Well, the day has finally arrived. We are hours away from the Rose Bowl. #1 plays #2, and history awaits either team.
I could give you some long drawn out preview, but you can find those everywhere, so I shall spare us all here.
I think this is a very close game, and one in which I believe the media has played a role. I just can’t imagine USC is taking Texas as seriously as they should when the media ponders whether they could win a game against the best teams of all-time, altogether not worrying about the Longhorns. At some point, that has to screw with your head and your preparation.
So, that opens the door, but can the Longhorns walk through it? Once again, it falls to Vince. If you are curious where I stand with Vince, scroll back to the second week in October on the blog when the Red River Shootout was here. I said it then and I will say it again: I cannot swear that Mack Brown is a better coach then he was a few years ago, but Vince Young changes everything.
I believe he is a special player. Not just stats and touchdowns, but the way he affects his mates and the belief that they can win any game anywhere.
Can USC’s defense, that could not contain Notre Dame and Fresno State contain the Longhorns offense, and more specifically, Vince?
Can the Texas defense load up on Reggie Bush and make Leinart beat you? Michael Huff, Cedric Griffin, and the Texas secondary will have their work cut out for them, but if they can get a few stops, it will get very interesting.
I think Texas can win this. How about 34-31, Texas.
Am I convinced? Of course, not! This is two great teams squaring off in a huge game in front of all of America. Cannot wait for this one.
In Vince We Trust …
"Forget what he's doing on the field," said former Texas quarterback James Street, who helped win Texas' last undefeated national title in 1969. "Watch him on the sidelines. The way he talks to his teammates, and the way they react to him.
"Watch the way he asks for the crowd to get more involved. Vince Young has lifted up an entire university, in many ways, with leadership skills that are God-given."
Said ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit: "In my lifetime, I've not seen one player affect an entire program the way Vince Young has."
Is USC as good as ESPN seems to think? …
Remember those old Saturday Night Live sketches featuring Chicago Bears fans who go to comic extremes in their genuflection before their team and its coach? The "Super Fans" are so confident in their team that they quickly dispense with predictions ("Da Bears, 62 to 3") and focus instead on hypothetical matchups. What would happen if the Bears players were all 14 inches tall? What about if Coach Ditka had to play the New York Giants by himself? "I gotta say Ditka 17, Giants 14."
Something eerily similar to this is happening on ESPN this week. In the run-up to what promises to be a classic Rose Bowl game between Texas and USC, the network has glossed over the question of whether the Trojans are better than the Longhorns. Instead, they've taken it upon themselves to decide whether USC is the greatest team in the history of college football. In recent days, a SportsCenter feature has pitted this year's USC team against the great national champions of the last 50 years. So far, at least according to ESPN, the Trojans have dispensed with history's great football juggernauts with greater ease than they dispatched, say, the 2005 Fresno State Bulldogs.
Gribble makes the big-time again …
Mack Brown has a little secret. He's paranoid about being assaulted during post-game celebrations and keeps a Texas Ranger close during games, rarely leaving himself open. But during the post-Texas A&M press conference, Brown saw his 33-year coaching career flash before his eyes when an overly excited Dallas-area media member screamed: "Coach, your defense has been the cat's meow all season. How'd it feel for Stephen McGee and his boys to give you the business?" Brown answered the question, but later admitted he was ready to jump behind the table."
1920’s reporter guy has done his bit twice, and has national publicity both times. He will be famous soon, and may even be stolen by Dan Patrick if he keeps this up…
Mavs beat Portland on Tuesday …will play in Minnesota on Wednesday…
The Mavs (23-8) dominated the boards 52-40, with the three-headed center combo of Erick Dampier, DeSagana Diop and rarely used DJ Mbenga combining for 21 rebounds.
Portland (10-21) had trouble getting off clean shots, as the Mavs blocked a season-high 12 shots and harassed the Blazers into 37 percent shooting.
Solid defense and rebounding are two of the main ingredients in coach Avery Johnson's recipe for success.
After their scoreless draw at Highbury yesterday, Sir Alex of Manchester United and Arsene of Arsenal have conceded the title to Chelsea …something that really wasn’t necessary for them to do since it was already conceded…
Wenger knew after a defeat here last month by Jose Mourinho's side that a Champions League place is the best Arsenal can hope for in May but regular Ferguson watchers reckoned the Manchester United manager to have made his most blunt concession that Chelsea are uncatchable after this goalless draw.
“They have been fantastically consistent and no one in this league can match them at this time," he said. Questioned about the extent to which the Premiership leaders have raised the bar, Ferguson added: "I don't think the quality of the game has been raised in any way. I think what they have done is retain that great consistency and they don't care if they win games 1-0. They're happy to grind out a 1-0 and defensively they've carried on from last season and been excellent."
From the World Jr nationals, Russia 5, USA 1 ...So much for USA being the favorites in this tournament. Russia plays Canada in the finals on Thursday Night, and the US plays for the bronze.
Gov. Lynn Swann?…
Matt Mosley had this: Cowboys turned down a 3rd round pick for Romo? ….
Tony Romo just completed his third season without taking a meaningful snap, and he’s justifiably frustrated.
Third-string quarterback Drew Henson is probably headed to NFL Europe – otherwise known as NFL Siberia.
The fact that Parcells never considered using either player in a game that had lost most of its significance shouldn’t come as a shock.
He wouldn’t even give Drew Bledose the hook when the Cowboys trailed, 35-7, in Washington. Some of you have asked me whether I think the Cowboys will draft a quarterback.
Well, let me just leave you with one item: The Cowboys turned down a third-round draft pick from the Jets for Romo before the trading deadline, which seems to indicate they still like him.
Jen Floyd Engle goes face to face with Jere Lehtinen …
Finally, Paul thinks we like Parcells too much because we want him to stay:
You Parcell Cool-Aid drinkin', lick fest leadin', metro sexual talk show guys in the next cubicle...
I have never heard such a load of crap from BaD radio! The Monday show made me sick. You guys have accepted a mediocre team with a mediocre record as a sign of (a) vast team improvement from 2000-2001, (b) the genious of the New Jersey con man in both recruiting/drafting and coaching strategy and (c) a team on the verge of excellence.
I would just refer you to Dale Hansen and Mike Ryner, the two Ticket guys who actually remember that the Cowboys and Excellence were once synonymous terms. I also refer you to other NFL owners who have fired respectable head coaches for the same performance that the Cowboys have demonstrated over Parcell's tenure.
Look, snail-pace progress does not justify having to put up with all the negative baggage the Tuna brings... all related to an ego that only the effete sportswriters in the northeast and the gutless writers of Dallas continue to feed.
I don't want your dads' head coach who desperately clings to long-past and irrelevant successes. Skins on the wall do mean something, but, come on, today's NFL is not the same as 1980's NFL. Today's successful coaches have to adapt. Parcells is unable or unwilling to do that.
Stay or go, I personally don't care about Parcells. I do think that owners of sports franchises do better if they take risks. Bringing Parcells here was a risk. For the Cowboys to take that next step, Jerry must step up and take another risk... finding a head coach who better understands today's NFL game. With the talent in place now, 9-7, 8-8, etc., could be achieved by any number of forward-looking coaches who are/will be on the market.
So put down the Cool-Aid and put your tongues back in your heads. Parcells really has done little to give Cowboys fans reason to be excited. The proof is always... wait for it... SCOREBOARD.
Sorry, Paul, but I will take this over the last few coaches Jerry had hired. Not looking forward to the 2006 Cowboys if Coach Joe or Coach Norv is running things.