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Draft King Analysis

December 19, 2008
Lou Pickney,

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As I write this, ESPN Classic is showing what I consider to be the best college football game on this decade: USC vs. Texas. ESPN Classic doesn't air in HD (since the majority of its programming wouldn't need it), but I hope that there is an HD version of the Texas/USC Rose Bowl game (which determined the BCS Title, since that was before the BCS Title game became a stand-alone event). Something like that deserves to last forever in high definition.

David Thomas
David Thomas was a third-round draft pick in the 2006 draft. (Icon SMI)

If somehow you missed that game when it originally happened, you absolutely must hunt it down the next time it re-airs. It's amazing that, as for now, both Matt Leinart and Vince Young are in backup roles in the NFL despite both being top ten picks just three months later in the 2006 NFL Draft. But don't let that damper the fun that the 2006 Rose Bowl offers in replay form.

The volume of talent from that game that went on to play in the NFL is staggering. This is just a partial list: Vince Young, Matt Leinart, Reggie Bush, LenDale White, Limas Sweed, Michael Griffin, Keith Rivers, Sedrick Ellis, Frostee Rucker, Michael Huff, Steve Smith, Dwayne Jarrett, Justin Blalock, Cedric Griffin, Dominique Byrd, Winston Justice, David Thomas. I could go on, but I think you get the point. It was the rare game that had great build-up, a star-studded cast, and a finish (with Texas rallying from a 12-point defecit with less than seven minutes to play) which became the stuff of legend.

No one remembers this play, but Aaron Ross stopped LenDale White short of a first-down on third-and-eight when it looked like White might get the back-breaking first down (White actually fumbled after the hit, but Steve Smith recovered for USC). That in turn set up the next play, which many people do remember: Leinart handed the ball to White, the Texas defense swarmed, and White was stuffed and stopped short on fourth and one. From there Vince Young drove Texas down the field to beat the Trojans and win the BCS Title.

What's more: Keith Jackson called the game (and he is the all-time iconic voice of televised college football), and the replay shown today on ESPN Classic included a hilariously dated spot (late in the 3rd quarter) with Jackson reading a promo for the short-lived show Emily's Reasons Why Not featuring Heather Graham (Rollergirl from Boogie Nights). But that show tanked, which lead to Heather Graham and Bridget Moynahan making out in the movie Gray Matters. Why mention this? Besides obvious reasons (i.e. having an excuse to link to the clip), many people know that Moynahan has a son fathered by Patriots QB Tom Brady. It's funny how things connect sometimes.

I'm not sure whether I should praise magicJack for being smart about putting out a heavy (albeit budget-price produced) advertising campaign in front of the magicJack St. Petersburg Bowl or make fun of the name. I told a couple of friends about that as soon as I heard that another bowl game was coming to the Tampa area (where I lived for nearly five years doing TV and later radio work) and I'll let you guess what our jokes entailed. But overall the move should do wonders for magicJack product awareness, and there's something to be said for that.

My new job as in sales with Aflac has kept me very busy this week, delaying my much-needed mock draft update. My hope is to have that online by tonight. After much debate and deliberation, I'm now projecting Detroit to take a QB at the #1 spot. But what QB? Wait and see.


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