If Texas required a blowout win over a two-loss Ohio State to stake a claim for the AP’s version of the national title, perhaps Monday’s 24-21 come from behind Fiesta Bowl victory won’t be nearly enough. But poll considerations aside, this was every bit as fantastic a game as either of the other 2 BCS victories during Mack Brown’s tenure, and one that burnishes the clutch reputation of Colt McCoy (41-59, two TD’s, one INT, a career high 414 yards) every bit as much as Vince Young’s Rose Bowl triumphs. With all due respect to John Elway and Bernie Kosar, the Longhorns’ game-winning, 78 play Drive ™ that began with 2:05 remaining was the sort we’ll be talking about for years — especially the blown tackle on Quan Cosby that cost the Buckeyes the game.
Even for the neutrals gathered around the Jackalope’s big screens tonight, there was much to marvel at. Though OSU’s Terrell Pryor struggled with Texas’ pass defense, the freshman was a game breaking threat every time he carried the ball. The Buckeyes controlled the line of scrimmage for much of the night on either side of the ball, and had to figure that holding Texas to minus 9 yards rushing in the first half would’ve earned more than a 3 point advantage at intermission. The Longhorns were ridiculously fortunate not to trail by double digits at halftime (though to be fair, an ill-advised McCoy toss to Cosby in the waning moments of the first half— intercepted by the Buckeyes’ Anderson Russell — cost Texas at least 3 points).
Though tonght’s tilt might ultimately have no bearing on the national championship, Oklahoma and Florida will have to produce a thriller on the biggest stage to top this one. A bigger thriller than this, anyway.