I cannot decide who I think will win this thing. Every time I lean one way, I end up reversing back to the other. On the one hand, USC has all of the offensive weapons, they have been there before and they have the better head coach. On the other hand, Texas is also loaded with talent, has a playmaking QB, is very very hungry, and seemingly has a better defense that USC.
It is almost impossible to knock either of these teams with a combined winning streak of 53 games. But, let's do it anyway. USC has been annointed by ESPN and many others as the best ever, which couold be a kiss of death. The over-fellation (and you thought there was no such thing!) of USC has got to be a motivating factor for Texas. USC has allowed too many points to too many teams this year for me to feel certain that they will win tonight.
Texas, on the other hand, has had a habit of losing the biggest games until this year. So, do they have it in them to get it done in this, the biggest game in decades for the Longhorns? I worry about the Mack Brown factor - which is that he is a great recruiter but not a great game strategist. Well, he certainly has a shit-ton of talent and this year they have looked like just as much of a juggernaut as the Trojans.
Here are two completely unreliable reasons to pick the Longhorns (based on the associative property which rarely applies to college football):
1. Oklahoma beat Oregon in the Holiday Bowl. So the 3rd best team from the Big 12 beat the 2nd best team in the Pac 10. Almost useless information at this point.
2. Ohio State handled Notre Dame fairly soundly in the Fiesta Bowl. So the theory goes ... USC's squeaker against Notre Dame looks less impressive than Texas's squeaker against Ohio State. Those games took place months ago, well before the hyper-fellation (something else you did not know existed!) of USC and the two basketball scores posted by UT and USC in their last games.
Here is another completely unreliable reason to pick the Longhorns over USC. Both schools have notoriously beautiful chicks, but UT has more of them due to the sheer number of students. I just got off of the phone with a Navy buddy, Taylor Bennett from Eufala, Alabama, who got an MBA at USC and lives in Manhattan Beach and is now a committed Trojan fan who was tailgating at the Rose Bowl 3 hours before kickoff. He reports that there is as much silicon in Texas as California and that the UT women are looking great. I heard several Holy Sh#@'s in a matter of 10 minutes.
The Trojans are favored by 7 or 7.5 and I feel comfortable picking the Horns against that line. But I can't get a handle on who I think will actually win the game, but I am confident that it will be within 3-4 points.
The Trojans have Reggie Bush. We love Bush. Bush rises to the occasion on every occasion. Whenever the team needed a highlight huge game-changing play, Bush delivered. There is no reason to expect that anyone can stop Bush, so he will make some plays tonight. Matt Leinart is so seasoned and has so many players around him, that there is no doubt that he will have a very good game. Some say that Vince Young can be prone to making a few turnovers. If he does, it will cost Texas in a game that I think they have a razor-thin margin for error.
The Carroll vs Brown matchup clearly goes to Carroll and USC. But, Texas has great assistants and USC is without Norm Chow this year. So far it looks like they have been fine without Norm calling the plays, but could this be the game that the absence of Norm is finally felt?
The Texas defense has posted better numbers than the USC defense. That keeps stirring in the recesses of my brain as important. Still, stopping USC is impossible, but slowing them down just enough to outscore them by a point may be possible with a defense that is good enough. Is Texas good enough?
Okay, time to make a pick. I am feeling Texas in a true epic championship game for the ages. If for no other reason, I think that they are hungrier, they should be focused like a laser beam to prove that they can win the biggest game of all and they have beautiful long-legged women who speak southern and know how to dress pretty.
Texas 37 - USC 34.