Buckeyes blow itAndrea Adelson, Orlando Sentinel
Let's be honest, the last three BCS national championship games have turned into busts. No Miami- Ohio State excitement, no USC-Texas thriller. You can blame Ohio State, which failed to show up in two of the games.
In Ohio State's BCS game against Florida in 2007, the Buckeyes were the favorites and then forgot to actually play the game. What sticks out most was not the freshman Tim Tebow or the senior Chris Leak leading the Gators to the win, but Ted Ginn Jr. getting injured celebrating his opening kickoff return for a touchdown and Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith repeatedly getting pummeled to the turf. The Gators defense was tenacious and swarming and turned in the best performance of any unit in a BCS championship game.
Nightmare for writersTeddy Greenstein, Chicago Tribune
The morning after the greatest college football game I'll ever witness, Texas coach Mack Brown spoke about how his life had changed. It was 6 in the morning when his wife, Sally, woke him with the news that President Bush was on the phone. Would he take the call, she asked him. "I think so," Brown replied.
I'd like to report that Texas' stunning victory in the 2006 Rose Bowl actually supplied my favorite memory, but the truth is that the game was a nightmare for writers on deadline. After USC took a 12-point lead with less than seven minutes to play, we scrambled to find synonyms for the word "dynasty" to describe a team about to win its 35th consecutive game.
But Vince Young had other ideas. He ran for 200 yards and passed for 267 to lead Texas to a national title. And, like Brown, his life changed forever.
Rewriting historyChris Dufresne, Los Angeles Times
I'll never forget the last time the Rose Bowl hosted the national title game: Jan. 4, 2006. USC vs. Texas. The game was terrific, even if you were pulling for USC. There was a point when USC took a 31-23 lead with 11:19 left. I focused my binoculars on the Texas sideline and quarterback Vince Young. He was hopping back and forth on his feet, like a heavyweight fighter who was behind on points but knew he had one more round left. I started typing a USC dynasty story. A few minutes later, after Texas held USC on fourth and two, giving the ball back to Young with a chance to win, I knew I was going to have to start over from scratch.
Young scored in the final seconds, and Texas won 41-38. One other thing I remember: The story I wrote with USC winning - the one no one ever saw - was much better.
A dynasty halted Paul Doyle, Hartford Courant
The moment Vince Young crossed the goal line with 19 seconds remaining, it was etched in history. The 2006 Rose Bowl was a game for the ages. Four years later, nothing has diminished the Texas victory over Southern Cal. It remains the best title game of the BCS era, and Young's performance was historic.
As the Longhorns ended the Trojans' 34-game winning streak - and halted a dynasty - Young was magnificent (267 yards passing, 200 yards rushing and three touchdowns). But it was his end-of-the-game gallop that stands out from the 41-38 win.
Young drove Texas for two scores in the last 7 minutes, the second on an 8-yard run on fourth down to give the Longhorns a one-point lead. It's hard to imagine another title game matching the Texas-USC battle for pure drama. And we're certain we'll never see another performance like Young's.