Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Longhorns Are 2005 National Champions!

1970 to 2005 = 35 years

Longhorn fans will be insufferable for another 35 years
- but I'm still thrilled it happened!

Reggie got the Heisman, but Vince got the championship.

What a ballgame. Congratulations, Longhorns.
Historic Perspective:

Texas defeats Michigan and USC in back to back Rose Bowls. That's three storied institutions; in College Football's most storied venue; wearing three classic uniforms and three classic helmets - including two helmets: Texas and Michigan, which are in the conversation for best helmets in the nation.

I thought Texas was lucky to defeat Michigan last year, because I thought Vince Young was fortunate to find running room at some key moments of the game. It looks like I was wrong. Vince makes his own luck.

Vince's burning competitive leadership is reminscent, really, of Roger Staubach. He would not let Texas lose.

2005 Texas, with a tough and fast defense, a massively talented offensive line, and Vince Young, deserves to be remembered as a fine championship team. They are not flukes. Rather, they deserve status in the upper tier of championship teams.

Quirky tableaux:

Matt Leinart, interviewed on the field, after the final gun:

It's tough. It was a great win, uh, los... uh, we fought hard. It was a tough game.

You can tell its been two years since Leinart lost a game. Dan Fouts, attempting serious comment after Texas recovered their 33rd fumble of the season:

Texas puts it on the ground so much, they've become good at going after it.

Fouts put that commentary on the ground, and never went after it. Keith Jackson, after a Vince Young run:

He runs better to his right.

Riiiiight. From Annika's Journal:

That game was as good as the ABC announcers were biased.

Misc. Commentary:

No one has ever made 4th and 5 look so easy. From the 9. With 25 seconds remaining. Cake.

Reggie Bush is the love child of Tony Dorsett and O.J. I thought Reggie's failed lateral was an excellent idea, which only lacked execution. I thought he took a measured and reasonable risk. I was surprised it didn't work. I love everything about Reggie Bush, except, maybe, his father.

USC RB LenDale White was spectacular, right up to the moment he was stopped on the final fourth and two with two minutes to go. Bill Parcells would salivate at the chance to draft White.

Vince Young's physical strength was amazing - pushing through tackles, and forcing a fall forward for extra yards, time and time again. Vince obviously enjoys the weight room. If he declared himself a RB, he might be the first pick in the NFL Draft.

What do the Texans do if Vince declares for the NFL draft - as he gives every indication of intending to do? It will take years of losing before Vince can read defenses well enough to be a competent NFL QB. Jehosaphat! What a dilemma for the Texans! If Vince declares, I would hate to be the Houston GM. I guess I would take him. What else can you do? If you're gonna go down - go down in flames! That's entertainment!

Vince's NFL decision: On one hand, no one has ever needed another season of reading college defenses worse than Vince does. Texas coaches still have him reading only half the field on most plays(another tidbit picked up in pregame hype!). OTOH, Vince has an improbable chance to play for his hometown team. I think he should take it. It's better than ending up with Bill Bidwell. Or Al Davis.

Oddly, if there was one critical play in a game filled with big plays, I think it was Leinart's careless interception toss on the Texas goal line, with USC leading 7 to 3, and storming downfield towards a second touchdown.

Texas still hasn't stopped USC's waggle pass. If USC had only run White plus the waggle on their next to last drive, they would've still been driving when the clock ran out.

Both TE's were spectacular.

Texas' offense looks hully-gully, but its not. It's a showcase offense for Vince Young - the strength of the Longhorn team.

Vince didn't get the Heisman, but keep your eye on speedy Longhorn RB Jamaal Charles, #25, for the 2008 Heisman Trophy.

I thought the incompete pass call on Jamaal Charles was the right call, but damn, it was close!

I liked Pete Carroll's decision to go for it on 4th and 2, with 2 minutes remaining. Don't play not to lose - play to win. As much as anything, its an attitude you want to infuse in your team. In addition, if you can't stop Texas from going 60 yards to win the game, you're not that good a bet to stop them from going 85 yards to win the game.

Texas defense gave up 38 points, yet I thought they were outstanding. Speed, baby. They got hellacious speed. The defense is run by a former Auburn assistant, and uses defensive principles popularized by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers(a factoid I learned during the unavoidable pregame hype).

Mac Brown. Vindication. He's had his nose publicly rubbed in it by Gary Barnett, and after the OU losses (including a dogpile by me!). How sweet for Mac. Does a coach have to be a tactician to be an outstanding coach? Heck no! Leave that stuff to the assistants. A coach has to recruit, and coach his players' attitudes. Mac has done that so well, the entire Longhorn team is now convinced they have been coaching him! That's coaching! Salute, Mac. Couldn't happen to a classier guy.

And salute, Big 12. After the bowl victories by Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Missouri, you guys are suddenly looking better. Too bad Iowa State ran into the buzzsaw that was the TCU Fightin' Horned Toads!

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