For the past month, Texas head coach Mack Brown has used the "us against the world" approach to Thursday's national championship game. His reasons are the Longhorns' previous game against Nebraska in the Big 12 title game and Alabama's performance against Florida in the SEC title game.
And those reasons are understandable.
Texas struggled mightily against a top-10 Nebraska defense, while Alabama throttled the previous top-ranked Florida Gators, which, at the time, boasted the No. 1 defense statistically.
This performance by both Texas and Alabama has prompted the rallying cry from the Longhorn faithful of "Remember 2005!"
That year, USC was the odds-on favorite heading into the game, as Texas went on to pull the upset in what will go down as possibly one of the greatest games in college football history.
Texas had a lot going for it in order to pull that upset, but, unfortunately, this isn't 2005.
Here are the five reasons why Texas should not put 2009 and 2005 in the same sentence:
5. Colt McCoy Is Not Vince Young
In a perfect world, this would go down as No. 1, but in this case it isn't.
No player in college football history commanded the respect of a defense like Vincent Paul Young. He was a threat to break the game open at any point in time, and, in his junior season, he was practically unstoppable. He was third in the nation in passing efficiency and averaged 9.34 yards per attempt. And that's to say nothing about his legs.
The biggest key to his success that year was that he was sacked 13 times all season. That is a testament to not just his skill but his offensive line, which was eighth in sacks allowed. McCoy this year has been sacked 30 times. As good as McCoy and his offensive line has been for Texas, I think any unbiased fan would say that this is no shade of 2005.
4. The 2005 Offense Is Better than the 2009 Offense
The one thing other than Vince Young that the '05 offense has over this year's offense is a physical offensive line. An offensive line that made holes for Young, Jamaal Charles, Selvin Young, and Ramonce Taylor to run through.
Young and Charles were ranked in the top 100 in rushing yards per game. They were third in total offense (512.08 per game), second in rushing offense (274.92 per game), and first in scoring offense at 50.1 points per game.
No team could keep Texas down that year, no matter the lead. Ask Oklahoma State. The least amount of points Texas scored that year was 25—and if you take away that score, the least amount was 40.
This year, Texas may have the edge over its '05 counter part in passing, but as far as the overall balance between the two teams as well as comparing the difference in offensive lines, I think the Longhorns would make a trade for '05.
3. Alabama's Defense Is Better than the 2005 USC Defense
Texas is not playing against a team who is 48th in total defense, 35th in scoring defense, 42nd in pass efficiency defense, 31st in rushing defense, 73rd in pass defense, and 115th in net punting. USC constantly leaned on its offense all season and never asked for its defense to make a game-winning stop, until the national championship game, and then the Trojans' defense failed them in the end.
On the other hand, Alabama is second nationally in total defense, scoring defense, pass efficiency defense, and rushing defense. Oh yeah, the Tide are also 78th in net punting and eighth in pass defense. At times, when the offense stalled, their defense carried them to victory.
In order for Texas to beat Alabama, McCoy is going to have to be Vince Young—times 100.
2. It Was Pegged To Be a Texas/Florida Championship Game in the Preseason
Show of hands—who picked Alabama vs. Texas in the national championship all along?
Well, almost every preseason magazine picked Texas to play for all the marbles. So why is Mack Brown using the "us against the world" approach when everyone had them playing in this game from the start?
If anything, Alabama can play the "no respect" card going into the game, but Nick Saban won't allow it.
Nonetheless, the dream matchup was Colt McCoy vs. Tim Tebow all season long.
How can a preseason favorite claim no respect when they were penciled in all season long against a team who was picked to lose in their conference championship game in the preseason?
1. ESPN Is Not Doing a Greatest Team of All-Time Special
USC's success that year turned out to be its undoing. ESPN, in all its glory to hype the game, had a dream matchup of USC versus the 10 best teams in college football history each and every week leading up to the national championship game.
The worldwide leader in sports played the "David vs. Gollaith" theme to perfection, while Texas just sat back and went into the game with a huge chip on its shoulder. Thus, USC was set up from the start.
This year, Saban hasn't allowed the Tide to get set up by the media into thinking they are light years ahead of Texas. The psychological advantage has not gone to either team throughout the month-long break.
Alabama will not take an undefeated team lightly, considering this will be the second undefeated team it will play this year.
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