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2004 Season Review: Part 3 of 3 - The Rose Bowl Against Michigan

Brian, you may want to skip this post.

You know, I distinctly recall reading Brian?s Rose Bowl eulogy, which he opened with this unforgettable line: "Ok. After some deliberation I have decided to not kill myself. So let's talk about the Rose Bowl."

What kept Brian from stepping off the ledge was a begrudging acceptance that Michigan had been Vince Younged. What do you do when a guy plays like an otherworldly superhero? Michigan almost won anyway ? Vince just got the ball last and Mangum made the winning field goal.

During the 2004 season, ?Vince Young, Talent Extraordinaire? developed into ?Vince Young, Dominant Player.? But it wasn?t until Cedric Benson went down with an injury in the Rose Bowl that he became, ?Vince Young, Indomitable Manimal.? This last creature is the one that carried Texas to the 2005 national title.

Sometimes, a picture?s worth a thousand words, and worry not, the Rose Bowl highlights are worth a thousand words and more. But there are times, too, when just a handful of words capture everything perfectly. Michigan blogger Johnny wrote an unforgettable post in February of this year about how he?d like to remember Vince Young:

In a way, the more he [dominated the Rose Bowl] the more confident I became, because the latest disabling of my hopes only meant Michigan was that much closer to finally figuring him out. I thought to myself, you roll a die with nine sides that say "yes" and one that says "no," every yes just meant a no was that much more imminent. He was supposed to be denied, solved, tackled, Vince was supposed to roll a no against Michigan. I knew probability, but the problem was I didn?t know Vince Young. It turned out the only side he rolled was "yes", and it was the kind of yes that?s about 101% certain to rip your guts through your chest and probably break a few ribs in the process. He never did anything discretely, never defeated you with a surgeon?s care or premeditated diagram, and no one ever seemed to expect otherwise. But Michigan, Southern Cal ? my damn ten-sided theoretical die ? they still couldn?t stop him. My uncle was there with me in Pasadena, and every time Vince would make a play he?d lean over to me, "Un-friggin-believable; how does he keep doing it?" he?d say. And I think that?s really the best way to measure how good someone is at something, how often they redefine what you thought was impossible?

Because you see, there?s only one way I want to know Vince: Crushed kettle corn beneath my feet, uncle shouting incredulously in my ear, and not one in 93 thousand who have any idea if "impossible" even exists.

I will now shut up so as not to spoil Johnny's beautiful passage. Enjoy the highlights.

2004 Season Review Part 1, Part 2

Looking back: 1998 Review, 1999 Review, 2000 Review, 2001 (Part 1 of 3), 2001 (Part 2 of 3), 2001 (Part 3 of 3), 2002 Review, 2003 Review

Mack Brown's Record Against Oklahoma: 2-5

Mack Brown's Record In Bowl Games: 4-3