Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Can Texas Upset Alabama in Tomorrow's BCS Title Game???

Well college football fans the big game is finally here, the grandaddy of them all (God, does anyone else wish Keith Jackson would come out of retirememnt once a year for this game???)! SEC champ Alabama will take on Big-12 Champ Texas tomorrow night in the Rose Bowl to decide this year's title. Both these teams were close to making this stage last year; as you remmember, Alabama went into the SEC championship game ranked #1, but lost a 4th quarter lead to a Gator team they rebounded to pound this year in the SEC title game (badly enough to make Florida's leader weep). Alabama has been a very consistant team all year, and with the exceptions of the near debacle against Tennessee and a poor first half in Auburn, has looked like the hands down #1 team in the land.

As for the University of Texas, they started the season ranked high, played what has to be one of the weakest schedules in the country, and needed either luck or help (depending on which angle you take) to beat a 3 loss Nebraska team in the Big-12 final. Before the rest of the BCS games, some would say TCU or Cincinnati should have snuck into the #2 spot because of how weak Texas' schedule was, which is a valid point. Their only legitimate games were against a Bradford-less Oklahoma team, a Bryant-less (and mediocre even with him) Oklahoma State team, and of course the Nebraska game when they won 13-12. But, after watching the other bowl games, who else could have been put #2?? TCU proved to be a dud, and Boise's equally bad schedule (except Oregon) which included near losses to Tulsa and La-Tech knocked them out of the mix. While the Longhorns haven't faced anyone like the Crimson Tide, DO NOT underrate them. They have NFL talent all over the field, and might have mauled anyone in the country (but hey, with Mack making the schedule, we'll never know...- I mean he decided to cancel their border rivalry game against Arkansas and replace them with Wyoming for God's sake...).

This game will feature two of the best offensive players: Heisman trophy winner Mark Ingram from Alabama and QB Colt McCoy who was 3rd in the voting; as well as two of the best defensive players in the country: Lambert and Dick Butkus award winner Rolando McClain of Alabama and all-american Earl Thomas of Texas. The player with the most to prove is definately Colt McCoy- can he do anything on a big stage after his 3INT egg he laid on the national stage against Nebraska?? And can Texas protect him?? This is certainly a question mark after Nebraska DL Ndamukong Suh erupted for 3.5 sacks in the Big-12 title game. Suh is an unbelievable player and probably a top 3 draft pick- but remmember he only had 6.5 sacks in the other 12 games! Alabama DL "Mount" Cody is also considered a future NFL player, so it will be interesting to see if the Texas OL can do a better job of giving Colt some time... The player who may make the biggest difference: Alabama freshman RB Trent Richardson- who looks as if he may be BETTER than the Heisman trophy winner Ingram (yes, I said it!), and the Tide certainly don't lose anything when he gives Ingram a rest. Other questions- Will Texas double the explosive Bama WR Julio Jones. If Dez Bryant had not been ineligable for their game against Oklahoma State earlier, we may have gotten to preview their gameplan (but hey, I guess he didn't know it was illegal to sign with an agent....). Doubling Jones will certainly take Texas SS Earl Thomas, who is one of the best and biggest hitting safeties in the country,  out of run support- where he excels and could open more holes for Ingram and Richardson... Also, how will McElroy play for the Tide, will he be the same dominate QB he was vs Florida??

As far as the coaching, it's hard not to give the edge to Nick Saban on this one. As a Carolina guy, I still hate Mack Brown. But objectively, since arriving in Tuscaloosa 3 years ago, Saban has worked wonders.

Another interesting tidbit. The SEC and Big 12-both have 16 National Championships. Whoever wins this game will ultimately be known as the best conference in the history of college football- at least until next year.....

Key players

QB- Colt McCoy (3,512 Yards, 27 Touchdowns, 147.46 QB Rating)
WR- Jordan Shipley (106 Receptions,1,363 Yards,11Touchdowns)
SS- Earl Thomas (128 Tackles, 5 Forced Fumbles,10 Interceptions)

RB- Mark Ingram (249 Attempts, 1,542 Yards,15 Touchdowns)
LB- Rolando McClain (101 Tackles, 10.5 TFL, 4 sacks)
WR- Julio Jones (42 Receptions, 573 Yards, 4 Touchdowns)
DT- Terrence Cody (20 Tackles, 5 TFL, 1 Pass Breakup)

My predicition:
Texas 10, Alabama 23. Bama's explosive rushing attach and great defense force Texas into a predictable, one-demensional come from behind offense early, which if you ask Tim Tebow is no way to beat the Tide....

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