I suppose it is possible you still doubted Vince Young going into last night. I mean, it is understandable when you consider how many different allegiances are represented by the thousands who check out this blog every day. Sooners, Aggies, Red Raiders, and who-knows-who-else root that he isn’t the one, for fear that the Longhorns would finally win the big one.
Therefore, there are two types of people when it comes to Vince Young:
* Those who were convinced he was amazing in last year’s Rose Bowl against Michigan, the Ohio State game, and numerous other examples, and therefore were not shocked by last night’s performance. As a NFL QB, no one knows, but as a college QB he is unfair.
* Those who will never concede he is great no matter what he does.
I suppose there is a 3rd category, but I cannot imagine who is in that. He has convinced and convinced in the last 15 months. I will readily confess that after Oklahoma shut out Texas in October of 2004, that I wondered if he was really a WR or a RB. But, all he has done since then is prove he is a special QB. Very Special.
So, enough about that. You know who you are, and what you believed. Let’s move on to that game last night.
I thought Texas could win last night based on the masses whispering in the USC ears how great they are. ESPN didn’t even bother whispering. They shouted it with their nightly Mark May and Kirk Herbstreit debating each other over whether USC was the greatest of all-time or just the greatest of the last 50 years.
When you are dealing with 20 year old kids, you cannot help but build over confidence. Surely, USC thought they could beat Texas no matter what; otherwise they are not tossing an unnecessary lateral that turned the game on one careless play. Surely, they never thought Vince Young was going to be impossible to stop. Surely, they thought they would win their media-mandated 3-peat.
By the way, how is that 3-peat doing this morning? LSU beat Oklahoma in the 2003 BCS Championship game, USC beat Oklahoma in the 2004 BCS Championship game, and Texas beat USC last night. Therefore, I believe USC has a 1-peat. What a dynasty.
I am not here to gang up on USC this morning. But I think we have the “Brett Favre theory” at work here. It isn’t Brett Favre’s fault that the media is so in love with him. He didn’t ask for it, and he likely is embarrassed by it. But, many people want to hate Favre because they are tired of being told that he walks on water. Same goes for USC. They didn’t ask for the adulation they have received. They just played and won a lot of big games, and in doing so, the masses lost historical perspective (even Miami from 2000-2003 has as good a case for being just as good a dynasty) and rushed to suggest USC could win the Super Bowl. Therefore, I was extra pleased to see them slowly walk off the field disgusted.
Anyway, down 38-26 I still felt fine. I knew it would only take one stop for Texas, because Vince was going to score every time he had the ball. He just was in that zone. If you don't believe me that I still felt good, ask Jamey Newberg. I sent him "I smell a special ending" in an IM at 38-26. They got their stop, and Jamey was one of the many Horns thrilled with the outcome.
And now, on to Mack Brown. We got a call on the show last night after I made the point that “win or lose tonight, Mack Brown surely has quieted many of his critics with this season”. The caller claimed to be a Longhorn fan, and said that last night will not quiet him and that I was way off. Maybe if Mack strings a couple national titles together, all those losses to Oklahoma will be forgiven.
I found that caller to be borderline insane, and laughed it off. Mack Brown won his first conference title this year. He also won his first national title this year. He is not the greatest coach of all time, but now he must be considered to be one of the great coaches in college football today. 2000 was the last season Texas did not win at least 10 games. And now, he is #1 in the country, and no one will ever take that away from him.
I have been a severe critic of his during the Chris Simms era. And, maybe he is only #1 today because he won the Vince Young recruiting battle. So what? He is #1. And hopefully, those who are celebrating the title this morning will cut him a little slack from now on. I was happy for the guy, because normally, he can’t win with his fans. Surely, that changes today, right? We can now drop the silly comparisons with Coach Fran, right?
Anyway, I could go on for hours about aspects of this game. For instance, is Reggie Bush the best RB at USC? What would the result of the game have been last night if any one of about 5 calls were reversed? How amazing is the talent on USC’s offense, and how then can you suggest a player is individually phenomenal when he is surrounded by fellow future NFL stars?
What a game. What a season. Good for the state of Texas, and good for those who solemnly walked out of the Cotton Bowl dejected the last several years because Oklahoma had stolen their lunch money again. That was a great night of football.
Chip Brown on Vince …
No matter how dire the situation throughout the game, Young flapped his arms for more sound in a flashbulb-popping Rose Bowl stadium. He broke his school record for consecutive pass completions with 15 (including the final six passes from the Big 12 title game) before running wild.
Young rushed for 200 yards, giving Texas a 1,000-yard rusher for a nation-leading 11th straight season, and he became the only player in NCAA history to rush for 1,000 yards (1,050) and pass for 3,000 yards in a season (3,036).
Fraley on the final USC 4th down decision …
Letting Young have the ball again curdled Carroll's stomach. His defense had been unable to stop Young throughout, and there was no reason to believe it would start now with the national championship on the line.
"It really didn't matter where they started," Carroll said. "We'd seen what they'd been doing."
With that in mind, Carroll ordered the offense to go for it. Hard-driving tailback LenDale White, who had 123 yards and three touchdowns on his previous 19 carries, came up short.
The rest was what Carroll most feared.
Young directed a drive that ended with his second touchdown run of the final five minutes: an 8-yard scramble on fourth down.
"It was clearly the right decision," Carroll said. "That's the way we do it here. We go for it.
"Make a first down and the game is over. That moment flashes by in an instant.
That's our moment there. It was a night when we needed to do it on offense."
Adam Eaton changes his tune a bit …
"They're obviously making a strong attempt to improve themselves," Eaton said. "Kevin Millwood said something that really struck me and that was, 'I'm not pitching against the ballpark; I'm pitching against the other pitcher.'
"I agree with that, and it's something I want to adopt. I feel, on any given day, I'm better than the other pitcher. If you can swallow the ERA, then good is defined by wins and losses."
The 28-year-old right-hander can be a free agent after the 2006 season but said, "The fact that they've made a strong effort to improve themselves could lead to a long marriage."
Stars rally in the 3rd, beat Vancouver …
Sure, beating Vancouver, 3-1, at American Airlines Center on Wednesday night wasn't like winning against Detroit, Calgary or Ottawa.
The Canucks, after all, have lost nine of their last 10 games.
But for a Stars team that was winless in its last five against teams above .500, beating a team in the top eight in the Western Conference matters.
How they did it matters, too.
It was a stirring Stars comeback, in front of a half-filled, college-football focused crowd, that notched this win. Three third-period goals – all with less than half the period remaining – turned a 1-0 deficit into an impressive victory.
Just curious, but who do you think the people at ESPN U thought were going to win last night? Here are the listings for ESPN U today:
2005 Heisman Trophy Presentation presented by Capital One
New York, NY, USA 6:00 am to 7:00 am
USC vs Oregon
Eugene, OR, USA 7:00 am to 10:00 am
USC vs Arizona State
Tempe, AZ, USA 10:00 am to 1:00 pm
UCLA vs USC
Los Angeles, CA, USA 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Rose Bowl presented by Citi
Texas vs USC
Pasadena, CA, USA 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Sweet. A full day of USC Games. That is a proper honor for the #2 Trojans.