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24 October 2005

The Excitement

Today I woke up with the intention of scribing a journal loosely based on the amazing win Saturday that the university celebrated over Texas Tech. Also today when I woke up I was greeted by a day that said “today is your day,” because today we were given the respect we deserve in the national sports light.

It’s funny because my actual first thought upon waking was “Oh, today is Monday and the latest Bowl Championship Series results will be posted.” This is a typical thought of most sports enthusiasts, but my next thought was thick with detail: “I wonder if our average margin of victory of 25+ points against all teams will give us a decisive margin in the computer rankings over the University of Southern California thereby ranking us the number one team in the country?”

Certainly as I rolled out of my bed at 2 p.m. it was an ordinary Monday. I have that speculation every Monday, because every Monday holds the potential that maybe, just maybe it would happen. But each Monday for the past 28 poll weeks has held USC at number one. And until USC decides to lose, this trend will not pass.

I believe, however, that this year alone, with no weight of judgment from previous years, should strongly be considered the Longhorns’ year. We have dominated every game and had only one game within 20 points of victory: the Ohio State game, against the number 4 team in the country, in their house, arguably the toughest home stadium anywhere (with 103,000-plus fans). Clearly we are the team to beat, as evidenced by USC’s slowly diminishing margin of victory over the last four weeks, our team average of 13 points allowed and 45 points made, our number one rushing offense, and our Heisman Trophy candidate in team leader Vince Young. However, press writers and coaches alike prefer to have the longest winning streak to remain at number one despite all the proof, or lack thereof, of a team worthy of the position.

So my hopes and wishes weren’t that positive, just my typical thoughts.

And then I went to ESPN.com.

And then I did the twist.

Because this week, and maybe for weeks to come, WE’RE NUMBER ONE!

Now don’t get me wrong. The press writers and the coaches do still have us at number two. But for these reasons alone do I continue to support the BCS for its use of computers. Computers are the neutral judges that weigh a team’s value on everything but its hype; each of five different computers uses a system that evaluates a team on all statistical possibilities and categories and thereby ranks all teams. The computer average is totaled and is one-third of the BCS formula, joining the Harris Research and USA Today polls to give us the Bowl Championship Series, which determines the teams that will play for a national title. Without the computers, I believe too many times a team would be voted for on hype and sentiment from the voter. And until there are playoffs, computers are the only sound sources of judgment. But don’t get me started on the playoffs. That will not and cannot ever come to fruition.

But we set an attendance record on Saturday for Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. It felt good to win against a top-ranked, in-state opponent by such a commanding score. My voice still hasn’t returned.

And if by chance you were watching the telecast on any number of stations, you may have caught the kid in the band holding the giant seven-foot-tall rose in the stands. That was me, and I had something to declare.

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