If you had read my BCS bowl picks from last week, you would be scoffing at those headlines today proclaiming that Texas “stunned” USC for the national championship (for the record, I was dead on in my Rose, Fiesta, and Orange Bowl predictions while West Virginia screwed me on the Sugar).
There were two things that actually were stunning, however. First, this year’s Rose Bowl managed to live up to the ridiculous hype. The momentum shifting between the teams on every other possession in the second half, the major stars making huge plays, the winning score coming with 19 seconds… this was instant ESPN Classic material!
Second, and obvious to anyone who watched this game, was the complete and utter dominance of Vince Young. I personally have never, ever seen an individual take over a football game at any level, college or pro, the way Young did last night. 30 for 40 on passing plus rushing for 200 yards??? 3 rushing touchdowns and breaking at least 5000 tackles??? Basically, if you combined the two-headed Trojan monster of Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart into a mighty morphin football player, you would get Vince Young. This was more reminiscent of the way Michael Jordan and Larry Bird would completely take over basketball games on all ends of the floor than comparisons to past football greats – guys just don’t single-handedly do things like that in football if only because of the nature of the sport. But Vince Young rose to that level last night to give Bevo and his friends a national championship.
Here are some great insights on the game from around the web:
1) The Sports Guy’s Running Diary – Brilliant and hilarious as always, from the “Coach Fredo” references to aptly noting (as my wife and I enjoyed last night) how Keith Jackson pronounced John Stamos’ name.
2) Michael Wilbon – The South Side’s PTI rep points out appropriate comparisons regarding Reggie Bush, Vince Young, and Texas coach Mack Brown.
3) Len Pasquarelli – Will Vince Young really pull a Matt Leinart and return for his senior season even though his NFL draft stock is at its peak? It looks like the answer is yes for now.
4) Rose Bowl Celebs – The L.A. Times shows the specific seat numbers of a number of celebrity attendees of last night’s games. By the way, after seeing that Rodney Peete was considered “great” enough to stand along side former USC alums Marcus Allen and Ronnie Lott on the sidelines, O.J. must have really taken it personally. I mean, it’s one thing to hold that whole murder thing against him, but inviting Rodney Peete? Yikes!
Anyway, this was a national championship game for the ages. I’ll be back after tonight’s huge Illinois – Michigan State Big Ten opener. Go Illini!