After an undefeated season (13-0 and 8-5 against the spread) and a Heisman trophy for star running back Mark Ingram, the Alabama Crimson Tide have one more goal in sight, a BCS title.
A National Title would be the culmination of what Alabama Athletic Director Mal Moore’s had planned when he lured Coach Nick Saban away from the Miami Dolphins.
When asked if he thought Saban could take the team to the National Title in just three years, Moore answered with a smile “No, this has happened faster. Much Faster.”
The Crimson Tide were able to win close games (Tennessee and Auburn) and dominated last year’s national champions, Florida. But the game against Texas represents a new challenge, in a game between two of college footballs winningest programs, the Crimson Tide have never beaten the Longhorns (0-7-1).
This will be the team’s first meeting since the 1982 Cotton Bowl where the Longhorns used two fourth quarter scores to beat Alabama 14-12. The only other team they have played more than once and haven’t beaten is Rice (0-3).
The Crimson Tide aren’t worried about past history, they are worried about creating history. Crimson Tide fullback said it best when he asked his teammates “If you could write a page in history, what would you want it to say?”
Their opponents will be playing with a chip on their shoulders, not only are they five point underdogs, they had to watch as the leading passer in Texas Longhorn history was passed over for the Heisman Trophy in favor of the Crimson Tide’s Ingram in what was the closest vote in the history of the award.
This is a powerhouse matchup between two of college football’s most storied programs, Alabama and Texas rank No. 2 and 3 respectively in rushing defense and No. 1 and 8 in scoring defense. Alabama and Texas are statistically two of the best defenses in the country.
On offense, Colt McCoy and the Longhorns ranked 14th in passing offense and 55th in rushing, while Mark Ingram and Alabama rank 12th in rushing but only 84th in passing.
Alabama likes to spread the ball around, QB Greg McElroy has several options including WRs Julio Jones and Marquis Maze. But we know what to expect from the Tide, they’ll pound the ball with Ingram.
That run game allows them to control the clock; their 33 minutes a game lead the SEC in time of possession. Their pounding offense wears down opposing defense so that they can light it up in the fourth quarter. The Crimson Tide have outscored opponents 109-24 in the final 15 minutes this season.
The 2009 Crimson Tide will be playing to create their own page in the history books, while turning the page on their winless record against the Longhorns.