Five burning questions about the BCS championship game

 

Newport Beach, Calif.—Folks, you know how much I love Atlanta but it was nice to wake up this morning in one of the few places in the United States where it is warm.  I understand we have some nasty weather coming in to the ATL.

Tonight in almost perfect conditions No. 1 Alabama (13-0), the SEC champ, and No. 2 Texas (13-0), the Big 12 champ,  will square off at the Rose Bowl for the BCS national title. I’ll be getting to the stadium pretty early today. I’ll file a new blog before the game and will then share some thoughts during the game. So if you’re watching tonight jump online. It should be fun.

Since this matchup was set on Dec. 6 it has been broken down in every conceivable fashion. But here are Five Burning Questions I have before the kickoff comes just after 8 p.m.

 

1. Can the SEC keep its streaks going? There are two big ones on the line tonight. A win would give the SEC its fourth straight BCS national championship. Florida won it in 2006 and 2008 while LSU took home the title in 2007. Because LSU won in 2003, a victory tonight would give the SEC five of the last seven national championships.

The SEC also holds the distinction of having never lost a BCS championship game. In addition to the four winners mentioned above, Tennessee beat Florida State in 1998.

 

2. Can Texas block the Alabama defense? In the Big 12 championship game Nebraska gave Texas fits because the Cornhuskers applied pressure up the middle with Ndamukong Suh and used their fleet linebackers to fill Colt McCoy’s running lanes. Texas is much more effective when McCoy can run the ball, which he did well in the second half of the season. With over a month to prepare, and with a defense that is faster than Nebraska’s, Alabama head coach Nick Saban and defensive coordinator Kirby Smart will come up with a few things that McCoy has not seen on the film. I’m just not convinced the Texas offensive line can block Alabama on a consistent basis.

 

3. Seven Heisman Trophy winners have played in the BCS championship game. Six of them have lost. Will Alabama’s Mark Ingram be the exception or the rule? The matchup of Alabama’s offensive line and Texas’s defensive line will be a war. Alabama’s offensive line has jelled beyond anybody’s expectations. In the preseason the O-line was a question mark and it ended the season as a strength. Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp has done an incredible job rebuilding this defensive line as the Longhorns lead the nation in rushing defense (62 ypg).  But I don’t think Texas has seen an offensive line as good as Alabama’s. I believe Ingram will go north of 100 yards.

 

4. So what is Texas’s best shot to win this game? The Longhorns are the nation’s No. 2 team when it comes to forcing turnovers with 35. If Texas can turn Alabama mistakes into points then the Longhorns have a good chance to win.  But Alabama doesn’t turn the ball over very much. Two key stats here: Ingram has 492 career carries in two seasons and has lost just one fumble, that coming in the final minutes against Tennessee. Quarterback Greg McElroy has thrown 314 passes this season and has only four interceptions. Alabama just doesn’t make that many mistakes. I think the key here is McElroy, who enters this game with a 29-0 record as a starting quarterback dating back to his senior season in high school. McElroy doesn’t have to have a GOOD game. He just needs to avoid a BAD game. If McElroy does not play poorly, Alabama wins.

 

5. So what is the X-Factor? Without a doubt it is special teams. This game features two the nation’s best punt returners in Javier Arenas of Alabama and Jordan Shipley of Texas. Arenas, who averaged 16.3 yards per return, is a threat to go the distance each time he touches the ball. Shipley has returned three punts for touchdowns this season. If it comes down to a field goal, both teams have guys who can deliver in the clutch. Hunter Lawrence of Texas made a 46-yard field goal on the last play to give Texas a 13-12 win over Nebraska in the Big 12 championship game. Lawrence has made 20 of 23 field goals this season. Alabama’s Leigh Tiffin made 29 of 33 field goals, including 5 of 7 between 40-49 yards. If this game is close, expect a big play in the kicking game to decide it.

 

FINAL ANALYSIS: If the Alabama team that destroyed No. 1 Florida in the SEC championship game shows up tonight in Pasadena, I think the Crimson Tide wins by double digits. Alabama is just too solid and the defense is certainly the Crimson Tide’s best since the 1992 national championship unit. But I also thought that the 2005 Texas team was overmatched by No. 1 USC in a game what was also played in the Rose Bowl. You never know how a long layoff will affect a team and you have to wonder if Alabama played its best game against Florida on Dec. 5. Colt McCoy could have one of those Vince Young moments and fool me. Keep this in mind. Since No. 1 USC beat No. 2 Oklahoma in 2004, the No. 2 team has won four straight BCS championship games. Could No. 2 do it again? I don’t think so.

 

FINAL SCORE: ALABAMA 24, TEXAS 13.

 

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151 comments Add your comment

WonderDawg

January 7th, 2010
8:47 am

Lowcountry Bulldawg

January 7th, 2010
8:51 am

2nd? Dang thats as close as I have gotten to first!

BuLLdawg blows

January 7th, 2010
8:53 am

I have HIV…3rd?

Zebra

January 7th, 2010
8:54 am

Tide 31-14. You cannot be as one dimensional as Texas and beat a good team.

Texas Rebel

January 7th, 2010
8:55 am

My mind says they can’t do it, my heart says there is a reason McElroy didn’t get a scholarship from his home state team. Muschamp dials up a great performance on Defense and gets 3 turnovers, and Lawrence wins another game with a kick on the last play! HOOK ‘EM HORNS!!!

Marcdog

January 7th, 2010
8:55 am

Good article Tony,

The TIDE will roll and bring #13 to Tuscaloosa.

USC vs Texas

January 7th, 2010
8:58 am

Pete Carroll threw that game for the sake of football. If you remember USC was dominating the polls for several years and people were tired of it.

How many times did Vince run to the right on the last drive alone.

SEC is best is a joke

January 7th, 2010
9:02 am

The SEC of late is like the Pac 10. A few good teams and the rest are busts. TN and AU both fired their coaches for their body of work. Idiot Richt can’t win a big game. So that leaves FL, AL, LSU against a weak conference.

Fat American

January 7th, 2010
9:03 am

Disrupt & harass McElroy. Colt outplays GMac.

Texas 24 – Bama 20

bamaguy

January 7th, 2010
9:10 am

My father played in the 1935 Rose Bowl game with Bear Bryant. He died when I was young and I haven’t had him off my mind since the matchup was set. I chose to send my niece and her husband to the game instead of going myself. I am beginning to regret that decision Some teams come and some teams go, but the Tide rolls forever!

I have no life

January 7th, 2010
9:11 am

GatorG

January 7th, 2010
9:14 am

Everyone is expecting you to win and represent the SEC, Bama. Don’t choke!

123456789

January 7th, 2010
9:15 am

It’s still remains a mystery that Tony has yet to even mention the Decory Bryant case.

Not to worry. He will soon……when the case reaches the Federal Appeals court.

The UGA-AA is going to lose……BIG.

123456789

January 7th, 2010
9:24 am

Uh-oh.

Looks like former USC running back & Hesiman Trophy winner Reggie Bush
just lost THE big one in court.

Link: http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/football/2009-12-28-reggie-bush-lawsuit_N.htm?csp=34&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+UsatodaycomNfl-TopStories+(Sports+-+NFL+-+Top+Stories)

So now, ALL of the facts will be revealed about the $300,000 he was paid while playing at USC.

EW

January 7th, 2010
9:24 am

TB I will be infinitely jealous of you for attending the game. A long, long season all comes down to tonight, SEC ROLLS…again

Michael G.

January 7th, 2010
9:25 am

Texas will not allow Ingram to beat them, and it will come down to McElroy making plays to do it. Hats off to him if he does, but I don’t think he will be able to.

SecIsFootball

January 7th, 2010
9:27 am

Texas Rebel….McElroy was committed to Texas Tech so correct me if I am wrong, that is a home state team even if it is too painful to admit. Alabama was a better offer so he took it and looks like he made the right decision. BAMA rolls tonight 34-21.

Johnny Test

January 7th, 2010
9:28 am

Bama will win… Texas was exposed vs Nebraska and Texas A&M.

For those who think the SEC is week except for the top 4 teams please see the South Carolina vs Clemson game , the UGA vs GT game, 10 bowl eligible teams even though they play in the toughest conference in the country and see last year’s bowl record and this year’s bowl record.

If you are still not convinced I’d say you suffer from denial and are probably a Tech fan who still has his tail between his legs after losing your 5th bowl game in a row.

Ryan

January 7th, 2010
9:31 am

Hook em Horns. UT wins by a final score of 24-21. Bama fails to win its 7th national title!

jimmy

January 7th, 2010
9:32 am

SEC is best is a joke….. Your a joke!!! look at the numbers pal, that says it all. A mediocre SEC is still better than most, especially your pitiful ACC.

Denver Dog

January 7th, 2010
9:32 am

Roll Tide, I hope that they holding calls on offense don’t upset the Red Elephants. I heard the stat that the Alabama line had not been called for holding since the 3rd game of the season. Alot of ref’s say that you could call it on every play. What’s up with that? My only thought here of distraction is that Texas may want it more. Saban is the better coach, and with Ray Goff’s coaching tree running the defenses, it should be a great game.

Rogers Redding

January 7th, 2010
9:33 am

If we can get our officials to referee the game tonight, Alabama will win easily. We haven’t called a holding penalty on Alabama in 34 quarters. And ya’ll thought all the conspiracy theorists were crazy. There are a lot of nieve people out there.

m

January 7th, 2010
9:33 am

Tony…this game is just a rigged bullshiite MYTHICAL championship (sic).

If we had a legitimate 16 team playoff, neither one of these teams would probably be there,

It is an outrage and a disgrace that the best sport in history has this SHAM BSbcs system.

FWIW

January 7th, 2010
9:40 am

As Jimmy Johnson so eloquently stated recently on a TV broadcast:

“In the current era of college football, if a Championship doesnt result
from a playoff system, it aint legit.”

Right on !!

FWIW

January 7th, 2010
9:41 am

Congratualtions to the Villanova Wildcats !!!

College Football’s ONE & ONLY “LEGIT” National Champions.

1eyedJack

January 7th, 2010
9:46 am

Ruh…ro…rrr…roll….t..t..ti…tide. Man that just sticks in my neck like a chicken bone.

Gen Neyland

January 7th, 2010
9:55 am

Tide Rising, Bama Stan, bamaguy, Red Elephants all : Originally at preseason, I had Texas and Florida in the BCSNCG with Texas winning out. Now that that match up is off the table, I want to wish Alabama the best of luck. TB and the rest of the pundits can anaylize it pregame. We’ll slice it up tomorrow postgame. Roll Tide…Roll SEC.

ReptilesRule

January 7th, 2010
9:56 am

As much as I am disliking Bama right now, I have to root for the SEC to continue the streak. In fact, I cheered for all of the SEC teams in bowls this year, inclusing UGA, as in every year. Ugh, except Tennessee as long as Lane Kiffin is there. They can lose ‘em all until they get a half-way respectible coach.

ReptilesRule

January 7th, 2010
9:59 am

Sorry, that was supposed to be INCLUDING UGA, thank you Mr Freud.

DK->

January 7th, 2010
10:00 am

College football will finally be over. The most rigged “sport” on the planet.

Habersham Dawg

January 7th, 2010
10:01 am

Bama Guy, you’re a damn fine uncle. I bet your niece and her husband have called you repeatedly and thank you for your gift. If there is ever a next time, I believe it is legal to adopt a nephew from Georgia that you could send to such a game.

SEC Pretenders

January 7th, 2010
10:08 am

Let’s see why the “mighty” SEC got ten bowl eligible teams…. Your bowl-eligible teams’ non-conf schedule includes:
Charleston Southern, Troy, Tennessee Tech, Western Kentucky, Memphis, Florida International, North Texas, Chattanooga, Louisiana-Lafayettte, Tulane, UAB, Eastern-Kentucky, Louisiana-Monroe, Eastern Kentucky, Miami OH, Ohio U, Florida Atlantic, South Caroline St, Ball St, Furman, Missouri St, E Michigan

I don’t think 10 SEC bowl teams is something to brag about. You play a crappy non-conf, go .500 in the league, and play against another patsy in the Vidalia Onion bowl. Come on SEC……

#1 BAMA FAN

January 7th, 2010
10:08 am

Happy New Year to all of the college fans….May the best team win tonight. (I think it will) RTR

mootpoint

January 7th, 2010
10:09 am

tangent:People keep referencing how Texas was a huge underdog in the 2005 title game. I don’t get it, that team destroyed everybody that year, including dropping 70 pts on CU in the big 12 title game. Why was USC considered such a heavy favorite? the game this year is completely different. UT hasn’t been nearly close as dominant as the 05′ horns. Bama destroyed UF a few weeks ago, if they play the same they’ll blow UT out.

John Calipari

January 7th, 2010
10:12 am

As an SEC guy, loyalties have me pulling for Alabama. But seriously, can anyone imagine exactly how arrogant Saban will be with another NC under his belt?

Tommy Tuberville

January 7th, 2010
10:14 am

Good to see the ‘Bama Nation is back in full-throated roar. It’s as if the (18) seasons before Saban arrived never happened……….WDE!

jumbeautiger

January 7th, 2010
10:14 am

The Tide rolls 27-17.

Geaux Tigers
Go SEC
Roll Tide

jumbeauxtiger

January 7th, 2010
10:16 am

Gen Neyland,

You left off Got 12?. He’s a regular too.

Mikey in SAV

January 7th, 2010
10:16 am

This is no contest. Bama by double digits…

Love the SEC but...

January 7th, 2010
10:17 am

Please let UT win somehow! There is no other fanbase remorely close to Bama that idetifies their personal self-worth with the success of who they cheer for on the football field. Bama fans are gonna be insufferable for a long time to come. I have tremendous respect for Saan and actually like him (far more than Meyer) but the fans base is THE worst in cfb. Florida fans actually have learned to carry themselves with dignity and class (definity some level of smugness too) but, for the most part, don’t measure their own personal self-worth by ‘their’ football team. And Texas fans aren’t zealots, they seem far more well balanced in their lifes. Please, let UT win, so we don’t have to listen to Bama fans tell us how great they are.

DawginLex

January 7th, 2010
10:21 am

I too had Texas/florida in the title game with Texas winning. I think the SEC streak ends tonight.

If it doesn’t it is really only Bama’s 7th legit title. You can’t count the 6 voted on by the 3 guys at Tuscaloosa Corner Drug Emporium.

Howard

January 7th, 2010
10:21 am

Tony…I’d be more worried about that Heisman jinx than anything if I was Alabama…we were on a vacation recently and got to know a Bama fan real well and he was highly upset…seriously…that Ingram won it. He was pulling for McCoy because he said “we eat up Heisman winners in Tuscaloosa.” I believe that Ingram will become a rallying point for Texas…just like in 2005 when USC had the Heisman guy and Texas beat them. Also this 40-day layoff is insane. If I’m Bama, I would have wanted and begged to have played Texas the next week…especially after that Nebraska-Texas game and after how Bama beat Floridia. I think even two weeks later, Bama would have won big. Now I don’t know. I agree…the factors of which quarterback has the better game and special teams will be the big factors, don’t disregard this 40-day period of not playing. I’m a big Texas fan (my friend is their offensive line coach…Mac McWhorter)…so I’m pulling hard for the Horns. But I’m convoluted…there’s no team on the other side that I despise…like say Oklahoma, USC, Ohio State, Penn State or Miami. I want Bama to lose but if they win I won’t go jump off a cliff. Two southern schools playing for the national title in the Rose Bowl is sweet revenge. I’m sure Pasadena was salivating for a Big-10 vs. Pac-10 showdown…too bad folks. If both QBs have good games and the special teams have a stalemate…could be an OT and that would be great. Two great programs with a ton of history…maybe the BCS got it right this time. Oh, I will miss the heck out of watching Tim Tebow and Colt McCoy…two fine young men with Christian values and with their degrees in hand and off to the pros. Hope the NFL doesn’t ruin them.

Huh?!

January 7th, 2010
10:24 am

TB, how did you swing a place in the OC when the game is up the freeway in LA County? Nice per diem, eh?!

If you get next door to Newport Coast, say “hi” to Kobe and Rodman.

UGA Fan

January 7th, 2010
10:24 am

“A win would give the SEC its fourth straight BCS national championship. Florida won it in 2006 and 2008″ – Tony Barnhart

Johnny Test

January 7th, 2010
10:25 am

SEC pretender…. AKA Tech fan.. put up the OCC for the bowl eligible teams from the ACC.. It is a real laugher… because the ACC loses to the likes of Richmond and William and Mary… How about Tech.. Jax State, next year South carolina State and Middle Tenn. Typical Tech statistical analysis.

Otto

January 7th, 2010
10:26 am

Roll Tide keep the streak alive and keep the SEC undefeated in BCS title games.

Can’t wait to see tonight’s game and see who the real National Champ is. The sytem has worked and given us a very good season to watch. Enjoy this while you can before a playoff destroys CFB.

With the BCS title game remaining, the SEC is 5-4 bowl despite often having the lower pick in Bowl selection. Even in a down year the SEC can play with anyone.

Huh?!

January 7th, 2010
10:27 am

Oh, and the Big 12 is busted again. It pains me to say it, but the Tide rolls big!

catfish31015

January 7th, 2010
10:29 am

First!….I mean 41st.

Otto

January 7th, 2010
10:29 am

Since when was Texas a southern school?

SEC Rules

January 7th, 2010
10:29 am

You know how to tell the SEC is the most powerful conference? Because Bama violated NCAA rules just as SMU did with Eric Dickerson, but SMU got the death penalty and Bama got to go to the national championship game. The college football games may not be fixed, but the system is sure rigged. Not sure why anyone would get any satisfaction cheering for a conference over another when confernce superiority is fixed before any games are played.

Asheville Dawg

January 7th, 2010
10:31 am

Go SEC teams, ROLL TIDE.

Otto

January 7th, 2010
10:31 am

If conf. superiority was fixed USC, Miami, and FSU would be fighting for the tile. Why did they not get the death penalty? They gave away far more than TEXT BOOKS.

Bama in Atlanta

January 7th, 2010
10:31 am

Look for Trent Richardson to have a big game. Much like the Auburn game, Texas will focus on Ingram to make sure he doesn’t beat them and force McElroy to pass. On several key plays Bama will pull Ingram and insert Richardson and Texas will be thinking pass. Richardson will either be handed the ball or be tossed the ball in the flats. If TR gets in the open field then there’s only one person in the world who can catch him…..assuming there’s no kryptonite on the field!

Otto

January 7th, 2010
10:34 am

Texas will focus on Ingram? As if they wouldn’t before he was handed the Heisman?

BIG 3, INSIGNIFICANT 9

January 7th, 2010
10:39 am

If you’re not from LSU, UF or Bama, you have nothing to crow about. You are the abused dog that keeps coming back to it’s master for comfort.

Tide Rising

January 7th, 2010
10:40 am

I just can’t see UT running the ball on us with any effectiveness at all. Just can’t see it and if that’s the case I can’t see a one dimensional offense then winning the bcs game. I also think we run the ball with some effectiveness. If we ran it well against a better Florida D then I’m certain we can run it against UT which sees a lot of passing teams in the sec but 0 physical running attacks in that conference.

I’ve noticed in a lot of the bowl games between the sec and big 12 the sec teams have dominated especially in the last 2 years. Those finesse spread passing offenses of teams like Texas, OU, and TT tend to get exposed against great defenses.

OU got exposed last year vs a great Florida defense after OU rolled into the game scoring over 60 pts a game in its previous 5 games. Texas beat Ohio St last year but was pretty lucky to do so. OSU which normally gets pounded by Sec teams physically dominated Texas in that bowl game.

Ole Miss has dominated the big 12 the last 2 years and Georgia ran up and down the field on A&M team that took UT to the wire. Had they not dropped several interceptions that game would have been even worse.

Heck we even shut down a great TT offense in 06 Cotton Bowl and held them to 10 pts. And that was a Shula coached team that beat TT.

Based on inter conference results I’m feeling really good. Just gotta watch Shipley on those punt and kickoff returns. Here’s to hoping we bring home a 4th bcs crown in a roll for the sec and a 6th in 8 years. That would be unreal from a conference standpoint.

Elliot Garcia

January 7th, 2010
10:41 am

It sure could get ugly for Tide fans if Bama loses….

goober

January 7th, 2010
10:43 am

1: To Howard et al.: Please, use brevity in your posts. The long streams are boring and not read.

2: UGA and Valdosta State University win big tonight on defense: DCs Will Muschamp and Kirby Smart are both Georgia natives, both UGA alums, and both coached at VSU in 2000. Congrats to both of you for representing your state well!

DawginLex

January 7th, 2010
10:43 am

m,
Putting all nastiness aside, and given the fact that I too am a proponent of a playoff, who is more deserving to be in this game THIS YEAR?

IMO, this year, they got it right. I can argue there have been more years where it was questionable than years where it was right. but this year, they got it right.

Tide Rising

January 7th, 2010
10:44 am

General Neyland and others,

Thanks for wishing us luck. If we do win a 4th title in a row for the conference then we will try to be humble about it. Now I say try only because being a Bama fan you do understand how rather difficult that is for some of us.

Sam Robards, Dawg Fan

January 7th, 2010
10:46 am

Two words: Colt McCoy. ‘Nuff said.

Texas-30
Alabama-23

George in Bama

January 7th, 2010
10:47 am

SEC Pretender: You left out Va. Tech which Ala. opened the season with this year. Also, note that next year we play Penn State in T-town. Year after that Penn State in Happy Valley. Take that!!!

im4bama

January 7th, 2010
10:47 am

yes
no
yes
get lucky breaks
agree

I am cautiously optimistic about tonight. You never know, you always hope for the best and prepare for the worst. For all intinsive purposes, I think we win easy if we come out on a mission. I dare to say, we will never underestimate any team again. My gut says this one could be closer than I’d like, based on how most of the bowl games have went thus far.

Bama fans everywhere have waited a long time for this day. I hope we will be celebrating the 13th National Championship tonight and 4th straight SEC BCS Champs. To all Bama fans; R

Alphare

January 7th, 2010
10:47 am

If Heisman trophy is a curse, BAMA should just start Trent Richardson, forget about Mark Ingram. Richardson looks as good as Ingram minus 1-year of play experience.

im4bama

January 7th, 2010
10:48 am

ROLL TIDE ROLL!

DirtyDawg

January 7th, 2010
10:53 am

I suppose that you, Tony, have provided enough caveats in your prediction/analysis to allow for a Texas victory, because you really need to. Have you ever been so positive about so many games…and been so wrong? I’m sure that we could go back in time and find any number of them, but just for those off the top of my head – Georgia/Georgia Tech…GaTech/Iowa…TCU/Boise State – and a lot more, but who’s counting?

By the way, say hello to Sela Ward while you’re out there. That was one of your better interviews – classy and beautiful lady.

SEC Rules

January 7th, 2010
10:55 am

USC, Miami and FSU are not going to win every year, because Texas, Ohio State and other big conference schools have to get their cut of the money every once in awhile. But each has won a title in the past dozen years partly by virtue of playing in a big six conference. The NCAA will be sued soon for what they did to Boise St. TCU and Cincy this year. They – and their big six schools – deserve it. The system is rigged in favor of conferences like the SEC. Otto, this is not fringe thinking. Only the conference system supporters believe the system is fair and that’s because it’s in their favor to think that way.

Sporty Black

January 7th, 2010
10:55 am

I just got of the phone with Mack Brown. Texas is going to go 5-wide to open running lanes. McCoy will rush for 125 yards (against the dime) and throw for 250 yards (against nickel and base).

Texas 38 Alabama 34.

DawginLex

January 7th, 2010
10:59 am

SEC RULES,

Do you even watch college football? Did you not watch cincy get absolutely destroyed by Florida? Boise and TCU looked like a high school game compared to the SEC.

Get over it and stop being a jealous hater. Bama and Texas deserve to be in this game.

Jacket4ever

January 7th, 2010
11:01 am

Tony,

Since there are more than just the BCS and AP that declare championships, surely there will be an outlet somewhere declaring my Jackets as the National Champion. Can we tout that as another National Title? I know we have in the past, so why couldn’t we now?

Tiff

January 7th, 2010
11:02 am

R-O-L-L T-I-D-E!!! We love you Bama!!!!

DawginLex

January 7th, 2010
11:09 am

jacket4ever,

it would be as legit as some of Bama’s 12…………………

Alphare

January 7th, 2010
11:09 am

About 4 #2 teams beating #1 in the NC games, those #2’s are not really #2, they are #1 in most people’s hearts. It’s the twisted polls that put them in #2. I remember when LSU was #2 in the big game, most people I know said LSU without a doubt was the better team. So was the case with Florida when they played in the big game.

The only exception is Texas vs USC.

So, most people have it right most of the time: the better team wins (forget about the ranking). The only exception is TX vs USC, but USC is not a SEC team.

When a SEC team is ranked #2 in the big game, they are favored to win, which means they should be ranked #1 instead of #2. I remember even the national media favored the SEC teams when they were ranked #2. The poll got it wrong. Did anybody really think those SEC teams winning NC an upset?

This time, BAMA is ranked #1, and most people favor it to win. If BAMA loses, it’s really an upset.

BAMA 34 – TX 17.

yeah right

January 7th, 2010
11:09 am

Please!!! Boise has played 3 different SEC teams 4 times during the past 10 years and got waxed every time!!!! The commentators always seem to forget that when they are trying to talk them up.

David

January 7th, 2010
11:10 am

Dang Tony, you know I rarely agree with you. However, nice job sizing up this game. You did your homework. Now if we could just get you to stop being a Ga homer. Is Ga going to win the NC next season?

Otto

January 7th, 2010
11:13 am

SEC Rules TCU, Boise and Utah do not deserve. They did not play the schedule to deserve it. Law Suits have been defended in the past and can be again. The greater threat to BCS are politicians from Utah and a President that acts like dictator wanting a playoff. If you are going to flame the SEC you should atleast learn the landscape and history of CFB.

Tide Rising,

Agreed on your points. It is hard to pick against Bama given most of that history. The only things going against Bama are the Heisman Jinx and Texas’ record against Bama from how many years ago? Texas is a big underdog which was denied last year. They should be playing lights out and as much as I like Bama an underdog with nothing to loose is a dangerous opponent. I will be hoping for something like the ‘92 Sugar Bowl but something about this game has me a little uneasy (no I can’t tell you what)

Roll Tider

January 7th, 2010
11:19 am

HAHAHA…

m with his same lines. Again m, show me a better conference this year? Funny enough, the Big Ten has had the best bowl season this year. Seems like their runner-up just b*tch slapped another conference’s champion. Which conference would that be? Hmmm… The Pac-10 and Big 12 were both exposed as frauds this bowl season (see: Okie St., TAMU, Oregon, Oregon St., Arizona) and the Big East, well, pretty much goes without saying. The ACC held its own playing against much lower-seeded teams from other conferences with worse records (see 4-4 UT and 3-5 UK).

Non-conference wins this year in the SEC included VT, GT, FSU, Clemson, UW, NC State. All in all, the SEC is the strongest conference top to bottom in the land.

#2 BAMA FAN

January 7th, 2010
11:22 am

It is time for the crimson tide to bring the crystal football trophy back to Tuscaloosa!! Make us proud tonight guys!! RTR Remember the Rose Bowl 1926-1945!! ROLL TO VICTORY TIDE!!

Otto

January 7th, 2010
11:23 am

Alphare, It could be argued that many people saw Texas beating USC. The media was promoting USC. Texas won out in a much harder conf. USC had survived games against ND and Fresno St. The game was not an upset IMO.

ACC > SEC

January 7th, 2010
11:26 am

We have GT, Miami, Va. Tech, Clemson and BC. What do you have?

Roll Tider

January 7th, 2010
11:26 am

If Texas goes 5-wide, McCoy won’t make it through the first quarter without a turnover or two. Bama seems to disguise and time those corner and safety blitzes better than anyone. Arenas is a madman on the blitz.

Gen Neyland

January 7th, 2010
11:27 am

Reptiles Rule : As Maj Winters told a Cpt., “You salute the uniform, not the man.” As a Gator, you need to get over feeling so dang righteous.

jumbeauxtiger : Thx. Old-Timers disease, you know. That’s why I just cut it to ‘Red Elephants all’.

Roll Tider

January 7th, 2010
11:29 am

ACC > SEC

January 7th, 2010
11:26 am
“We have GT, Miami, Va. Tech, Clemson and BC. What do you have?”

Wins against most all of those? We have UF, UA, LSU, and Ole Miss. And since UGA and SC beat two of those you listed, we’ll include them too.

Next.

Tide Rising

January 7th, 2010
11:33 am

Otto,

You hit the nail on the head as far as what does worry me. Overconfidence after the Florida game, the Heisman thing. I don’t believe in jinxes. But I do believe that stuff like the Heisman, being favored, etc, i think that psychologically those things hinder the favorite and favor the underdog. You can spend too much time basking in how great you think you are and how great people tell you that your are and lose focus. Losing focus and not being mentally prepared a la Utah is what worries me more than Tejas.

ArmsBendBack

January 7th, 2010
11:34 am

Please stop using the “war” metaphor. They’re playing in a football game.

Sam

January 7th, 2010
11:37 am

Two great defenses, two average offenses by comparison. First one to 20, wins.

Paul

January 7th, 2010
11:37 am

Tony,

I have my money on the team not playing athletes who can’t even remember their major – cough, cough, Cody of BAMA – and joke about it.

College football is going to Tebow, McCoy and Shipley.

Hook em’ Horns!

http://stuffblackpeopledontlike.blogspot.com/2010/01/college-football-opiate-of-america.html

ReptilesRule

January 7th, 2010
11:42 am

Neyland…Unfortunately, the man IS your uniform and the face of your program right now. He (Kiffin) has opened his classless mouth and you all have embraced it. Next year is going to be a very hard trip back to reality for the Vols. It’s a shame that a once proud program has become such a laughing stock. YOU may not think so, but 95% of the college football world does!!

Atlanta Gator

January 7th, 2010
11:49 am

To all my Bama blogger friends, good luck to you and your team. Let’s keep the BCS title within the SEC tribe.

Dawgdiggler

January 7th, 2010
11:50 am

Hook’em Horns !!!

Alabama Headlines – 1/7/09 | MrSEC.com

January 7th, 2010
12:12 pm

[...] digits.)Now, onto some other web coverage:1.  Tony Barnhart of The AJC asks (and then discusses) five burning questions regarding tonight’s BCS Championship Game.2.  A win by Alabama will further validate that [...]

BCS = Fraud

January 7th, 2010
12:17 pm

Congratulations to the Boise State Broncos !!

The 2009 College Football National Champions !!

Defeated PAC-10 Champ Oregon. Defeated NCAA #1 Rated Defense: TCU.

BCS = Fraud

January 7th, 2010
12:18 pm

Congratulations to the Boise State Broncos 14-0 !!

The 2009 College Football National Champions !!

Defeated PAC-10 Champ Oregon. Defeated NCAA #1 Rated Defense: TCU.

Alphare

January 7th, 2010
12:32 pm

BAMA will have a slow start tonight because of nervousness by the QB, and Texas’ strong defense against the run. But BAMA’s rock-solid defense will keep the game close in the first half.

But BAMA will exhaust Texas in the 2nd half. McCoy will be tired and lose his pin-point accuracy. Texas defenders will be even more exhausted. That’s when BAMA will run away with the win.

You never know what will happen with a game. Well, that’s why you still have to play it after all the smash talk. But that’s my 2cents if you care.

Alphare

January 7th, 2010
12:44 pm

BCS = Fraud,

I don’t buy TCU’s #1 rated defense, just like Texas’ #1 rated defense against the run. All stats should be weighted against the Strength of Schedule. I said the same thing before BAMA played FL when FL was rated #1 in defense.

If you play a bunch of sisis, and the sisis cannot run/throw/score, of course you are rated #1 in defense.

Why is Texas rated #1 in defense against the run? Hello? Nobody run against them! If nobody runs against you, you give up 0 yard without having to do anything. And you will be ranked #1 because you give up 0 yard.

Roll Tider

January 7th, 2010
12:53 pm

How did Oregon do in their bowl game to support that claim for Boise?

murfdawg

January 7th, 2010
12:54 pm

The underdogs have won 17 bowl games so far this season. If you look at the point spread, it goes to 22. I don’t know what that means for Texas, but it could be a good omen. Just like the Heisman jinx..

However, playing good, hard-nosed football will overcome superstition and Vegas. Just ask UGA and Iowa.

Bama in a close one!

p.s. Please send Kirby home after the game!

BIG 3, INSIGNIFICANT 9

January 7th, 2010
1:00 pm

Roll Tider
Funny you should mention the Big 10. They will be able to lay claim to the only conference to win 2 BCS games this year and have their top 4 teams win their bowl games. Did you know the Big 10 and SEC have played 15 bowl games in the last 6 years against each other? The BIg 10 won 8, the SEC won 7.

30 Year Drought

January 7th, 2010
1:03 pm

Last year was Florida’s year, this year is Bama’s year, and when everyone on this blog is dead it will be the Dawgs year.

Will

January 7th, 2010
1:09 pm

I hope tonights game was as good as the Troy- Cent Mich game last night! Don’t you Tony? That game was so crazy. Also, if for some reason Damon Evans is reading the post………… Stop being frugal with my money and the othe alumni and go hire Kirby Smart already. Good lord Damon, you should run for president, I wish our leaders in Washington were as tight with other peoples money as you.

BCS = Fraud

January 7th, 2010
1:13 pm

According to the published stats…AND…Barnhart, TCU has had the #1 rated Defense all year.

And, based on Florida’s performance ALL SEASON and the UNDENIABLE “gifts” SEC officiating gave to Florida vs. Arkansas and Miss State, we KNOW Florida was WAAAAAAAY over-rated and completely undeserving of it highly dubious #1 BCS ranking all season.

Utah Utes (14-0) 2008 National Champs.

Boise State Broncos (14-0) 2009 National Champs.

It kind of sums it all up when Citi, one of the largest banking frauds in American history
is the title sponsor for the BCS, the biggest fraud in college athletics.

ArmsBendBack

January 7th, 2010
1:36 pm

I think that the last thing Boise St. would want would be an all-out playoff. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure their signature wins this year occurred when they had over a month to prepare. The meat of their schedule, week in and week out, seemed to leave much to be desired. At least with the BCS, they can always have an argument.

Otto

January 7th, 2010
1:39 pm

Utah and Boise St national champs lol

Sell crazy someplace else, we’re all stocked up here

Dawg-n-Alaska

January 7th, 2010
1:41 pm

SEC is Best is a Joke;
Thats why Richt is 37-4 against ooc schedule because he is an idiot, and the reason FLA and LSU look good each year is because they play teams like charleston southern and Alabama A&M… We finally get a break next year and get a warm up game prior to the start of our real schedule.
BCS=Fraud, i could not agree with you more about the fraud thing and the refs keeping FLA in it. I dont think that you can claim a Natl title when there are other undefeated teams out there. Look at Utah last year, yeah they may have not played a strong schedule but they tore ALA a new a$# last year. Even if my beloved Dawgs were in the position to win a title, it wouldnt feel right with not knowing if you there were other undefeated teams.

bamafan

January 7th, 2010
1:42 pm

Some things remain constant: M is still around Hey M, we missed you on the Tech blogs on Wed morning. Where were you? Guess you want to blog with a winner huh?

BIG 3, INSIGNIFICANT 9

January 7th, 2010
1:44 pm

Interesting, the SEC has 7 recognized NCs in the last 20 years. All but 1 from the BIG 3. UT in 1998.

Dawg-n-Alaska

January 7th, 2010
1:47 pm

I sent that without editing. I wouldnt feel right with other undefeated teams. Bring a playoff for all the conference winners and let the best one on the field win.

Without-a-clue

January 7th, 2010
2:07 pm

“This is not about who had the best season. This isn’t even about the history. This isn’t even about who has the best team. It’s about whose going to play the best for 3 1/2 hours,” Brown said. “That’s what I learned in 2005. The rest of it’s going to be chatter. It’s going to be who plays the best for 3 1/2 hours.”

The above quote is from Mack Brown. It took a football coach to put into perspective not only this game but every other one. Sportswriters and participants on the blog-o-sphere should take note!

SEC Pretenders

January 7th, 2010
2:19 pm

Johnny and George — I am not an ACC fan or an SEC fan, and definitely not a GT fan. Just tired of the SEC fans crowing about the 10 bowl eligible teams when your non-conf schedules are a joke. Win against three patsies, and then have a sub-.500 SEC, and go play some shmoe in an irrelevant bowl.

Georgia is the only SEC team whose non-conf was even close to respectable and look where it got them….

SEC Pretenders

January 7th, 2010
2:21 pm

UT wasn’t even the best team in 1998…. Didn’t deserve the NC.

The Grinch

January 7th, 2010
2:23 pm

BIG 3, INSIGNIFICANT 9

January 7th, 2010
1:44 pm

Interesting how you went back 20 years so you could get Bama in there. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

BIG 3, INSIGNIFICANT 9

January 7th, 2010
2:25 pm

Without-a-clue.
Ditto. Championships are won by the teams playing the game, not by the remaining teams in their conference.

GeneralNeyland96

January 7th, 2010
2:39 pm

Pretender:
UT beat everyone they played in ‘98….who do you think was better?

Otto

January 7th, 2010
2:42 pm

SEC pretenders, Va. Tech, Clemson, Az. St, Okie St., FSU, WVU sure are some patsies.

SEC is 10-4 against BCS schools in the regular season. Only the ACC played more BCS OOC games but they also played more FCS team too.

BIG 3, INSIGNIFICANT 9

January 7th, 2010
2:47 pm

The Grinch
That was out of respect for Alabama reaching tonights game. Make no mistake. I am not a fan of any team in the SEC. My beef is watching the dregs of any conference take any sort of credit for the winners in their conference.

Jason

January 7th, 2010
2:50 pm

In 21 head-to-head football games the past 2 seasons:
ACC: 10 wins
SEC: 11
Look it up. Not bad for a “basketball conference” against the big bad almighty SEC. What an overhyped joke. Of course ESPN and CBS talk it up, they have a financially vested interest in the conference. It usually has 2-3 very good teams and that’s it, while the ACC is full of mediocre teams. It’s called random sampling, and 21 games is a pretty large sample size. Winning 52% the past two years against the poor little ACC that you guys like to crack on- what does that tell you about your conference. Yea it’s overrated. SEC fans hate the facts.

ACC Pretenders

January 7th, 2010
2:51 pm

UT was the only undefeated team in 1998, moron

spectator

January 7th, 2010
2:51 pm

Most of the bloggers here are predicting a win for the “SEC”…is the SEC playing tonight? Is it bama playing or an all-star team from the SEC? If bama wins, does that mean bottom feeders like vandy and georgia get a share of the championship? Do their players get trophies? If texas wins do A&M and baylor get a share of the title? Nope, this is Bama playing Texas; it is not sec vs big 12, and whichever wins proves nothing about the conference. It is a win for their program only.

Otto

January 7th, 2010
3:00 pm

Spectator, Tell that to the other teams that were denied when LSU got the nod with 2 losses.

Otto

January 7th, 2010
3:04 pm

Jason,

The ACC champ beat the 2 SEC teams that didn’t get a bow bid congrats

SNOWFLAKE JACKET

January 7th, 2010
3:13 pm

LOOK AT THE PRETTY SNOWFLAKES!!!! AWWWWE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jason

January 7th, 2010
3:15 pm

spectator, i agree 100%. constantly rooting for other teams just because they’re in your conference = weak. that team probably waxed said fan’s team by 40, but like if they win it all it’s the other teams’ fans claim to fame. ha keep living off of their coat tails.

Turpin

January 7th, 2010
3:15 pm

I wonder if the people on here going on and on about the SEC are just pretending to be stupid or if they’re really that ignorant?

Starring Kam Fong as Chin Ho

January 7th, 2010
3:16 pm

Question #6 Which one, if either Defensive coaches will be wearing red and black next year

Jason

January 7th, 2010
3:20 pm

Forgive me guys. I’m just a bitter, jealous, envious Yech fan that is stuck in the God awful ACC. I so wish Boddy Dodd had the stones to man up to Bear Bryant instead of tucking tail and running out of the SEC like a coward. We’d still be in the greatest conference in the world

Gen Neyland

January 7th, 2010
3:22 pm

Reptiles Rule : It’s great to know we have 5% of the college football world behind the Vols. Shoot, that only leaves a couple ahead of us but I don’t fear. We’ll win the rest of ‘em over…and we know 2010 is gonna be tough. That, my scaly friend, is not news. It’s youth and schedule…

BIG 3, INSIGNIFICANT 9

January 7th, 2010
3:23 pm

Turpin
I agree with you but all you can do is give them the facts, after that is up to them. It is one thing to be ignorant and whole other thing to revel in it.

Jason

January 7th, 2010
3:26 pm

Otto,
For every GT over Vandy there’s a Florida over FSU (4-4 ACC), or SC over NC St (2-6 ACC), gimmies for the SEC. Congrats on those. It’s 11-10.

concerned sports fan

January 7th, 2010
3:29 pm

Why does GT suck at everything?

Jerry

January 7th, 2010
3:30 pm

I hope Bama loses by 30 touchdowns

Jason

January 7th, 2010
3:31 pm

SEC 11 ACC 10 over past two years head-to-head. Wow what a dominant conference.

BIG 3, INSIGNIFICANT 9

January 7th, 2010
3:47 pm

Which is more pathetic?
Browns fans taking credit for the AFC North (Steelers)
Orioles fans taking credit for the AL East (Yankees)
Warriors fans taking credit for the Pacific Conf (Lakers)
SEC fans taking credit for (LSU, UF, Ala.)

Huh?!

January 7th, 2010
3:49 pm

Dawg-n-Alaska, you might not feel right, but something tells me you would take the crystal home.

Honest Abe

January 7th, 2010
3:50 pm

spectator @ 2:51 — whatever makes you feel good about your conference.

Dawg-n-Alaska

January 7th, 2010
4:42 pm

Huh?;
You are right, I would take the crystal home and buy my NC gear and all!!!!
I think this is brewing to be the perfect storm for ALA to fall!! Everyone is picking against them and I just looked ahead at the tv guide to see what time the game starts and it states “ALABAMA’S GAME against Texas”. That just strikes me odd to word it that way, instead of ” The championship game that features ALA vs TX. JMO…. Go Dawgs in 2010

Without-a-clue

January 7th, 2010
4:43 pm

A change of “pace”: When there are 4 Tenn Vols in a car, who’s driving? Answer: The policeman.

Mark "Crimson Crier" Ingram

January 7th, 2010
4:47 pm

ROLL TIDE! I don’t want to cry again!

VILLANOVA WILDCATS #1

January 7th, 2010
4:59 pm

Otto:

What kind of cluster-fxxk system is the BCS?

Any of you D1 morons ever hea of a PLAYOFF?

Every other colleg & pro sport on this planet uses one.

Try it sometime.

Jim Mora, Sr.

January 7th, 2010
5:01 pm

Playoffs !?!?!?!

You wanna talk about..playoffs !?!?!?!

Are you kiddin me….playoffs !?!?!?!?

De' truth

January 7th, 2010
5:26 pm

Villanova Wildcat, etc.

Did you ever hea(sic) that these are college/Universities that are controlled by Presidents, Chancellors, etc. that at least want to keep up the pretext that their purpose is to educate students NOT to field undisputed National Champions. Didn’t learn that in PS 8, did you?

John

January 7th, 2010
5:51 pm

Jason:

In 21 head-to-head football games the past 2 seasons:
ACC: 10 wins
SEC: 11

How did that happen?
1)GT vs. Vanderbilt
2)Boston College vs. Vanderbilt
3)Wake Forest vs. Vanderbilt
4)Duke vs. Vanderbilt
5)GT vs Miss. St
6)Clemson vs. USC
7)N.C. State vs. USC

7 out of 10 verses the bottom feeders of the SEC, 3 legitimate wins out of 21 games verses the rest of the SEC.

ACC RULES!!!!

TrueCrimson

January 7th, 2010
6:03 pm

All I want to say is Roll That Tide!

RTR!!!

CoachO

January 7th, 2010
6:06 pm

Are the idiot Tech fans still here? I figured they’d all go crawl under a rock.

Too stupid to be ashamed, I guess…

Barkin'Dog

January 7th, 2010
6:19 pm

I looked for Bama to win this thing all bowl season. But, I like Colt McCoy and his team-first character (returned Sr yr. to win a title). Although Texas won a title a few years back (as a dog in the Rose vs hometown USC), and I am a die-hard SEC fan who craves more wins, I see Texas going 8-0-1 (all time) against the favorite tonight. Bama will get the upper hand first half, with power and energy, say 14-6… But Colt will wear down the secondary with pin-point passes and scrambles, to tie it up at 24-24, and go on to win 38-34 in double OT… Kind of like last nights barn-burner (great ending). Then again, Bama could win 17-13, but overall I see Texas getting the crystal… OT or not. Enjoy the game, fellow fans!!

Tide Rising

January 7th, 2010
6:20 pm

I’m gonna get ballsy and predict my Tide to win 27-13. May I not look like a jackass tomorrow.

crabapplejoe

January 7th, 2010
6:51 pm

Colt McCoy to Jordan Shipley all night long baby…..Hook ‘em Horns

Snellville GT

January 7th, 2010
7:12 pm

MICHIGAN has the nation’s all-time best winning percentage: .737. NOTRE DAME is second, at .733. TEXAS is third, with .727. ALABAMA is sixth, at .712.

ALABAMA is so low mainly because of so much messing around before Bear got there. On the other hand, TEXAS has always played in a much sorrier conference than Alabama – first, the Southwest, now the Big 12 – both equally weak.

If all that doesn’t seal with finality the result of tonight’s game beyond all doubting, I don’t know what will. I have done my best – the rest is up to you.

CoachO

January 9th, 2010
8:41 am

You guys can all hate Bama and the SEC even more — now that they have #13.

NEXT#13

January 10th, 2010
7:15 pm

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