Texas unanimous No. 1 pick

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 3, 2006

The Associated Press

PASADENA, Calif. — All season long, the No. 1 ranking belonged to Southern California — before Texas swiped it away at the end.

The Longhorns finished first, a unanimous choice, in The Associated Press Top 25 for the first time since 1969 after beating the Trojans 41-38 in the Rose Bowl on Wednesday night.

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Not only did Texas end USC’s 34-game winning streak, the Longhorns snapped USC’s record string of 33 consecutive polls as No. 1.

Texas opened the season No. 2 behind USC and coach Mack Brown and his players never grumbled about being stuck behind the two-time defending national champions.

The Longhorns were fine with waiting for a chance to prove they were the best on the field — and they did.

Vince Young ran and passed for 467 yards and scrambled 8 yards for the winning score with 19 seconds left for Texas (13-0).

‘‘It’s incredible,’’ Texas tackle Justine Blalock said. ‘‘It’s been a long time coming for the state of Texas.’’

The Longhorns received all 65 first-place votes.

USC was second, ahead of Joe Paterno and Penn State, which had its highest final ranking since finishing No. 2 in 1994.

Ohio State was fourth and West Virginia finished fifth.

LSU, Virginia Tech, Alabama, Notre Dame and Georgia rounded out the top 10.