ARLINGTON, Texas - Sophomore Terrence Moore led the men in red up the field and into the tunnel. At the locker room door, Moore yelled an obscenity, and then tried to slam his Nebraska helmet through the concrete floor.
So began a minute-long parade of Cornhuskers wrath and fury, and, well, it was a bad night to be the Nebraska locker room door here at Cowboys Stadium. The guys on the sour side of Saturday night's 13-12 Big 12 championship game were ticked off that the Texas Longhorns, and not them, were dancing on the turf. And perhaps no one fumed as much as the Pelini brothers, who weren't shy about showing the world how they felt.
"I want to see Walt Anderson right now!" Nebraska coach Bo Pelini screamed, referencing the Big 12's coordinator of football officials.
A few minutes later, peeking out to a celebrating set of Longhorns, defensive coordinator Carl Pelini said, "They ought to be ashamed to accept the trophy."
And last, Coach Bo channeled former Kansas coach Mark Mangino's thoughts about a controversial pass interference call against Texas a few years back. "The BCS!" he screamed from just inside the locker room. "That's why they made that call!"
Those thoughts will echo through Lincoln, Neb., until the end of time. Similar sentiments will dominate church foyers and sports bars Sunday in Cincinnati and Fort Worth, Texas, and probably Norman, Okla., too.
It doesn't matter much that the video replays proved that the game officials were correct, and that the Longhorns deserved that final second to attempt a winning field goal. Saturday night, fans grew a little more leery about how college football determines who plays for the national championship. Add another splattered egg to the hull of the BCS.
Here's the saving grace — at least the right team will play Alabama on Jan. 7 at Rose Bowl Stadium.
After watching Colt McCoy throw three interceptions and the Longhorns manage fewer than three yards per snap, the gut reaction is to say Texas doesn't belong. This UT couldn't beat Texas State, forget Texas Christian. Alabama? Bear Bryant's coming back to life in a Ferrari, with Darrell Royal riding shotgun, before the team in white at Cowboys Stadium rolls the Crimson Tide.
But over 13 games, Texas proved itself college football Division I-A's second-best team. Its offense spent the second half of the season proving its part, and an off night against a stacked Huskers defense shouldn't devalue those efforts. And the Longhorns' defense, which held Nebraska to 1.7 yards per play, continued to play among the nation's best.
"Twelve out of 13 games, we've played at a very high level," Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp said. "As high a level as I've been around."
Muschamp won a BCS National Championship game as LSU's coordinator in 2003, and he'll get a chance at another next month.
For Nebraska, though, this one will sting until the end of time.
By the end, Bo Pelini settled down after private huddles with athletic director Tom Osborne and Big 12 commish Dan Beebe. ("All the reports are the call was correct," said Beebe, who was on the field for the sequence and didn't immediately see a replay). They, and everyone, can find consolation in the call being correct.
And that after this strangest of nights, the deserving team will emerge Sunday as the nation's No. 2.
CFT: Johnny Manziel nearly transferred out of Texas A&M before the 2012 season after being suspended, according to reports, but he stayed after his successful appeal.
About 325 former Penn State players, among them Kerry Collins and Paul Posluszny, have signed a statement supporting the lawsuit filed by the family of former coach Joe Paterno.
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