Texas-Alabama: BCS National Championship Game Preview and Predictions

Jeff SmithCorrespondent IJanuary 7, 2010


Jan. 7, 2010 | 8:00 PM EST, Pasadena, CA on ABC


Citi BCS National Championship

Texas Longhorns  (13-0) vs. Alabama Crimson Tide  (13-0)


Opening Line

Alabama -4.5  (Alabama -4 )


Game Preview

Finally the championship game.  I don’t know about you but it feels a little anticlimactic after 33 other bowl games.  Many are predicting a romp by the Crimson Tide but I think that is a bit of rush to judgment and is based more on the command performance of ‘Bama against Florida juxtaposed to how Texas barely beat Nebraska.  

The bowls have shown that beating Florida indeed was a great accomplishment but they have also shown that Nebraska is a very tough opponent in its own right, completely dominating Arizona.  

By the end of the first quarter we will know whether this will be a game.  If Alabama can run the ball and its defense swarms the Longhorns than another BCS blowout could be in store...if Colt McCoy can keep plays alive and get the ball out of his hands then Texas will be in it all game.


Texas Preview

It has been well documented that Texas will have a hard time running the ball.  What has been overlooked is that they really don’t care.  They rush merely to keep the opposition honest and depend on McCoy to make all the big plays with his vision, arm, and sometimes with his legs.  Don’t be surprised to see an average rush under three yards.  If it is matched by a 70 percent completion percentage the Longhorns will be in it.  

Even if they can’t run it Texas will have to stop Bama’s rush game.  Mark Ingram is fantastic and his backups spell him more than effectively.  Texas may have the second best rush defense in the country but they generally face teams that prefer to pass and are almost always in the lead so it can be a bit misleading.  They are very good but not fearsome defense like their opponent.


Alabama Preview

It looked like their perfect season was going to end in the Iron Bowl but they found a way to win.  This is not a scrappy team by any means but the gutty comeback performance is part of the reason this team is so highly thought of.  

With the close relationship between the Texas defensive coordinator and the Auburn staff you can imagine they have a good idea how to slow the Crimson Tide attack down, especially the running game.  Whether they can do it is another matter though.  

Ingram will probably be a bit below his seasonal average so it may come to Greg McElroy to make some plays.  If he can do it then Alabama will win.  Julio Jones is an amazing playmaker and I look for him to step up.  He is likely to be the best athlete on the field for either team…

P.S.  You gotta love Terrence Cody in the middle of that D.  He is so big he makes it look like the other team is dressing high schoolers.


Game Prediction

I think this one will live up to the hype for the most part.  Two great teams and two very experienced coaches so the preparation should be there.  Colt McCoy will put up "Game MVP" numbers but it won’t be enough.  Alabama’s balance on offense and stellar defense will come through but it will be in doubt to the end.  Maybe the real question after this one is who deserves to be ranked No. 2?


Score Prediction

Alabama Crimson Tide : 30

Texas Longhorns : 24



I think the best play in this one may be the over.  Even though I think Bama is the play and acknowledge the top defenses, I just don’t see this game being a 17-10 defensive battle.  Right now it is at 46. Hopefully it might drop back down to 44 by kickoff.


Texas Longhorns Football Betting Trends
  • Texas is 5-0 SU in its last five games
  • The total has gone OVER in four of Texas’s last six games
Alabama Crimson Tide Football Betting Trends
  • Alabama is 5-0 SU in its last five games