The Texas Longhorns-USC Trojans 2006 Rose Bowl was one for the ages.
Not only was there (mostly short-lived) NFL talent all over the field that night, there was everything else that makes a historic college game: No. 1 vs. No. 2, the Heisman winner (later vacated) and drama. Lots and lots of drama.
Additionally, there was premier sportsmanship.
The Longhorns under Mack Brown won the game to stun the Trojans, in a game that is still being played on ESPN Classics.
In a featured article by SB Nation’s Alex Kirshner and Richard Johnson, Texas’ then-head coach had a few visitors outside the locker room following the win: USC running back Reggie Bush and quarterback Matt Leinart.
“When we got in the dressing room and I was getting ready to address the team, someone said, ‘There’s two guys at the door that wanna see ya.’ And I went to the door and it was Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush. Both of them were saying, ‘Coach, we didn’t see ya on the field, and we wanted to congratulate you, ‘cause your team played great, and you’ve got a great team, and we didn’t wanna leave this stadium tonight without running you down.’ And I thought that was really, really classy.”
The USC-Texas hype is back as the two clubs square off on Saturday night. The Trojans are 2-0 and hinge on quarterback Sam Darnold, a potential top-5 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Texas, 1-1 on the season, is in its first year under new head coach Tom Herman.