Enough with comparing conferences to conferences, bowl games to bowl games, and checking the stats. There are just certain things that don’t show up in the box score but deserve some recognition.
So, here are my "five things that favor Texas against Alabama in the National Title game".
Longhorns are Clutch
As an opponent, I wouldn’t let Colt McCoy have the ball in his hands in the closing minutes with the game on the line. More importantly, I wouldn’t let Texas offensive coordinator Greg Davis have the opportunity to orchestrate a game-winning drive. In the past decade, the Longhorns have posted a 7-2 record in the postseason. Out of the seven victories, five have been decided by a margin of at least four points.
It’s not uncharted territory for McCoy, unlike Greg McElroy. McCoy executed a spectacular game-winning drive a year ago against Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl. McCoy will have the opportunity to end his career with four postseason wins and solidify his legacy as the best quarterback to don the burnt orange. Let’s just hope he won’t have another brain fart, because I’m sure he’s been studying the rulebook by now.
Watch out Alabama, if Texas is the last team with a presentable chance to win the game at the end of the fourth.
Alabama Hype Puts More Pressure on the Tide
And I’m not saying that to root against Texas, nor am I making up an excuse if the Longhorns were to lose. I mean, I’m sure you’ve been reading all of the comments on message boards and on ESPN. Everyone and their mother is expecting a Crimson Tide win after the Florida shellacking. I think Alabama is being hyped more than Southern Cal in 2006. I think it would be more of a let down for Alabama fans if they were to lose than Texas.
For example, look what happened in last night’s Fiesta Bowl. Again, everybody thought Texas Christian was going to pummel Boise State and show the nation what they’ve been missing out on for an entire season. Well, the whole nation got lulled to sleep with two lackluster performances by both programs. I think TCU lost more with the defeat than if Boise State had lost.
I feel as if all of the pressure is on Saban and company if everyone is writing Texas off before they landed in Pasadena.
The Nebraska Theory
Okay, so I said enough with the team comparisons, but can we finally give Nebraska the recognition they deserve? Yeah, yeah, yeah, so Arizona wasn’t exactly a strong team, but a 33-0 victory speaks volumes. Earlier in the season, the Cornhuskers held a Virginia Tech team to 16 points that then went on to tack on 37 points against Tennessee in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl. Not to mention Nebraska put up 33 on an Arizona defense that ranked among the top 25 in college.
Actually, I should change the "Nebraska Theory" to the "Big 12 Teams Cannot Score in the Cowboys Stadium Theory."
Arkansas—Texas A&M: 47-19
Texas Tech—Baylor: 20-13
Oklahoma State—Mississippi: 7-21
Nebraska is a program on the rise and demonstrated what they are capable in this next decade. Can we finally give the Cornhuskers some credit?
The Muschamp Factor
Don’t you think Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp was licking his chops the minute he knew he would face a former SEC rival? Saban, who is also a defensive-minded coach, won a national championship at Louisiana State with Muschamp as his defensive co-pilot. Not only did Muschamp get his coaching reps in the SEC, but he also played ball for Georgia as a linebacker.
You don’t think Muschamp is giving Davis his own two cents about how to attack Saban’s defensive game plan?
I know Ingram was crowned the best player in college, but I feel Muschamp has something up his sleeve.
Heisman + National Championship = Defeat
Maybe it was a good thing McCoy was never awarded the Heisman trophy. He’ll be sure to tell you that a national championship would mean more than the Heisman, but that seems to be a cliché statement nowadays. Last person to win the Heisman and a national championship in the same season? Matt Leinart in 2004, when he demolished Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl. Last person prior to Leinart? Charles Woodson in 1997. Okay, so Michigan and Nebraska shared the title, but you get what I’m saying.
Let’s see if Mark Ingram can break the curse and Saban can coach his way to a title.