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Mandel: Texas-Florida Would Be The Ultimate Clash

SI's Stewart Mandel weighs in on why he thinks a Texas-Florida Rose Bowl would be the granddaddy of them all.

Mark it down: On Jan. 7, 2010, the Florida Gators and Texas Longhorns will meet on a football field for the first time in nearly 70 years.

The teams' anticipated showdown in Pasadena, Calf., will be more than a battle for the BCS National Championship. It will be an epic clash between the two flagship universities from the two biggest football states in the country. It will be Urban vs. Mack, Tebow vs. McCoy, Albert vs. Bevo and jean-shorts vs. Cowboy hats.

For the most part, the article is standard fluff, but it's worth reading, if only to get a glimpse of just how incredible would be the hype should these two teams run the table and meet in Pasadena. A repeat of 2005 -- when Texas and USC ran the table at 1-2 to meet in the Rose Bowl -- is far from a sure thing, but certainly from my perspective, as a fan, it's a match up I'm absolutely craving.

Talking football over drinks in Atlanta this past weekend, Spencer Hall (of EDSBS) and I all but drooled on the bar anticipating how much fun Longhorns and Gators fans would have should the two teams get to Pasadena unscathed. And if you think the hype surrounding Matt Leinart, Reggie Bush, and USC was incredible, just wait until you see what ESPN has in store for a 12-0 Florida team for the month of December. It won't just be Shelley Smith trailing the team: it'll be Shelley Smith, Mark May, and Pedro Gomez trailing Tim Tebow in a tour bus with foreskin-cover seats.

Texas fans had better prepare themselves for the most hype-filled season in memory. The hoopla leading up to Texas-OU will be like nothing the rivalry has seen. Ditto the Heisman race. And hopefully, if we're lucky, the race to the Rose Bowl.