BCS Championship Final: Alabama 37, Texas 21
11 p.m. update: Alabama 37, Texas 21
Seeing Colt McCoy go down was difficult.
I have to pose the question to you guys, though. Had he been healthy...would the outcome have been different? Sad thing is, we'll never know.
The SEC has now won the past four BCS Championships (Alabama, Florida, LSU, Florida).
It was a year of injuries in the Big 12: First, Sam Bradford and Jermaine Gresham of Oklahoma.
Kendall Hunter of Oklahoma State.
Robert Griffin of Baylor.
Colt McCoy of Texas tonight in the second series of the game.
The Big 12 finished its bowl season at 4-4.
10:55 p.m. update: Alabama 31, Texas 21
Well, that should do it, folks. Mark Ingram bruised ahead for a 1-yard touchdown after Alabama forced a fumble of Texas quarterback Garrett Gilbert. Ingram compiled 116 yards and two touchdowns on the ground and will most likely be the MVP of the BCS Championship.
10:48 p.m. update: Alabama 24, Texas 21
Three minutes left. Garrett Gilbert 10 for his last 14. Let's see what the kid has.
10:36 p.m. update: Alabama 24, Texas 21
How about freshman Garrett Gilbert in this second half? This has been a remarkable performance. Another laser beam to Jordan Shipley for a 28-yard touchdown.
I think Alabama's conservative play-calling has let Texas stick around. If I'm a Crimson Tide fan, this is way too close for comfort. Can you imagine if a freshman quarterback comes back and beats the best defense in the country?
What do you guys think.....possible?
10:27 p.m. update: Random observation
Seeing Vince Young on the sidelines in a nice shirt, slacks and sunglasses is hilarious. V.Y., is it sunny outside or something? Must be the bright lights in Pasadena, Calif.
10:24 p.m. update: Alabama 24, Texas 13
Alabama's not doing anything too fancy in the second half. Nick Saban is implementing a conservative, run-oriented game plan, with an intent of making Garrett Gilbert beat him.
In the second half, the Texas defense has responded. After giving up 148 rushing yards in the first half, the Longhorns have only surrendered 12 rushing yards in the second half. It's keeping UT in the game.
10:14 p.m. update: Random observation
Is The Rock really playing a tooth fairy in an upcoming movie entitled....(fittingly) Tooth Fairy? That commercial looked awful. I'd quite honestly rather watch paint dry in a movie theater for three hours instead of putting myself through that torture. I suppose I miss the days of the rock bottom.
10:10 p.m. update: Alabama 24, Texas 13
After a series of screen passes and incompletions, offensive coordinator Greg Davis cut Garrett Gilbert loose and he responded with a 44-yard strike to Jordan Shipley. Texas must continue to find Shipley.
On a crazy sequence, the Longhorns recovered the ensuing onside kick. I love the call by coach Mack Brown. After a quiet third quarter overall, things are really starting to pick up again toward the end of the period.
McCoy injury update
Not too surprising, but Colt McCoy will not return tonight, per sideline reporter Lisa Salters.
What do you guys think the injury is...separated shoulder? It didn't look awful, but this injury has to be really serious for a guy like McCoy not to give it a final go.
9:15 p.m. update
Three first-half observations:
This is a completely different BCS Championship without Colt McCoy. Texas jumped ahead, 6-0, and looked like it would be able to stick with Alabama all night. McCoy's absence has made the Longhorns one-dimensional on offense. Alabama is stacking defenders in the box against an inexperienced freshman quarterback in Garrett Gilbert. The result? 1-10 for negative-4 yards and two interceptions. Ouch.
You have to respect the Alabama running attack. The Crimson Tide racked up 148 rushing yards in the first half and scored 24 unanswered points. Texas began the game nicely with three early sacks of Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy, but hasn't been able to stop Mark Ingram or Trent Richardson on the ground. The short fields haven't helped UT, either.
Jordan Shipley needs to somehow get his hands on some passes. The senior receiver made a great double move toward the end of the half and was open for at least a 40-yard gain, but Gilbert threw too far outside.
Texas receivers have to help Gilbert out, too. Malcolm Williams dropped a touchdown pass — granted, it would have been a tough grab — and Dan Buckner dropped a separate short pass.
Alabama doesn't turn the ball over, so I see Texas having a really difficult time getting back into this game, particularly if McCoy can't suit back up.
Halftime update: Alabama 24, Texas 6
Well, there you have it.
That last interception by Garrett Gilbert sealed this game, as far as I see it. You simply cannot afford a pick-six when the idea is to run the clock out. This is not a Texas team that I see being able to play from behind. Not with a true freshman quarterback, at least.
8:27 p.m. update: Alabama 7, Texas 6
Seems like Garrett Gilbert was struggling as he went to the sideline. Will Texas have to resort to its third-string signal caller? The Crimson Tide is bringing the heat to UT quarterbacks tonight.
End of first quarter: Texas 6, Alabama 0
Alabama is on the verge of scoring, as Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram is really starting to find some room. He already has 45 yards rushing.
Texas cannot afford to play from behind with Colt McCoy out of the game.
8:10 p.m. update: Texas 6, Alabama 0
Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp is orchestrating a brilliant scheme for the Longhorns, who have piled up three sacks on Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy already. McElroy was visibly frustrated on one of the sacks, shouting at his linemen in a plea for better protection.
It looks like Colt McCoy is going to the locker room for X-rays. Not good for UT. Freshman Garrett Gilbert, welcome to the show.
7:55 p.m. update: Texas 3, Alabama 0
What was up with that Nick Saban fake punt call? That came out of nowhere. Very un-Saban-like. Texas really could have used 7 there, but settled for a field goal.
The big question is the status of quarterback Colt McCoy, who appeared to have injured his right, throwing shoulder on a draw. This would be catastrophic for UT if McCoy can't return. I really hope he gets back out there. Both teams deserve to be at full strength, and it just wouldn't be nearly as interesting.
Just as I'm typing this, Texas recovers the ensuing kickoff. Incredible. For all the hype about Alabama's special teams, the Longhorns are really taking control of that aspect of the game.
Thursday: 7 p.m. update
It's about that time. Should have kickoff at 7:38 p.m. I voiced my prediction in the video below. I'm going out on a bit of a limb tonight, my friends:
Texas 23, Alabama 20.
Is it me, or does Mack Brown remind you of one of your favorite relatives? I don't know, maybe an uncle or something, but the guy seems so nice and that interview with Lisa Salters just reminded me of that. And it's not just on television.
I ran into Brown this summer in Irving, Texas at Big 12 Media Days. No one else was around and I just said hello and asked how his day was going. He was incredibly friendly, even asking my name and where I was visiting from. When I mentioned the Lawrence Journal-World, he had some complimentary things to say about the Kansas football team.
Lou Holtz picked Texas. Mark May looked at him awkwardly for a long time as if he was crazy and picked Alabama. Desmond Howard went with the Crimson Tide. In his fabled head gear segment, Lee Corso put on Bevo gear and picked Texas. I'm a bit surprised so many ESPN analysts are picking Texas.
I'm ready to get this thing going.
Thursday: 4:50 p.m. update
Earlier today, I listed a trend that could work toward the favor of No. 2 Texas in tonight's BCS Championship.
There's also quite a bit of recent history working against the Longhorns. That is, the dominance of the SEC lately in BCS Championships.
Florida in 2009. LSU in 2008. Florida in 2007.
Another unpleasant streak working against Texas: The last two bowl seasons, the SEC is 4-0 against the Big 12 in the postseason.
Maybe the Longhorns have something up their sleeve tonight. Of course, the last time Texas played in the BCS Championship, we all remember the result:
Here's the major conference bowl records heading into tonight:
• Big East: 4-2
• Big Ten: 4-3
• Big 12: 4-3
• SEC: 5-4
• ACC: 3-4
• Pac-10: 2-5
Thursday: 11:30 a.m. update
Seems like a pretty good night to watch some TV. In Lawrence, the high today is 8 degrees. Friday's high is 2. I feel like a couch bum, but what the heck is there to do in this stuff? Sledding? I don't think so.
Anyways, about seven hours and change until kickoff. I'm not much into odd trends, but this one is really interesting.
In six of the past seven years, No. 2 has taken down No. 1 in the BCS Championship.
2009 BCS Championship: No. 2 Florida over No. 1 Oklahoma
2008 BCS Championship: No. 2 LSU over No. 1 Ohio State
2007 BCS Championship: No. 2 Florida over No. 1 Ohio State
2006 Rose Bowl: No. 2 Texas over No. 1 USC
2005 Orange Bowl: No. 1 USC over No. 2 Oklahoma
2004 Sugar Bowl: No. 2 LSU over No. 1 Oklahoma
2003 Fiesta Bowl: No. 2 Ohio State over No. 1 Miami
Could work toward the Big 12's favor this year.
Be back later this afternoon for more updates. In the meantime, keep the predictions coming.
Original post: Wednesday night
Close call against Cornell tonight, but undefeated is undefeated. At the very least, it was an exciting college basketball game to watch.
In college football land, we're one day away from the BCS Championship game between No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Texas.
I'll be updating this blog Thursday before the 7 p.m. kickoff at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. There will be live updates during the game as well, so feel free to join in the discussion during tomorrow's game.
For now, here's my take on the BCS Championship game in the latest episode of ConferenceChatterTV:
So let me ask you guys. What's tomorrow's score going to be?
As always, discuss.