Hoisted onto his linemen's shoulders, Josh Heupel took a ride across Orange Bowl sod and into Sooner Nation lore.
It's been almost a decade since that night in South Florida, and yet, the image of the former Oklahoma quarterback pumping his fists into the confetti-filled air has become iconic. A sign that the Sooners were back. A start of an era of dominance.
No wonder Heupel is one of the most beloved Sooners of all time.
But how much love will he feel the next time the Sooners have a couple three-and-outs?
Monday afternoon, OU announced that Heupel and fellow Sooner assistant Jay Norvell have been named co-offensive coordinators. They will share the game-planning duties once held by Kevin Wilson, now the head coach at Indiana, but when it comes to play calling, that will be Heupel's responsibility.
It's quite a promotion for the 32-year-old.
It's quite a pressure cooker, too.
Every offensive coordinator who has worked for Bob Stoops has drawn fire. Kevin Wilson. Chuck Long. Mark Mangino. Mike Leach.
Yes, even Leach drew some criticism. Too much high-risk passing. Too many fancy-pants formations. Not enough running.
Never mind that the Sooners won more games in Leach's lone season in Norman than they'd won in any of the five previous seasons.
Offensive coordinators are punching bags, easy targets for fan frustrations. Everyone thinks they can do it better. Everyone knows things would be great if only they would stop calling those gosh darn swing passes or those cotton pickin' off-tackle runs.
Heck, with the Big 12 Championship game a couple weekends ago, Wilson's offenses won four conference crowns in five seasons, did it with four different styles and three different quarterbacks, and still, there were plenty of Sooner fans who prayed for Indiana to hire him away.
They wanted him gone.
Fans have short fuses and even shorter memories. They forget what happened a week ago much less a season ago.
A decade ago?
That's like ancient history.
Which makes this hiring of Heupel all the more interesting.
Even though Stoops has always promoted from within, this is the first time he has anointed one of his former players as a coordinator. The fact that Stoops picked him to call plays instead of Norvell, a former college teammate who has play-calling experience, speaks to his belief in Heupel.
No doubt Heupel showed great composure on the field and aptitude for the game during his playing days. He read defenses. He called audibles. He seized momentum.
But despite that, he will have rough times calling plays; every offensive coordinator does.
He will face criticism. There will be difficulties. There will be doubts.
How will he handle it?
No one can know for sure, but here's a little history on Heupel. He received no big-time scholarship offers coming out of high school, decided to go to Weber State where he tore his ACL and lost his starting job, then transferred to a junior college in the middle of nowhere Utah.
Two years later, he was riding on those linemen's shoulders and celebrating a national championship.
Heupel overcame difficulties and doubts to become a Sooner legend.
Now as the Sooner playcaller, he'll likely need to do the same.