California, Here We Are!

One week and counting! The No. 2 Texas Longhorns arrived Wednesday in Los Angeles to prepare for the program's most significant ballgame in 35 years.

"It's not just a normal bowl game," Texas coach Mack Brown said. "How many times in your life do you get to be 12-0 and play for a national championship? The guys understand that it's big, but they also want to have a good time."

The good times include an afternoon at Disney's California Adventure, a Hollywood bowl (as in, gutter balls and pins) plus the traditional consumption of mass quantities of beef (Lawry's Beef Bowl).

Yet, despite the fact that USC is playing for its third straight national title in its own backyard, Texas is also bringing a been-there, done-that attitude to the BCS National Championship. Brown has observed, on numerous occasions, the benefits of the team staying in the same hotel and going through the same bowl-week preparation as last year when Texas posted a thrilling 38-37 win over Michigan.

That's part of the reason why TE David Thomas says this a business trip. And that's why DE Tim Crowder says he intends to get more sleep this time around. FS Michael Griffin said he just hopes it doesn't rain. QB Vince Young said the game plan has been in place since mid-December and it's time now to execute.

Last year, the initial reaction from Rose Bowl officials was lukewarm to Texas' last-hour entrance into the Rose Bowl. The top brass in Pasadena candidly admitted their preference for the traditional matchup pitting teams from the PAC-10 and Big 10. But this year...

"The Rose Bowl people are just giddy about this matchup," Brown said. "You've got the past two Rose Bowl champions, which is very unusual. I don't how many times you've had No. 1 against No. 2 when both were undefeated. The three guys who were in New York for the Heisman are in this game, and the last two Heisman Trophy winners are in this game. That's hard to believe. The most interesting thing is both teams are scoring 50 points per game. It's unheard of. It's the matchup that everybody's wanted since last year, and how unusual it is that this thing is coming to fruition. The two teams have the responsibility to see to it that the game is as good as the buildup."

[Editor's note: IT's Bill Frisbie also arrived in Los Angeles Wednesday and will be reporting on UT's Rose Bowl preparations here on through the game on Jan. 4.]

The following is Texas' bowl week itinerary (all times PST):


Team reports to Century City Plaza hotel


9:15 a.m. Practice at Home Depot Center (Carson, California)

2:00 p.m. Team Day at Disney's California Adventure (Anaheim)


8:00 a.m. Mack Brown Press Conference (Beverly Hills)

9:15 a.m. Practice at Home Depot Center

4:30 p.m. Lawry's Beef Bowl

A Rose Bowl tradition. The local legend is that the team consuming the most prime rib goes on to win the Granddaddy of Them All.


8:00 a.m. Press Conference with offensive players, Offensive Coordinator Greg Davis (Beverly Hills)

9:15 a.m. Practice at Home Depot Center


8:00 a.m. Press Conference with defensive players, Co-Defensive Coordinator Gene Chizik

9:15 a.m. Practice at Home Depot Center

5:00 p.m. Bowling at the Lucky Strike (Hollywood)


8:30 a.m. Practice at Home Depot Center

10:30 a.m. Media Day at Home Depot Center


8:00 a.m. Head Coaches Press Conference (Beverly Hills)

10:30 a.m. Walk-through at the Rose Bowl/Team Photo (Pasadena)

12 p.m. Kickoff Luncheon at the Rose Bowl

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