On the forty-second page of “Echoes of Texas Football: The Gretest Stories Ever Told” author Ken Samelson wrote (emphasis added):
Texas had no time to weep for USC. This was too new for the 'Horns even to consider next season. The Longhorns hadn't wont a national championship since 1970.
That's years of woulda-shoulda-couldas served with two scoops of "wait till next year"—enough to turn the stomach of any Texas-loving fan who could recite the pain and suffering the past 35 years had wrought:
- The 1984 Cotton Bowl meltdown against Georgia.
- The 2001 Big 12 title game flop against Colorado.
- The Oklahoma losses under Mack Brown. Pick one.
- The John Mackovic era. And David McWilliams. Ugh.
But this night wasn't about the past. And it wasn't about next year, when Young will be in the NFL. This night was all about the here and now and a national title for Texas. In 1970, the Longhorns shared the title and finished with a blemish when they lost in the Cotton Bowl to Notre Dame. Page back to 1969 to find the last time the Longhorns finished unbeaten and on top of the college football world. In an interesting twist, that Texas team was the last all-white squad to win a national championship. Thirty-six years later, a black quarterback was the centerpiece of the program's return to the pinnacle.
Everyone wanted a piece of that action on this chilly California night. Actor and Texas alum Matthew McConaughey behaved like a freshman at a fraternity party. He leaped, yelled, hugged, and hollered. No one heard him, but everyone saw him. A giant Texas player waved a giant Texas flag. People cried on the 35-yard line. Cheerleaders ran in delight—and in fear of being trampled by the horde that hounded Young. Surely, this must have been what it was like for Elvis.
Young wasn't ready to leave the building, but he needed sanctuary in the locker room to digest it all. Had Texas just pulled off a title game upset that ranks with Miami's toppling of Nebraska in the 1984 Orange Bowl, Penn State's tripping Miami in the 1987 Fiesta Bowl, and Ohio State's takedown of Miami in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl? No doubt. And even better: Young outplayed Leinart, his more ballyhooed and beloved counterpart.
But there's no rivalry between the two. Before Leinart limped away from the Texas locker room for another lonely stroll, Young grabbed him. They said the usual nicey-nice stuff winners and losers chat about while wearing dirty uniforms in half-lit hallways. But before Leinart left, Young grabbed paper and a pencil. He wanted to get Leinart's cell phone number.