NEW ORLEANS — From the Texas Longhorns, happy New Year's Eve -- or, perhaps more appropriately -- Happy Sugar Bowl Eve.
Dec. 31 began with a viewing of the prize to the victor of Tuesday night's Sugar Bowl. It will either head to Austin, Texas or Athens, Georgia.
Texas is a double-digit underdog, picked to lose to fifth-ranked Georgia by two touchdowns. But, don't tell that to the Longhorns or their second year head coach, Tom Herman.
"I think we understand that our best is good enough, that if we play our best, we can play with and/or beat any team in the country," said Herman. "And now we're going to have to play our best. We're certainly not good enough to show up with our B game and expect to beat a team like Georgia. We're going to need our A game. "
The day before a bowl game is traditionally a day in which both team's head coaches pose for pictures with each other along with the trophy. That is followed with a handshake and a hug.
Herman and UGA head coach, Kirby Smart, did both.
During Herman's interview session, the Texas head coach elaborated on his respect for Smart and the program at Georgia. But Herman also eluded to a moment he and the Longhorn captains experienced at a local children's hospital when asked about what he's learned the most in his young career as a head coach.
"I think the most important thing is ‑‑ when we walked by, we saw a picture of a physician and a quote. And he said, 'Don't ever forget that you're treating people. You're not treating diseases but people,'" said Herman. "And I sent it to our assistant coaches and wanted to remind them: don't ever forget, no matter what game we're playing in, no matter who the opponent is, no matter what the circumstances are, we're coaching people and young men. And we're not coaching defenses. We're not coaching plays. We're not coaching blitzes. We're coaching people. And I think as long as you keep that in the forefront of your mind, then you kind of learn as you go."
A valuable moment.
Later today, weather permitting, the Sugar Bowl parade and a Longhorn pep rally will unfold in New Orleans.
Kickoff for the Sugar Bowl is at 7:45 p.m. at the Superdome. You can watch it on ESPN.