Greatest College Football Games To See Before You Die: 2006 Rose Bowl, Texas vs. USC

Greatest College Football Games You Need To See Before You Die: 2006 Rose Bowl, Texas vs. USC

They’re some of the greatest college football games ever – and you need to see them, again. Check out the buildup and the full replay of the 2006 Rose Bowl.

Contact/Follow @ColFootballNews

With the football season over, and House of Cards not coming back until late May, you need something to binge watch, right? Welcome to the start of a regular feature highlighting the most important and amazing college football games you need to see before you die – or at least need to watch and absorb if you’re a true fan.

Maybe you were too young to see them, or maybe you don’t really remember them, or maybe you just want to relive them. They’re the greatest games in college football history – at least the ones available – and they’re the ones you really, really need to see.

2006 Rose Bowl: Texas vs. USC

USC was the biggest show in college football – and, arguably, all of sports – in the mid-2000s with glitz, glamour, star-power, and all coming a Los Angeles market without a pro football team to focus on.

Coached by Pete Carroll, the Trojans returned to glory with a terrific 2003 season going 12-1 – the lone loss to Aaron Rodgers and Cal – but missed out on playing for the BCS Championship despite being No. 1 in the final AP rankings.

Well-motivated, USC roared through 2004 with a 13-0 season, a Heisman Trophy for Matt Leinart, and a dominant 55-19 national title win over Oklahoma. Leinart returned for 2015, along with eventual Heisman-winning RB Reggie Bush and a whole slew of All-Americans, fighting through some epic battles to get to 12-0 on the way to the Rose Bowl and the national championship, riding a 34-game winning streak.

However, Texas was on a run of its own.

Led by QB Vince Young, the Longhorns finished 2004 11-1 with a thrilling victory over Michigan in the Rose Bowl. 4th in the final Coaches Poll and 5th in the AP, Texas returned in 2005 with the pressure and hype to get back to Pasadena for the national championship, starting out ranked second in both preseason polls.

The Longhorns didn’t disappoint throughout the season, getting by a loaded Ohio State team early and roaring through the Big 12 with dominant win after dominant win to go 12-0, beating Colorado 70-3 in the Big 12 Championship.

But they were second-banana to USC in terms of national attention, and Young was second to Bush for the Heisman. This was a very surly, very disrespected-feeling Longhorn team going against a very confident, very talented group of Trojans.

USC and Texas were on a collision course that had been building for an entire year, and they managed to do the impossible- they played a historic game that was more than worthy of the hype.

Fiu’s 2006 Rose Bowl Stream-of-Consciousness Game Notes

2006 Rose Bowl: First Half

2006 Rose Bowl: Texas vs. USC