Alabama, Texas and the BCS Championship Game

I’ve waited long enough. I can’t keep my mouth shut anymore. Alabama with ROLLLLLL tonight against Texas…hopefully.

There probably hasn’t been a closer match-up in the title game since the last time Texas was here against USC. In that game, Texas was considered an underdog, the pundits underestimated the impact the Texas QB would have. I think there are a lot of parallels in this game as well.

As a Tide fan – nothing was more satisfying than the dominant performance over the Gators in the SEC Championship game. Alabama dominated in every phase of the game, played their most complete game ever. It was a welcome site after eeking out a win against Auburn, needing 3 block kicks against Tennessee, and a Herculean effort from Ingram to beat South Carolina. In other words, Alabama has played close, tight games this season and their defense, special teams and Ingram has bailed them out.

Texas had a great season then laid an egg in the national spotlight against Nebraska in the Big 12 game. What was forgotten was the way they had dominated every one else the rest of the year. While Nebraska’s offense was hideous that night (and for most of the season as well) part of the reason was because of Texas’ defense.

So what to expect tonight? Expect to see Alabama’s defense do what they’ve done all year – roll up on 1st and 2nd down, putting the offense in 3rd and long so they can unleash the Frankenstein of Saban. 3rd and long is never fun for an offense but Alabama’s defense takes it to an art form. They were #3 in the nation in forcing 3 and outs. It’s just about impossible to convert 3rd down against Alabama.

Having said that if any team is equipped to battle this it is Texas. Colt McCoy may not have the urban legendness of Tebow but he is every bit as good as him. A fact I’m sure Saban has hammered into his defense. If Texas can’t get the rushing game going, it will be a long night for them.

On offense – Texas will stack the box and put the game in McElroy’s hand. Can the 1st year QB handle it? Will he perform ala Auburn/Florida game or South Carolina/Tennessee game? I’m guessing Texas will man to man in the secondary. Alabama’s WR Maze and Jones should be able to take advantage of this and they should have plenty of open looks and opportunities. The question is can McElroy get them the ball accurately, on time before getting hit?

Interesting Tidbit of Game #1 – take a look at how many Mac’s are in this game? McElroy, McCoy, McElwain, Mack Brown, McClain. What does it mean? Not sure…

Interesting Tidbit of Game #2 – I made this comment in passing, was about to blog on it, decided to google it first – found out someone had beat me to the punch. The Curse of the White Helmet. The article is worth reading but here is the short version…

Teams that have wore the white helmets this post-season have by and large gotten their clocks cleaned. Florida Gators rocked the white helmet in the SEC championship game – blown out. Oregon wore white vs. Ohio State, making OSU look dominant. Arizona changed to a white helmet for their bowl game against Nebraska. Result: Nebraska looked like Florida. Florida went back to orange helmets while Cincy rocked out new white helmets. Result: Florida beat Cincy worse than they got beat when they last wore white helmets.

Other notable white helmets:
Auburn wore white helmets and escaped with a W somehow against Northwestern.
Penn State needed a monsoon and game winning field goal to beat LSU.

Roll Tide.

Ridonkilous!!

The Broncs are 5-0 and have already exceeded what I thought they would do. Now all of a sudden the schedule doesn’t look as horrendous as it once did. Washington has turned into a horrible team, Dallas – not good. San Diego – absolutely beatable. Philadelphia and New York are still Super Bowl contenders and will definitely test the mettle of this team.

New England may be down this year, may not be the team we all thought they were, but it’s still New England. I thought our special teams were going to give the game right back to the Patsies. This is still a glaring weakness of the Broncos. A fair catch inside the ten, allowing Pats to down punts inside the 5. A running into the kicker penalty and two offsides penalties…not good.

Moreno looks great when he runs but he is fumbling to much. If he continues, his career will be short. Had Buckhalter been healthy, it’s doubtful we’d seen much of Knowshon in the second half. Eddie Royal had his breakout game. Love this guy. Great player, great competitor. Marshall proved once again why he is one of the NFL’s elite receivers when his head is on straight.

But once again, the defense takes the center stage. They are the leaders of this team so far. Doom is beast.

Hats off to McDaniels. First, you can tell the guys are better prepared than they have been in a long time. No knock on Shanny – he’s a great coach and all-time favorite. However, it’s apparent now that his voice had lost the touch, the relevance with the team. Second, his honesty is refreshing. “I lied” was how he responded to a reporter who asked him if this was just another game. It was and he said it and somehow he was able to win and still show his respect to Bill Belicheck and a team he loves.

The Unis
I have no words. Hideous. I actually liked the helmets…being an Alabama guy and all. But the baby poo colored look plus the vertical stripes on the socks… Hands down this is the ugliest throwback unis of all time. Not even close. The Pats on the other hand – great throwback look. I love the patriot hiking the football, the white look, it’s all just slick looking and quite honestly, they never should have changed their look.

AFC West Update

Jokeland – hide all sharp metal objects from the Kitchens family and other Raider fans. JaMarcus is regressing. They are in roll over and die mode.

KC – You can see what Haley is trying to do. He just doesn’t have the players to pull it off. This is just like the Herm Edwards version of the Chiefs. Can’t close a game. If Haley really is an upgrade over Herm Edwards, he’s got to start winning these close games. Pioli can help him by getting players in KC that are better than the ones he has…even if it’s a temporary fix. That alone would send a message to the clubhouse. Real test will be next year.

SD – Norv Turner has got to be feeling the heat. They are 2-2 and all of a sudden 3 games behind Denver. Yes, they are injured but this is the third year SD has come out of the gate slow, cold, and despondent. I don’t think Turner keeps his job after this season if Chargers don’t make playoffs.

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