It’s finally happened: two teams who actually deserve of a shot at a national championship are actually in the championship game. Granted, it’s still the SEC vs. the Big 12 (for the fourth year out of 12), but these two are fully deserving to be here. Will Big Al or Bevo be holding the Crystal Football? Read on and see…
Why the Crimson Tide Will Win
Receiver’s League of Alabama: Quarterback Greg McElroy has a lot of options in his passing game, the least of which is a Heisman winner, tailback Mark Ingram. Usually, they’ll throw to start, to push defensive stances back, then pound through the line with their dominating run game (almost 216 yards per game). However, if the stingy Longhorn defense holds firm against the run, they have wide receivers Julio Jones and Marquis Maze, tight end Colin Peek, and Ingram. McElroy has a full set of weapons, and he will need all of them if they want to beat Texas.
Tuscaloosa Toughness: The Alabama defense is considered one of the best in the nation (ranked second in total defense and second in rushing defense), led by defensive tackle Terrence Cody and linebacker Rolando McClain. McClain will probably be responsible for Texas quarterback and Heisman finalist Colt McCoy. Seeing as he leads the team in tackles (101 and 12 ½ behind the line of scrimmage), McCoy better hope his offensive line steps up for this game, or it will be a long, long day.
A Chance for Redemption: This will be the first chance for a championship for the Crimson Tide since 1995, when they were put on a post-season ban until four years ago. Since then, they have had a meteoric rise, moving from the middle of the SEC pack to alongside Florida for the lead. This is their chance to prove that they have fully come back from their suspension. Granted, they are still on probation for their textbook incident earlier in the season, but this team has learned from its mistakes and has put that distraction behind them.
Why the Longhorns Will Win
Young Colt: Quarterback Colt McCoy has been the leader of this team from the beginning, and it has shown. He has been proficient on the ground as well as in the air, running for 128 yards and three touchdowns. He also has a lot of weapons in his receiving corps, led by McCoy’s roommate, wide receiver Jordan Shipley, who racked up almost 1,400 yards and 11 touchdowns this season. Paired up against a stifling Alabama defense, this could be one of the most explosive championship games in recent memory.
Lockdown: After allowing Texas A&M to romp all over them in one of the closest calls they’ve had this season, the defense cracked down for the Big 12 Championship game, limiting Nebraska to only 105 yards, five first downs, six completions, and four field goals. Then again, Nebraska’s offense isn’t as explosive as Alabama’s. The big matchup will be linebacker Roddrick Muckelroy against Alabama running back and Heisman winner Mark Ingram. Muckelroy leads the team in tackles while Ingram leads the team in most rushing categories. This will truly be a case of unstoppable force meeting immovable object.
Run, Horns, Run: The Longhorns have a spread-out rushing attack, with four players racking up at least 300 yards. Alabama linebacker Rolando McClain will have his hands full, especially with running back Tre’ Newton, who ran for over 500 yards in just 11 games. It’ll be interesting to see who the main rusher is in this game, but with the way the Alabama defense has been dominating even the best rushing attacks, it wouldn’t be surprising to see all four leading rushers get at least 10 to 15 touches to confuse the Alabama defense.
Prediction: Alabama 41, Texas 35 in three overtimes. This game was the best decision the BCS could have made, with the two best teams making it to Pasadena. Ironically, the last time Texas won a BCS championship was in the Rose Bowl. However, the heroics that the Longhorns showed in that game will come up a little bit short this time in a very exciting game.
There you have it: Alabama will finally come full circle after 15 years with a national championship. Will Mark Ingram run over the Texas defense as easily as he did against Florida? Will Colt McCoy make one final accomplishment on his college resume with a national championship? You’ll just have to watch to find out!