SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - The memory came back to Texas wide receiver Quan Cosby. It came back so vividly he could almost hear the bus tires droning on and on, mile after mile, and see the Canadian highway signs setting the speed limit in kilometers per hour, not miles per hour.
Cosby, one of the top receivers for Texas with 78 catches for 952 yards and 8 touchdowns, will be on the field Monday night when Ohio State takes on the Longhorns in the Fiesta Bowl.
But in an earlier athletic life, the 26-year-old Cosby was an outfielder in the Los Angeles Angels farm system for four years.
So, when the question was asked what the biggest difference between college football and minor league baseball is, he didn't have to hesitate.
"The biggest difference, especially going to a university like Texas, is the bus trips," Cosby said. "Of course, from a professional baseball standpoint, it's money. You get a lot more money there but you get a lot better treatment here. We're pretty fortunate."
Cosby originally committed to Texas in 2001, but signed with the Angels after they made him a sixth-round draft choice. When his baseball career stalled out in the minors, he accepted a second offer from Texas.
One particular bus trip convinced Cosby he got it right when he came back to football.
"Oh man, it was in the Pioneer League. I was playing for the Provo (Utah) Angels and we were going to Medicine Hat, Canada. I think it was 16 or 17 hours," he said.
"The limit a bus driver can drive, I think, is 10 hours, and it was so far we had to switch bus drivers. I was never a big fan of Lord of the Rings movies, but we watched every one of them during that trip. We watched all of them, then watched another movie.
"We played cards, dominoes, everything. We had to figure out something to do with that 16 hours. That was the one I'll probably always remember. It was pretty miserable," he said.
Quarterback Colt McCoy, wide receiver Jordan Shipley (79 catches, 982 yards, 11 touchdowns) and Cosby have made life miserable for opposing defenses this season.
If not for a last-second miracle pass from Graham Harrell to Michael Crabtree to give Texas Tech a 39-33 win over the Longhorns on Nov. 1, they would almost certainly be playing in the national championship game instead of Oklahoma.
Oklahoma advancing to the BCS title game put an especially bitter taste in Texas' mouth because it beat the Sooners 45-35 on Oct. 11.
So, will the No. 3 Longhorns (11-1) be thinking about make a statement or proving a point against No. 10 Ohio State (10-2) on Monday? Could they even still be thinking about getting a share of the national championship if they win impressively and Oklahoma would win the BCS championship unimpressively?
Cosby refused to take a swing at that one, much like the high and outside pitches he let go by in his baseball career.
"It's one of those things where if you worry about that, you're going to fall short against Ohio State, who is very good. If the voters think we're good enough, they'll vote for us," he said.
"We're just going to play football and let them decide. We don't get our hopes up anymore. We just go out there and play football and whatever happens, happens. I think we're one of the best teams in the country, but you can't worry about things you can't control."