until Texas vs Kansas

Monday, September 12


Travis's Take: The Biggest Win Ever

Saturday was the biggest UT win I have ever seen.

Never in my life have I been so happy to be so wrong. I didn’t think we had it in us. But my skepticism was not unique.

I was born in 1980 in Austin. From preschool to college, all of my education took place there. After graduating from Austin High, I did what seemed only natural and went to college at UT. I am a Longhorn, like many of you.

And for as long as I have been walking this Earth, Texas has not one of the big boys. In recent years, we grew, but not to the level where the true giants of college football live. Not to where Florida State of the 1990s, Miami of the turn of the century, and even Oklahoma of the past few years were.

Thoughts of actually winning the national title seemed just too far away. Not anymore.

The Rose Bowl victory over Michigan was great because it was a glimpse of what we could become. We won a great game by any definition of great. We overcame a deficit on a national stage. It was a coming out party for Vince Young and our program.

But coming out parties happen for people what aren’t there yet. Saturday was a whole different animal. It was a litmus test for where we really are. It was a measuring stick, and we passed.

We’re there now. Mack Brown and company made me into a believer, and that says a lot. Those who have the closest view of a situation are the hardest converts. Good PR/spin can make someone who doesn’t know the whole story believe, but the hardliners are more skeptical.

Now, there is concrete evidence. We can do it, because we have. In this era of media hype and “game of the year” every week, when there really is a game as big as Texas-Ohio State, the hype is pushed into the stratosphere. Everyone in the country (who likes football) watched that game, and we won. No lucky plays, no bad calls. We beat them, and now everyone knows that we win any game we are in.

The fruits of this win will come for years. Go back to when you were between 10 and 15 years old and you watched those big games. The Florida schools earned a generation of fans from their performances in big games on national television. Today there are eighth-graders all over the country talking about how awesome our game Saturday was. Little kids are pretending to be Vince Young. Others are mimicking the Limas Sweed bobbling catch in the streets the same way we practiced the Christian Laettner shot to beat Kentucky. I know I am not the only one with that photo of Limas’ catch set now as my desktop’s background.

Of course the win is big for the obvious reason that it allows us to remain undefeated in 2005 and get closer to playing in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 4 2006. (I’ll be there if Texas is.) But the unseen benefits will be felt for years to come. There were some of those after the win against Michigan in the Rose Bowl last year, but this is different. This is bigger. I’ll go so far as to say that even if Texas runs the table and wins the national championship this season, the joy of seeing such an accomplishment will not exceed the sheer euphoria I experienced on Saturday night.

Today is a good day to be a Texas Longhorn. I am receiving congratulatory handshakes from co-workers, when in the past there were jokes about screwing the pooch in big games. Charlie Brown just kicked a 50-yard field goal that split the uprights.

Travis Richmond is a regular contributor to All Things Longhorn. You can read more of Travis's thoughts on his blog here.

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