The Alamo Bowl announcement Sunday night took place at a restaurant in San Antonio packed with bowl sponsors and local college football fans.
When Oregon and Texas were officially named as teams for the Dec. 30 Pac-12 vs. Big 12 bowl game at the Alamodome (3:45 p.m., ESPN), the cheers were heard loud and clear by those listening on the other end of the teleconference in Eugene.
"I appreciate the Texans in the room there kind of faking it on the ovation for the Ducks," Oregon coach Mark Helfrich quipped to the audience over speaker phone. "We've got some work to do to win over that crowd."
Maybe not as much as Helfrich thinks.
Longhorns supporters are not happy about the last four years of mediocrity under Mack Brown.
The local media is focused more on Brown's job and the long-term direction of the program than the Alamo Bowl matchup with Marcus Mariota and the Ducks.
They say everything is bigger in Texas. That includes the coaching hot seat for Brown.
Texas released a statement by new Texas athletic director Steve Patterson several hours after Orangebloods.com reported, citing two unidentified sources, that Brown will announce he is stepping down by week's end.
"We continue to discuss the future of Texas Football," Patterson said. "Mack Brown has not resigned. And, no decisions have been made."
Joe Jamail, Brown's longtime friend and attorney, told The Associated Press on Tuesday: "Mack Brown has not resigned." He says Brown's future with Texas is still up to the coach.
Horns247.com, a Texas recruiting website, reported that Brown denied the report in a text from Florida, where he was recruiting.
Brown wrote to Horns247: "I have not decided to step down."
This was supposed to be a bounce back season for the Longhorns, who were 5-7 in 2010, 8-5 in 2011 with a win over California in the Holiday Bowl and 9-4 in 2012 with a win over Oregon State in the Alamo Bowl.
Instead, it's more of the same for Texas (8-4), which squandered an opportunity to steal the Big 12 title and a spot in the Fiesta Bowl with a 30-10 loss at Baylor last Saturday.
The Ducks (10-2) have opened as 13-point favorites. After missing out on a BCS bowl for the first time since the 2008 season, Oregon's coaches and players are selling a win over Texas as a possible tone-setter for the 2014 season.
"Our guys will be very excited to take on an iconic program and an iconic coach in coach Brown," Helfrich said.
Brown's legendary victory over USC in the BCS championship game is the reason why school officials would prefer him to leave Texas on his terms.
But the natives are getting restless.
Patterson and president Bill Powers are reportedly expected to meet to discuss the football program in New York while attending the National Football Foundation meetings through today.
"I'm not talking about any of that tonight," Brown told reporters after Baylor won its first outright conference title in 33 years at the Longhorns' expense. "I'm in the same position I was when I've been asked the other 15 times.
"We'll talk about the team."
Texas' seemingly never-ending quarterback rotation between Case McCoy (11 touchdowns, 11 interceptions) and David Ash (seven touchdowns, two interceptions) continued this season. McCoy, the younger brother of Colt McCoy, will start against Oregon. Ash has been ruled out for the bowl because of concussion-like symptoms.
The Longhorns will have a strength-on-weakness advantage with Malcolm Brown (774 yards, nine touchdowns) running the ball at an Oregon defense that was gashed by Stanford's Tyler Gaffney (157 yards, one touchdown) and Arizona's Ka'Deem Carey (206 yards, four touchdowns).
Defensively, Texas has been crippled by injuries at linebacker.
The secondary is considered average, but pass rushers Jackson Jeffcoat and Cedric Reed can be very disruptive, especially if Mariota isn't healthy enough to move better than he did in November.
It sounds as though Oregon's leaders will try to prepare as if a vintage Texas team from Brown's glory years will show up in San Antonio.
"I don't think anyone is disappointed," junior center Hroniss Grasu said of the Ducks' bowl destination. "It's an honor to play in this bowl game against Texas.
"A win in the Alamo Bowl against Texas would be a big momentum boost for next season."
Grasu a Rimington Award finalist
On Monday, Grasu was named as a finalist for the Rimington Trophy presented to the most outstanding center in college football. Auburn's Reese Dismukes, Oklahoma's Gabe Ikard, Utah's Tyler Larsen, Florida State's Bryan Stork and Arkansas' Travis Swanson are also finalists.
Despite all of his success on the field and acclaim as the all-Pac-12 first-team center the last two seasons, Grasu will return to Oregon for his senior season instead of entering the NFL draft.
"This season has been an honor to be able to play for such a great team. It's been a lot of fun," Grasu said. "A couple things didn't go our way, but we have no one to blame but ourselves."
The Rimington Trophy winner will be announced on Thursday.
Bowling for iPads
According to the SportsBusiness Journal, the player gifts from the Alamo Bowl are an iPad Mini with retina display, an Apple gift card, a Fossil watch, a panoramic photo and a Schutt mini helmet.