If there is one lesson that needs to be learned by the national pundits after Texas’ “shocking” win over Southern California in the Rose Bowl, it is this:
No one knows anything.
The back-to-back Heisman Trophy winners couldn’t save the Trojans Wednesday night, and in some ways hindered them.
Reggie Bush inexplicably tried to lateral a ball, and the result was a turnover. Matt Leinart held the ball too long on the game’s last play, eliminating any chance of a field goal to tie the game.
OK, to criticize Leinart and Bush after their seasons is unfair. Both are tremendous players. But neither have divine capabilities, something that may have been lost after all the USC hype.
Some called the Trojans the best team in college football history, a topic sports reporters still debate as if a definitive answer is coming and being right on the topic is vital.
This game will not be a wake up call to those who push players and teams as if they cannot be beaten. A true wake up call came three years ago when Ohio State not only played with, but beat Miami. The Buckeyes couldn’t stop the hype then, and I doubt the Longhorns will stop it now.
Besides, Texas has a date with the hype machine.
* Leinart said after the game that he believed USC was the better team. I remember Cleveland second baseman Carlos Baerga saying something similar after the Indians lost the World Series in 1995 to the Braves. Actually, you hear the “even though we lost, we’re a better team” statement quite a bit. In some ways, I imagine it’s a way for players (and fans) to cope with a loss after they had been so certain of victory.
Baerga was wrong 10 years ago, and Leinart is wrong now. To say otherwise is to defeat the whole purpose of sports. Sports are played not on a computer, and not decided by player statistics. They are decided on the field.
The Indians had a chance to prove they were a better team in 1995, but lost in six games. USC had the chance to prove they were better, and lost.
* Pete Carroll has never really been my favorite coach. It started a few years ago when he allowed O.J. Simpson on the field during a USC practice. Then we saw footage of O.J. shaking hands with the players. Most of the Trojans looked like they had just met Santa Claus.
Nonetheless, I give Carroll credit for being gracious in the loss. He looked so unaffected while being interviewed that I had to wonder if he ever gets upset about anything not involving college officials.Powered by Sidelines