For three years, you could make a good case that she has had more power than anybody in college football. Her name is Lauren, and with one blast on an air horn at practice, as a Longhorn team manager she has been able to tell 160 guys exactly what to do, and when to do it.
And as Texas concluded its final practice and the day before the Rose Bowl Game dawned, Lauren is a part of the story.
Perhaps, just perhaps, it was the rainbow that seemed for all the world to end its brilliant colors over the city of Pasadena, the home of the Rose Bowl Stadium.
Or maybe it was the way, for two days, Texas had somehow managed to avoid rain showers and got in two excellent days of practice in preparation for Saturday's 91st Rose Bowl Classic football game on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Whatever the cause, the days of good feeling continued as the Longhorns continued their "rose colored" celebration in Tinsel Town.
Since the Longhorns' arrival on Christmas Day, the week has been a flurry of activity, and making it through Wednesday with solid practices during one of the wettest times in recent LA history.
So far, the Rose Bowl has been everything Texas dreamed it could be. For most of 50 years from the late 1940s until the beginning of the BCS in the late 1990s, the Rose Bowl held a certain mystique for America. It was locked in by contract to match the Big Ten and Pac 10 champions, and the rest of the college football world could only look yearningly for a chance to appear in the game they call "The Granddaddy of All Bowl Games."
But over the last four seasons, including the hosting of a National Championship game that involved Nebraska in 2001, Big 12 teams have crashed the party under the scrutiny of the BCS three times.
That point of history, and the significance of the first-ever meeting between Texas and Michigan, was hammered home to the Longhorns after Lauren hit two blasts on her air horn signifying the end of Thursday's final practice.
As Mack Brown called the team together, a stately gentleman stepped forward, and pulled off his trench coat and handed it to an assistant. And the voice of college football, Keith Jackson, began to speak.
He told the team to take it all in, "right down to your soul." He told them they were experiencing something they would remember for the rest of their lives. And with that unmistakable rhythm in his voice, the man who had done so many Texas games years ago held the complete attention of the young men in front of him.
Several years ago, Jackson, who lives in Sherman Oaks, CA in the winter and has a beautiful home in British Columbia where he resides in the summer, gave up the traveling of being the lead announcer for ABC Television, and chose to stay close to home doing Pac 10 games.
Now, he was at the Home Depot Center for Media Day, and was about to do a 45-minute on camera interview with his old friends Darrell Royal and Bo Schembechler. But before he did, Mack Brown had asked him to speak, and poetically as always, he did.
Friday morning, as Brown finished his last press conference and sat with the ESPN radio announce crew, he was talking about history, and about making a difference.
"When you look at Coach Royal and Coach Schembechler, you realize what they have meant to the game. And then you see Joe Paterno and Bobby Bowden and realize that there are only a few guys of that era remaining. That's why it is important for those of us in my generation, to make sure that this game of college football stands for what it should. It is up to us to make sure we leave the game better for the young people who will follow us."
As the rain showers of the morning Friday began to subside, and the Longhorns looked forward to their first trip out to the Rose Bowl Stadium for an afternoon team picture, you realized the importance of what he had said.
Here were Brown and Lloyd Carr, two of the winningest coaches of their generation, leading two very good football teams into history. To get to this place, the week had an interesting odyssey.
Wednesday afternoon, after the final tough practice had weaved itself between two rain showers at the sprawling Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., Texas had a couple of rewarding factors for members of its coaching staff.
First, UT athletics director DeLoss Dodds announced a new 10-year contract with Brown. Less than an hour later, several hundred miles to the north of Los Angeles, Texas' assistant head coach for defense Dick Tomey accepted the head coaching job at San Jose, giving new life to the eternally young 66-year-old who had been a head coach for 24 years at Hawaii and Arizona before a couple of years away and this season at Texas.
Friday, Brown talked of this team, and the success that had brought it here. He had deflected questions about Texas Tech's victory over Cal in the Holiday Bowl, and talked instead of the importance of Texas and Michigan in the enormously big stage of the Rose Bowl.
Most of all, he talked about his football team, and its heart and resiliency.
"Great teams have to overcome challenges," he said. "They have to reach down and find something at the right time to win. Ohio State did that a couple of years ago, when they won the National Championship."
He talked about the tenacity to take the ball away from Arkansas in the closing minutes, avoiding a Razorback score. About what it took to overcome the 35-7 lead from Oklahoma State, and the dramatic closing moments at Kansas.
And everybody kept reminding both Texas and Michigan that what both teams wish for is a rematch in Pasadena in 2006, when the National Championship game will be played here next season.
Most of all, however, the final day of 2004 is a celebration of what has been, and an eager anticipation of what is yet to come. For everybody who wears orange, they hope that begins tomorrow, but what Brown and his staff and his team have done is put Texas back in an arena where it hasn't been for a very long time.
It is appropriate that Royal has spent the entire week here, taking it all in, because you have to go back to his era to find a time in Texas football where it has been so consistently successful for so long a time.
But no one associated with the program is satisfied, because the ultimate goal, the dream of the National Championship, is still to be done. It's closer, perhaps, but it still is out there to be accomplished.
That is why what Keith Jackson said is so important, and why Lauren's final hour blast is important.
This moment should be about what it is: a wonderful moment in college football history that a group of coaches and young people have earned, on both sides of the football on Saturday.
It would be easy, if you were Lauren, and all of her tireless fellow student managers and trainers, to see the final horn blast as a sad moment. But that is not the case.
For the seniors, both on and off the football field, and as a statement for Longhorn football, it is important to think of the traffic on the LA freeways.
There, as at the practice field and in life, the blast of a horn means, "get out of my way, here I come, world."
And for all the young people who are and have been a part of Texas football, 2004, that's what this is all about.