Classic CFN: Texas vs. USC, 2006 Rose Bowl Stream Of Consciousness Notes, January 4, 2006
CFN 20th Year Anniversary: It was one of the greatest college football games of all-time, and it’s the gold standard of Rose Bowls. It’s the Vince Young epic – Texas vs. USC for the national championship. January 4th, 2006.
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It’s the 20th anniversary of CollegeFootballNews.com this season. I stumbled upon a ton of old, weird, painfully-dated articles that I’ll put up from time to time. I’m sorry.
These are the moment-by-moment, stream-of-consciousness game notes from the all-time classic – Texas vs. USC in the 2006 Rose Bowl for the national championship. If it wasn’t the greatest game in the the 20 years of CFN, it’s No. 1A. I’m putting it up as it was originally published on CFN and Fox on January 4th, 2006.
Welcome again to my pretentious, goofy and self-serving stream-of-consciousness thoughts and notes on the big games, the broadcasts, the ads and the teams for the attention deficit disordered.
I am SO sick of Texas and USC hype. I’ve been living this for almost a year, and I couldn’t be more ecstatic that the game is finally here. After the first three fantastic BCS games, the college football gods can’t be benevolent enough to give us a beauty for the one we really, really care about. On all the radio and TV shows I’ve gone on for the last six weeks, I’ve been saying this is dead even flip-flopping the entire time. I’m now sticking with my pick of a disrespected Texas coming through with the win. … John, Craig, Aaron cliché number one: Craig, “This is like a heavyweight fight.” …. John, Craig, Aaron cliché number two: Aaron, “You can just feel the electricity in the air.” … What a stunner; Will Ferrell not being funny. When will America wake up? … If by some miracle I get to heaven, I plan on seeing someone dressed exactly like Aaron Taylor in an all-white suit there to greet me. … For those of you wondering what life would be like with a playoff, this is what the hype and excitement would be. … It’s Fonzie! There have to be some A list celebrities from post-1978 somewhere. … Wow did Holly Rowe get an A list makeup job. She looks fantastic. The cheekbones are popping, while the eyes look soft and, uh, oh wait, that’s Stream-of-Consciousness notes for what my wife and sister-in-law are watching on TLC. … Aw cripes. We already have a bazillion truck ads and more Toby Keith than anyone should have to endure. Why goober this thing up more with LeAnn Ryhmes singing the national anthem. Busta Rhymes, the former OU receiver, not the rapper, would be better. … Keith: “What about those two little black clouds that hang around college football?” The Coaches’ and Harris Polls?
– Texas wins the toss and defers.
– Texas kicks to Bush. Someone should be fired.
USC on its own 12
– Not today Mr. Bush. First play a handoff and he had nowhere to go. I’m on record as saying he’s going to get stuffed tonight. I’m also on record for being prepared to field about 24,346 e-mails with the word “moron” in them.
– Third and seven. Leinart changed the play, called the right play, but misfired after Steve Smith didn’t get out of his cut quickly enough.
– My sweet lord are those Texas cheer squad outfits fantastic. I need a moment. Talk amongst yourselves. I’ll give you a topic. The New Deal was neither new or a deal. Discuss.
– Turnover. Aaron Ross got popped and USC gets it back. Lost in all the pregame hype was how physical USC can be.
USC on the Texas 46
– It’s a shame the Rose Bowl logo couldn’t stretch from goal line to goal line. Not that it doesn’t seem like an attempt was made.
– Bush gets the first down showing good finish to his run. He had to go outside, he won’t get anything inside.
– Leinart is buying himself time and he delivered a perfect strike to David Kirtman. It’s on the six.
– Dwayne Jarrett has single coverage. Leinart had better at least look his way.
– Texas can’t be this dumb. Leinart was out of bounds, but Robert Killebrew popped him late and took a penalty. First and goal from the four.
– That was way too easy. LenDale White all but walked into the end zone after Fred Matua flattened the left side of the Texas D line.
– AHHHHHH AHHHHHH AHHHHHH. 2005 Orange Bowl flashback. No, not another Big 12 egg. Please, no.
– Somehow, I don’t think 7-0 will hold up.
USC 7 … Texas 0
Texas on its own 20
– Nothing was there, but Selvin Young got a few yards off the left side. It was a power play by the left side of the UT line.
– USC can’t be so indecisive on its blitzes. Even though Young got the throw off, he should’ve been popped. He can’t get comfortable.
– Third and three. Young wasn’t quite sure what he wanted to do on the option and got stuffed. He has to trust his backs.
– Don’t be dumb. It’s fourth and just over one. Act like you think you can win and kick it to pin USC deep.
– Oh yeah, Mack Brown is coaching. The play gets stuffed, and USC has all the momentum. Why on Earth would you hand the ball off five yards deep to Selvin Young on fourth and one?
– Ack! What’s that floating likeness of Jason White doing over the field? Go away evil spirit, shoo.
USC on its own 49
– The temptation might be to seize the momentum and bomb deep. Nothing would take the heart out of the Longhorns more than pounding the ball.
– (Bleep)ing fantastic play call. Jarrett just barely outthrew a wide open Steve Smith. That would’ve ended this.
– Leinart is getting all day to throw. The UT D line had better step up in a big hurry. No. 11 is throwing darts.
– Oh Texas. It had Bush stopped and was going to get the ball back, but got tagged with an incidental five-yard face mask on Michael Huff.
– Super. Keep giving USC second and third chances.
– So cold. So very, very cold. Maybe the Orange Bowl, er, I mean Rose Bowl halftime show will be worth watching.
– The USC offensive line is absolutely destroying the Texas D line. It gave Bush a mile-wide hole. However, that’s a touchdown against UCLA or any other Pac ten team. Against Texas, that’s a six-yard gain.
– Texas can’t keep giving away plays. Tarrell Brown dropped an interception.
– Third and seven and Texas stops Bush just short of a first down. Bush might not make the spectacular plays tonight, but he might come up with a workmanlike 150-yard day of total offense.
– Aw USC, you too? Fourth and one from the 17 and it went for it. Kick the freakin’ field goal.
– Leinart didn’t make it.
– Great job by Todd Harris on the sideline catching that USC was trying to draw Texas offsides and Pete Carroll was looking for a timeout. Good sideline reporting adds so much to a game.
Texas on its own 16
– The one weakness in this game should be the USC corners. Texas has to at least try to push it deep.
– Texas fans all over the world watch Young dance, dip and dive his way through the back seven for a big run and comment that yeah, he is Reggie Bush running the ball.
– That’s the play that will wake up the Longhorns. They need a bit of confidence.
– Oooooooh. Here could be the issue for Texas: Trying to do too much. Jamaal Charles simply dropped the ball, but UT got it back.
– Three Trojans were all over Young, but he was cool, calm and got the ball away. That’s the play the NFL scouts are going to notice more than any run.
USC on its own 22
– Is it Bush bashing to suggest LenDale White might be the better NFL player? I know White can give me 25 carries a game.
– The Texas defensive line had better find its way to the stadium of this won’t be pretty.
– Keep in mind that I voted for Bush for the Heisman when I write this stuff. USC is too enamored with getting him the ball and not doing enough to get Leinart in the game. There hasn’t been much of a pass rush yet and Leinart appears to be comfortable.
First Quarter Score: USC 7 … Texas 0
– Bush will get dogged for trying to pitch the ball and losing the fumble after looking like he was shot out of a cannon on a perfectly executed pass play, but if he makes the play, he’s being hailed as even more of a god and would be talked about as long as they play college football. It didn’t work, but it would’ve been a score had he just gotten the ball there.
– The USC offensive game plan is nearly flawless. Every play is there, they just aren’t all clicking.
Texas on its own 18
– Neither team is generating a pass rush.
– Young is 8-of-8. When USC does get someone in the backfield, Young is all but laughing at the pressure. The Trojan front four is doing absolutely nothing.
– Not so go boo-ya on you, but Young looks like he’s feeling it. That might not necessarily be a good thing for Texas. He forces things when he’s gets on a roll.
– How lucky is Texas when it comes to fumbles? It seems like it always recovers its mistakes.
– David Pino’s field goal is good. That’s nice, but it looks like Texas has brought a knife to a gun fight.
USC 7 … Texas 3
USC on its own 26
– Once again, I’d get Leinart going. Just to see what works and what doesn’t, I’d make this drive all about him.
– That should be reviewed. Steve Smith made a good attempt at a catch, but the ball looked like it hit the ground. It won’t be reversed; it’s too close.
– The play stands. It had to.
– AFLAC Trivia Question: Who are the three players to win two Rose Bowl player of the game awards? Ron Dayne is one, I’ll guess Charles White. I’ll guess the third is someone from the 30s that no one will ever guess.
– The NFL Texas DTs are getting shoved around way too easily. The holes are way, way too big. The secondary has to make way too many plays against the run. Taitusi Lutui is making himself a ton of money.
– The straight ahead style of White has been more effective than the dancing of Bush. The Texas team speed is all over Bush.
– Oooooh. That has to be reviewed. I thought Michael Griffin got a foot in on his interception at the goal line. Leinart hung that ball up way too much when he had a touchdown if he didn’t put so much air under it.
– Yup. That’s an interception. Once again, replay works. At least, it had better work here. This isn’t close.
– Texas ball.
Texas on its own 20
– Each team scored off a turnover.
– Texas is speeding up the pass going to a no-huddle. It’s interesting that Texas is trying to move the ball by passing and not using the backs much.
– AFLAC answer: Dayne, White, and some dud e named Bob Schloredt, Washington 1960-61.
– Texas needs a touchdown off this drive. Things are working too well to get bogged down with another field goal.
– Wow what a run by Jamaal Charles. He should’ve been stopped for a loss, but he danged for a first down.
– Wasn’t he down? What was I saying about Bush and his ill-fated pitch? Young, not learning, did the same thing pitching to Charles for a score. That has to at least be looked at.
– Call that justice. Young’s knee was down, and it wasn’t even close, but Texas snapped the ball quickly so it couldn’t be reviewed. Pino missed the extra point wide right. USC got screwed big-time.
– I hate this. It shouldn’t be up to USC to call time out to have that looked at. Give the coaches one challenge per game.
Texas 9 … USC 7
USC on its own 42
– Is Keith Jackson sleepy? I need more energy than this. This is a whale of a ball-game.
– USC appears deflated. That will change in a heartbeat if Bush breaks one.
– It’s almost like USC is shocked that Texas can actually play.
– Leinart has to be better than that. He’s too good and too experienced to not check the clock and get nailed with a delay of game.
– Did Pete Carroll just go to John Davis Booty and tell him to be prepared? The ABC producers have to yell to the sideline reporters to get on that.
– I can’t believe USC appears to be so down. The body language couldn’t be more depressing.
– Carroll should place a call to Snoop Dogg to get this party started at halftime.
–Texas on its own 49
– 3:45 to play.
– Young has to be smarter. His deep pass took five days to get there, and he threw it into triple coverage.
– You’d think USC could tackle Young better after dealing with Reggie Bush in practice every day for the last three years.
– What blocking. Ramonce Taylor was able to motor for a long score, but I could’ve run that 30-yarder with the way Texas was blocking downfield. Limas Sweed buried Scott Ware and took another USC defender out of the play.
– Texas appears a little too giddy on the sidelines. Two words: Arizona State.
Texas 16 … USC 7
– Is it crazy to think USC has the Longhorns right where it wants them?
USC on its own 20
– Once again, it seems like USC is trying too hard to get the ball to Bush. Where’s Dwayne Jarrett? What happened to LenDale White up the middle? Where’s Steve Smith?
– How is that not an interception? Drew Kelson had it, landed on his back and lost the ball. Call it even for the missed replay on the Young downed knee.
– It’s like USC is stunned Texas has defenders as fast as Bush.
– No Keith, Gatorade doesn’t work to prevent cramps. It’s sugar water crap that’s contributing to the obesity of America.
– Leinart is still getting all day to throw. USC has picked up the pace a bit.
– Ooooooooooof. I’ll be shocked if Leinart gets up quickly. He did a great job of scrambling for a first down and got creamed by Aaron Harris. He looks like he got a concussion.
– Pet peeve: “He has to shake the cobwebs.” A concussion occurs when a brain is smashed up against the inside of the skull. There’s nothing cutesy about it.
– What does it say when your drop-back passer dives for a first down and takes a huge pop, but your Heisman winning, first pick in the draft running back can’t find the sidelines fast enough?
– Great answer by USC on this drive. Its on the 13 with :40 left.
– It’s apparent the Texas corners are able to handle the USC receivers one-on-one. Leinart isn’t finding anyone open.
– That’s two straight sacks. Leinart is holding on to the ball too long and isn’t throwing it away. He doesn’t appear used to not having a third or fourth option open.
– Eight seconds left. For the first time this year, Mario Danelo might have to hit a 40+ yarder. His lack of a proven deep leg is a big key to this game.
– What problem? Danelo pushes it over from 43 yards out.
– Texas, considering the competition, has played as well as it possibly can, but is only up six. USC, considering the competition, is playing lousy, but is only down six.
– Solid, solid, solid first half.
First Half Score: Texas 16 … USC 10
Texas on its own 18
– Texas had better get points off this opening drive. A punt and a USC drive for a touchdown and all the momentum of the first half goes bye bye.
– Thanks you Rose Bowl for simply having the school’s bands at halftime and not some sort of Janet Jackson wannabe spectacular.
– USC’s front four must have gotten a bit of a talking to at the half. It appears to have more spring in its step.
– Three and out. Why am I getting the sense the USC avalanche is about to start rolling.
– Don’t be dumb, Texas. Kick it out of bounds and take a 35-yard net. Don’t get it to Bush.
USC on its own 38
– I’ve been waiting for that call. With the USC WRs lined up one-on-one on the outside, I’m surprised Leinart hasn’t tried more quick hitters to them.
– Forgive the crudeness, but I can’t think of a better teem. Taitusi Lutui just bitch-slapped a Texas lineman down. Lutui is having a huge game.
– Oh yeah, USC has other weapons. It figured that out at halftime.
– Leinart has to be much, much quicker on his audibles.
– The holes have clogged up for White up the middle, but he powered over Michael Huff and bounced his way to the outside. I can’t believe he’s even considering coming back for another year. He’s a top 25 pick.
– White touchdown run. He has such a burst when he smells the goal line.
– If you’re keeping score at home, that’s the fourth shot of Matt Leinart’s dad, to only two of the USC cheerleaders.
– ABC realizes this and gives us a shot of bouncing, celebrating cheerleaders.
– And Pa Leinart is back to a two score lead.
– Where’s all that dancing and preening on the Texas sideline now? You just can’t get overconfident against USC.
USC 17 … Texas 16
Texas on its own 20
– Texas can’t start making this all about Vince Young. It has to keep using all the weapons, especially the backs.
– As I write that Jamaal Charles busts off a big run.
– I know I’ve ripped on this ad nauseum in past notes, but I really am disappointed by Keith Jackson. I can handle the bloopers and missed calls, chalk that up to the inevitability of age, and I certainly don’t want a boo-ya screamer, but I need something more. Brent was awful in the Fiesta Bowl, but I’d much rather have him or Mike Tirico do a big game. It’s time for Brad Nessler to truly be ABC’s number one man for all of the really, really big games. He’s understated, but brings the right level of excitement.
– Sensational answer by Texas. Just when USC was looking to stop Charles, Young tears off a powerful, diving touchdown run.
Texas 23 …. USC 17
USC on its own 25
– Really. I’m REALLY not ripping on Reggie Bush and totally don’t mean to be negative about such a wonderful player. USC can’t go back to trying to make Bush win this game on his own. It has to keep spreading it around to all of its future NFLers, and then use Bush after the D forgets about him for a play.
– Leinart is humming. He’s doing a fantastic job of spreading it around.
– An amber alert has been sent out for the Texas defensive front four.
– Once again, some might see this game as a bit of a disappointment for Bush because there hasn’t been anything spectacular, but he’s having a very effective, very solid game.
– Third and one. Six bucks and the rest of my latte Texas sells out to stop White.
– I’m right, and TE Fred Davis blows it by stepping out of bounds on the pass.
– Of course, USC goes for it on fourth down on the ten and lets White do his thing. He had a HUGE hole to run through for an easy score. The Texas defense had better figure out how to get to Leinart, and it had better start taking that Reggie Bush spy and putting him on White.
USC 24 … Texas 23
Texas on its own 20
– Keith pretending to care about reading promos for goofy ABC promos: priceless.
– He pronounced John Stamos, John Stah-mos.
– Oh what a catch by David Thomas to save the drive. He made a diving, reach-behind grab.
– Why is Texas sitting Jamaal Charles? He was dominant.
– And that’s why Young has to be considered the number one pick in the 2006 draft. He’s Michael Vick who can throw and win. Matt Leinart can’t change a game with 150 rushing yards.
– Assuming the Longhorns can punch it in, they had better start thinking about chasing that extra point. I hate, hate, hate going for two until you absolutely, desperately have to, but I sort of like it here with the way the USC offense is rolling.
– Why, why, why get cute? The ground game is running so well, and then Texas tries a cross-the-field pass that doesn’t work against a D with the speed of USC.
– Here comes Pino for a chip shot.
Third Quarter Score: USC 24 … Texas 23
– I know I’m going to jinx it, but this game is flying compared to the marathons of the last few nights.
– Pino blew it. He had a rough angle, but he has now given away four points.
USC on its own 20
– Texas can’t handle White and Jarrett off the line.
– At some point, the UT LBs have to sell out Florida State Orange Bowl style and try to get some pressure on Leinart. They have to do something to disrupt his rhythm. The front four isn’t getting it done.
– It’s illegal to show anyone actually drinking a beer in a beer ad, but Budweiser needs to break the rule and get one of its models to put the bottle to her lips to mark the first time ever an attractive woman has tasted a Bud.
– Third and six. Texas hasn’t come up with a clutch stop yet in this half.
– And it still can’t. Leinart’s timing is perfect with Jarrett. It’s so much fun watching Leinart when he’s on. He can be such a surgeon.
– Now is the time to pull out Reggie. The Texas D is tired and frustrated trying to stop the quick pass. Now it’s time to go nuclear.
– USC tries No. 5, but Texas is all over him wide. They need to go four wide and really push the suddenly struggling UT secondary.
– Texas has absolutely no answer for LenDale White. He’s averaging 6.6 yards per crack.
– Third and two, just go back to 21.
– And why not? Another big run for a first down.
– Texas is in desperate, DESPERATE need of a turnover.
– Holy (bleep). There’s the A bomb. Just when the Longhorn D is gassed, Bush finally gets loose and rips up the right sideline for a diving, somersault touchdown.
– With the way the USC offense is humming, why not go for two and make this a two-score game? Texashas done absolutely nothing to slow down LenDale White. Just give it to him, get the two, and go up nine.
– Of course, USC kicks the extra point.
USC 31 … Texas 23
– Texas is 0-for-3 on defense in the second half and has lost any and all momentum from the first half lead, but things really aren’t that bad. There’s a ton of time left, and UT is a touch-and-two away from tying this thing up.
– Two words; Jamaal Charles
Texas on its own 32
– Oooooh. That looked like USC ball. Charles caught it, fumbled, and USC recovered. It’s not going to be ruled indisputable (it was ruled incomplete), but USC is going to get royally screwed yet again in the replay side of things. Even in real-time speed it’s a fumble.
– The play stands. If Texas goes on to win this game, there’s going to be some mega-whining from the other side; and rightfully so.
– Texas is marching through the air. Even with 10:47 to play, this is four down territory with the way the USC offense is playing.
– Eeesh. Texas has stopped calling plays and has basically broken down into Vince running the ball.
– Pino hits this field goal attempt to pull within five. I know, a touchdown gives you the lead, but with just over eight minutes to play, the three doesn’t really do Texas much good. If USC goes on a six minute march and makes it four touchdowns in four second half drives, it’s over.
– However, there’s a major element of our nation very, very happy to get the deficit under seven.
USC 31 … Texas 26
USC on its own 19
– OK Texas. You want the national title? It’s on your defense.
– As purely a college football fan, I want to see Texas hold, score a touchdown, and then see Leinart on one final drive and needing a field goal.
– I’m calling it. Ball game.
– Leinart completes the long pass, and then he takes a big, late shot to get the ball down to the Texas 31.
– You wouldn’t be wrong to name Lutui the MVP of this game.
– And there’s BCS national title number two.
– Leinart connects with Jarrett, who stretches the ball across for a touchdown and the national championship. Michael Griffin and Tarrell Brown each got knocked out hitting Jarrett.
USC 38 … Texas 26
Texas on its own 31
– Holly Rowe on the sidelines said the Texas defenders are hanging their heads after Brown was helped off the field after breaking his arm. I’m sure getting pantsed by the USC offense in the second half had nothing to do with it.
– I don’t want to get into the old rant about the problems with the prevent, but Texas is moving too well.
– Young is playing desperate. He doesn’t really have to. There’s still 5:31 to play. It’s touchdown-onside kick time no matter what, but you have to get the score first.
– Young is having a phenomenal game, but it might get lost in the loss.
– UnFRICKINGbelievable. I have such a non-sexual man crush on both of these quarterbacks. Young walked into the end zone on his pump fakes alone.
– They kick the extra point, as they should’ve. You have to go onside kick here. With four minutes to play, you can’t trust your defense.
– It’s a five point game with four minutes to go, it the broadcast makes it seem like UL Lafayette is blowing out Idaho by 40.
– Not only does Texas kick away, but it kicks away to Reggie Bush who brings it out past the 30. Texas is playing it honest.
USC on its own 31
– Now, purely as a fan, I want to see Young get one last shot with the game on the line.
– He won’t get it. Leinart and Jarrett are too good.
– 3:08 to play, USC on its 46.
– White simply can’t be stopped for negative yards.
– With the overaggressive, overpursuing Texas D, a reverse to Reggie would go for a 50-yard touchdown.
– Third and seven, and Texas stops White, who fumbled, but it was recovered by Steve Smith.
– C’mon Pete, go for it. 2:13 to play. Fourth and two. Take your national title.
– I love Pete Carroll.
– USC got a very, very, VERY generous spot. White wasn’t even close, but it was a great mark for the Trojans.
– Six inches short. This sucker just went into the all-timer category.
Texas on its own 43
– 2:04 to play.
– USC is blitzing and stopped the first two pass plays. I love Pete Carroll even more. With everything on the line, he’s bringing it.
– It sucks, but the officials had to call a penalty to Darnell Bing. Young completed his pass out to midfield well short of the first down, but Bing got tagged with a five-yard face mask.
– :57 to play, Texas on the USC 41.
– They’re reviewing a catch by Brian Carter and a possible fumble, but it wasn’t even close. He was down, and this is giving Texas time to regroup.
– I can’t imagine being a fan of these teams right now.
– Young dances his way for the first down and gets out of bounds with :53 to play.
– Young: 17 carries, 187 yards, 2 touchdowns.
– Ball on the 30
– Young to Carter on a crossing pattern inside the 15. :45 to play.
– To my die-hard Texas friend Joel who had plane tickets to Pasadena but didn’t go because he didn’t want to pay the eBay ticket price to get into the game. Oops.
– OOOOH. Limas Sweed just missed a juggling catch for a touchdown.
– Young down to the nine; :30 to play. Third and five.
– I have a whiz to throw that’s making my whole body cramp.
– Young just misses on a throw to Sweed. Are you kidding? Fourth and the national title?! This doesn’t suck.
– MAKE A CALL KEITH! Unbelievable dead silence as Young crosses the goal line. Worst non-call ever of one of the most important plays in the history of college football.
– I get all my wishes. Leinart will get one last shot.
– Uhhhhhh, USC? Why are you calling that last timeout?
– Young rushes for the two-point conversion.
– Now I’m getting greedy. I want overtime.
Texas 41 … USC 38
– If Texas kicks it to Reggie Bush, USC should win on general principle alone.
USC on its own 30
– :16 to play.
– USC needed that timeout. Leinart shovels it to Bush for a huge gain.
– :08 to play on the Texas 43.
– Oh Matt. He held on to the ball too long and time ran out. A champion should’ve gone down with more of a bang than that.
– Never, ever, ever, ever run a Greatest Team of All-Time series until the game is played.
Final Score: Texas 41 … USC 38