until Texas vs Kansas

Monday, January 3


Texas 38 Michigan 37

The Texas defense had no answer for Braylon Edwards, Chad Henne or Steve Breaston, but fortunately for the Horns they had Vince Young. And the ball last. Texas rode the amazing legs of Young to a 38-37 victory over Michigan in the Longhorns first-ever Rose Bowl appearance and quelled any remaining doubts about whether or not they belonged in the game.

I’ve heard more than one person suggest that Texas would be best served with Young at wideout and someone else making the passes. After watching this game, I don’t know how that position is still tenable. I’ve been critical of Young’s passing before, and I still think he’s a below-average passer and his future in the NFL is at wide receiver (a la Hines Ward). Nevertheless, at the college level, I don’t know why you wouldn’t want this guy to touch the ball on every play. He may not beat you with a 300-yard passing performance, but he is a threat to score on every play, no matter where he is on the field.

Over in the NFL, people are equally critical of Michael Vick because he doesn’t throw like Peyton Manning. I’ve been equally skeptical, and it’s especially tempting because on some days Vick is just awful and the Falcons lose in the worst fashion. But the fact is that his unique athletic ability makes him the most dangerous player on the field every time he touches the ball. Defenses have to scheme specifically for the kind of threat he poses and even then, there’s only so much they can do. Vick may not be a great passer, but he’s a great player. It just so happens that it makes the most sense to play him at a position where most guys are immobile passing mechanics. That’s not his game, but it doesn’t mean we should think less of him. Quick: who’s the only player to quarterback his team to a playoff win at Lambeau Field? Yeah, Vick.

It’s time to say farewell to two Longhorns who will be remembered for a long time: Derrick Johnson and Cedric Benson. Vince Young stole the show in Pasadena, but the 2004 season belonged to these two stellar seniors. Without either of them, Texas never would have made it to the Rose Bowl.

Congratulations also go to Mack Brown for winning a big game. Michigan (nor any team in the Big 10, really) wasn’t a powerhouse this year, but this was undeniably a big game on a big stage against a strong opponent. I thought the offensive game plan for Michigan was pretty strong—keep Michigan’s mind on Benson while using Young’s athleticism in the open field. Brown was quoted in the LA Times in mid-December of saying that special teams worried him the most and that was indeed Texas’ biggest problem. The defense gave up 37 points, but part of that was the fact that Michigan was starting from midfield every possession. Congratulations to Brown on an 11-1 season and a BCS win. It really was a big victory for the Texas program.

And lastly, to all the Cal fans: fuck off.

If OU routs USC, like Tech did Cal, then I don't think that West Coast sports writers should get to vote in next year's polls. They are clearly bias, blind, and/or retarded.
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