"What am I supposed to say? I'll have 122 sets of eyes looking at me, an entire staff looking at me tomorrow afternoon at about 2 p.m., wanting me to put some sense into how important this game is. I want you focused, I want you tough, I want you ready to play, but I want you to have fun, which gets really contradictory when they're looking at you. 'Is it important, Coach?' Yeah, it's the national championship. You're the best at what you do in the country, and you've got three-and-a-half hours to prove it. You want to respect Alabama, but you don't want to have your team where they're not sure that they think you think they can, because they have to know myself and our coaches think we can win.
"So all of those things go through your mind."
Few coaches win the games and the press conferences. Brown did both for a very long time.
He closed his answer by recalling a moment on the Rose Bowl field four years earlier, before the game against USC.
"Looking down at the SC logo and seeing the horse and the band and all the good stuff about SC that all of us grew up with, and I saw Pete [Carroll] and talked to him for a while, and I was standing there, and Greg Davis, the [Texas] offensive coordinator came up, and I thought, 'My gosh, they've got a great-looking football team. Look at those guys.'
"He just patted me on the shoulder and he said, 'Well, turn around. Yours looks pretty good, too.' I thought that was pretty good. I'm not sure that we ever give ourselves enough credit. We've got a good team, too."
That night would be the pinnacle of Brown's career. That he reached that pinnacle eight years ago is the reason that Texas is ready to move on. He surely would prefer to continue coaching. Brown may have resigned, but like so many great coaches before him, he didn't get to choose when to make an exit.