Tower lit orange as UT students celebrate title

Updated: January 5, 2006, 2:10 AM ET
Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas -- Euphoric Texas students and fans spilled onto the streets of Austin and made their way to a campus celebration to revel in the Longhorns' national title and come-from-behind Rose Bowl victory late Wednesday night.

Seconds after Texas beat Southern California 41-38, the university lit the UT tower orange, the traditional signal of victory on the campus.

"This is the best thing that ever happened to Austin," said 21-year-old junior Robert Schneider. "This is the best that ever happened to me."

A fan dressed up as Longhorn mascot Bevo ran down Guadalupe Street, the main drag along campus. Police closed the street to make way for thousands of flag-waving and hand-slapping fans.

Fans shouted chants of "Who's Reggie Bush?" and "Vince Young for President," references to USC's Heisman Trophy winning running back and Texas' quarterback.

Police were out in numbers but had no problems in the immediate aftermath of the game.

"We're going to let them have their fun," said Austin police Lt. Darrell Boydston. "But we're prepared for the worst."

Students also made a run to the University Co-op, a book and supplies store, to buy T-shirts. The Co-op had 12,000 championship T-shirts on hand, which would have been destroyed if Texas lost.

Many of the students migrated onto the campus to gather at the base of the University tower. Once there they began singing "The Eyes of Texas," the school's alma mater. Then they broke into crowd surfing and chants of "Let's go Texas." Many posed on the steps for pictures with the bright orange tower as a backdrop.

Police watched unobtrusively from the street as the fans celebrated.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press