Morning After Just As Rosey!

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- Life may never be the same for Texas coach Mack Brown. That message became as crystal clear as the BCS National Championship Trophy that his Longhorns earned just hours earlier when his phone rang at the crack of dawn Thursday.

"You know your life is different when the first call you get this morning is President Bush at six o'clock," Brown said. "(My wife) Sally asked if I was awake and wanted to take it."

Texas' most high-profile fan called to offer what has been an endless stream of congratulations for the Rose Bowl victors as well as to make arrangements to bring the 2005 national champs to the White House later this spring. In the meantime, all that remained for Brown and his undefeated squad was to officially accept all (yes, all) the coveted hardware representing college football's national championship: the BCS Trophy, the Associated Press Trophy, the Football Writers Association of America Trophy and the McArthur Trophy. Vince Young, Michael Huff, David Thomas, Darrell Royal and DeLoss Dodds took turns posing with Brown behind each symbol of the top team in all of college football at a standing-room-only press conference in Beverly Hills. The presentation came just hours after the second true national championship game in Longhorn history and an instant-classic of a riveting title game that rivals any in the 92-year history of the Rose Bowl.

"I thought the game was better than the hype," said Brown, who mentioned that he was 18 years old the last time Texas won it all.

They call it the mythical national championship, but following a regular season that essentially functioned as a 13-week playoff, the Horns left no doubt regarding the identity of the 2005 national champ.

"The guys who wore the Burnt Orange last night will be champions for the rest of their lives," Brown added, "and there are so few people who get in this ballgame as coaches or players and fewer win it. There may be a state and a university that can enjoy winning a national championship as much as Texas, but let me assure that there isn't one that can enjoy it more."

Few enjoyed this one more than Texas QB Vince Young, whose impact is as transcendent as you will ever find during sixty minutes of football. The two-time Rose Bowl MVP set a new Rose Bowl record for total offense with 467 yards (200 rushing, 267 passing) as well as a Rose Bowl career record for total offense in two games (839 yards). Behind Young, Texas set a new Rose Bowl record for highest average gain per rush (8.03) that had stood since 1959.

Young said he spent a quiet evening with family members and enjoying the moment with teammates.

"There was a lot of prayer because this is a blessed moment just to be in that position," Young said, "not just for me but for my teammates, coaches, the coaches' wives, and the fans. This is real beautiful. It's been a long time since The University of Texas has done the thing that we did."

Young is such an unusually competitive person that he was upset that Texas settled for a 34-yard FG while trailing midway through the fourth quarter.

"He didn't speak to me when we kicked the field goal," Brown laughed. "I didn't think he would ever speak to me again, I had to go over to him and suck up. Nobody is better in the country when the game is on the line than Vince Young. I was just afraid he was going to score too fast. Nineteen seconds remaining was a stretch for me."

Prior to kickoff, most pigskin pundits announced that the Trojan offense was the all-time greatest in college football.

"You start by trying to stop the run," Brown said, "and we did a decent job of keeping Reggie (Bush) in check. He hurt us on a couple of screens and draws, then LenDale White hurts you because you're so focused on the guy who won Heisman who is a human highlight reel that White and that offensive line comes right at you where Reggie runs from side to side."

The 92nd Rose was "officially a shootout" in the third quarter, Brown said, when both offenses proved unstoppable. That's why he was convinced that the first team to make a defensive stop in the final frame would win the national title. It came down to a history-making 4th-and-2 defensive stand at their own 45 and little more than two minutes remaining.

"If they make that first down, they win the game," Brown said.

As the Texas defense huddled and a Burnt Orange nation waited breathlessly, Huff quickly recalled the grueling summer workouts that began on a volunteer basis six months ago.

"We've been through so much, we weren't going to let 4th-and-2 stop us," Huff said. "I think that play came down to heart, we were both tired, I guess we had more heart than they did."

Despite the rich, long history of the PAC-10 and Big Ten affiliation with the Granddaddy of Them All, you will not find another team that has won more than two straight in Pasadena. Not one.

And, in a couple of weeks, Texans will be reminded of it with every trip to the grocery store: the Horns will be featured on the box cover of Wheaties cereal. But, on a sunsplashed morning in Beverly Hills, the Horns were truly the breakfast of champions.

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