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Leinart was again invited to New York for the Heisman ceremony along with teammate Reggie Bush and Texas quarterback Vince Young.
As a former Heisman winner, Leinart cast his first-place vote for Bush, and ended up third in the voting behind Bush (since vacated) and runner-up Young.
The Trojans lost for the first time in 35 games, and Leinart for just the second time in his 39 career starts.
Nonetheless, Leinart was invited to New York for the Heisman ceremony, along with teammate Reggie Bush, Oklahoma's freshman running back sensation Adrian Peterson, quarterback and incumbent Heisman winner Jason White, and Utah's quarterback Alex Smith.
The Trojans advanced to the Rose Bowl to face Vince Young and #2 Texas in the BCS title game.
The title game was considered another "dream matchup." Leinart himself had a great game, going 29-of-40 for a touchdown and 365 yards, but was overshadowed by Young, who piled up 467 yards of total offense and rushed for three touchdowns, including a score with 19 seconds remaining and two-point conversion to put the Longhorns ahead, 41–38.
He is a recurring guest, via voicemail, on the Barstool Sports podcast Pardon My Take.
Leinart was born in Santa Ana, California, with strabismus (commonly known as "crossed eyes"); his left eye was not aligned correctly with his right.