All of Oakland's players have left the practice field by now. The sprinklers are on. Leinart seems happy to sit and reminisce about the glory days, which he calls "magical." He remembers standing under center on fourth-and-nine with 1:32 remaining against Notre Dame in October 2005, the Streak on the line. He remembers the 61-yard pass to Jarrett that set up his own game-winning sneak, the controversial Bush Push. And he vividly remembers his touchdown pass to Jarrett, a year earlier in the Orange Bowl: "They brought a corner blitz, and he ran a straight go route. The safety had a bad angle, and I just chucked it."
Just chucked it, eh?
Oklahoma had a mouthy defensive end that year named Larry Birdine, who'd told reporters before the game that Leinart was "definitely overrated."
The media gasped. As USC was rolling to a 55—19 win, Trojans tight end Alex Holmes asked Birdine, on the field. "Is he still overrated?" Afterward, a football nation laughed aloud.
It sure doesn't seem as funny today.