Texas Longhorns (13-0) vs. Alabama Crimson Tide (13-0)
The storyline of this BCS National Title game has been building since the beginning of the season, when it seemed — even then — a foregone conclusion that the SEC champs would face off against Texas for the BCS title. And all these weeks later, after Alabama and Texas finished their regular season just the way they hoped to when the season began, the two will meet up in Pasadena for the BCS national title.
Mark Ingram and Colt McCoy, two Heisman finalists, will once again continue a long trend of Heisman finalists featuring prominently in the national championship game.
Most importantly, since these storylines have been building all season, lets get into the meat of the preview, because you’ve heard anything else that could be said already.
Offense: Colt McCoy has proven time and again that he is a winner during his career. However, this will be his first opportunity to win a national title. McCoy leads one of the nation’s most prolific offenses as one of the nation’s most prolific passers. McCoy’s senior season took a cue from the rest of his seasons, high completion percentage, tons of yards and he kept the turnovers down. McCoy didn’t even need to play entire games for most of this season, as the Longhorn offense was good enough to carry games without him.
Mark Ingram and Greg McElroy picked apart the Florida Gator defense in the SEC Championship Game, and come into the BCS National Title game as one of the most explosive offensive units in the country. Obviously Ingram’s statistical marvel of a season has helped to key the Tide’s success this year, but that is not to say that other pieces are equally important as the team scored a strong 31 points per game.
Defense: The Longhorn defense certainly looked strong in the Big 12 Championship Game against Nebraska, but the Cornhusker offense doesn’t really hold a candle to what the Tide bring to the table in terms of sheer offensive power. Ingram, McElroy, Julio Jones, and even return man Javier Arenas will be tough to stop like the Longhorns stopped the Huskers. The Longhorn defense did struggle to stop some mediocre opponents this season, giving up 39 to Texas A&M and 24 to Texas Tech. Performances like that will doom the Longhorns early.
Alabama, for all its strength on offense, may actually be strongest on the defensive side of the ball. The unit ranked first in the nation in scoring defense and second in total defense and rushing defense. However, the challenge will be stopping Colt McCoy, Jordan Shipley and the Longhorn passing offense. Not to worry, however, the Tide also led the nation in pass efficiency defense.
Prediction: Alabama 32 vs. Texas 21. This is being cast as a David vs. Goliath-type matchup between the favorite Tide and “underdog” Longhorns. It’s certainly not that. However, Alabama is just better enough than the Longhorns on both sides of the ball and even on special teams to warrant the favorite status, one which they’ll live up to. McCoy, for all his winning in college, will leave without a national title.