've been waiting for and talking about all season. And so have I. If you check out ol' Terry's Yahoo! Sports archive, you'll see I predicted Texas to make it back to the Rose Bowl – and win it again – on Aug. 16 (assuming it won at Ohio State).
A lot of you laughed at me. I've still got the emails from folks ripping me for my faith in Vince Young.
But I'm not off the hook. Now I have to explain why I picked Texas to win this game 4½ months ago. And after having seen USC's last seven games, I have a hard time seeing how the Trojans are going to lose.
There's a reason some people are calling this the most anticipated game ever. It features some of the best matchups in recent memory. For starters, we have the last two Heisman Trophy winners and this year's runner-up, not to mention a lot of future NFL stars.
These are by far the two best offenses in the country. Both average at least 50 points per game. That's almost illegal.
However, as I (and others) have said and written countless times, defense wins championships. Texas clearly will have the best defense on this field, and that will be the difference.
USC has not played anybody nearly as strong on defense as the Longhorns. California was ranked 26th in the nation in scoring defense and held the Trojans to 35. Texas ranks fifth (USC is 27th).
As you know, I have been wrong before. And if I am this time, it will be because of the other key statistic (besides scoring defense) that often determines champions – turnover margin. And guess who leads the nation in that? USC.
But the way I look at it Texas is going to hold the Trojans in the low 30s, while at the same time putting up a couple of more points on offense. I know it sounds strange to say "hold them to 32 points," but with these two offenses it's a fair statement.
Texas should close this thing out at around 35-32, winning with a late touchdown or field goal.
And it will be the classic everyone is hoping for.
Pick: Longhorns 35, Trojans 32