Tuesday, January 05, 2010

College Football Pick'em: BCS National Championship Game

What a long strange trip it's been, but finally we have arrived. That's right after all the talk and the hoopla, we have made it to the BCS National Championship game. All the dust has settled and we are left with the Texas Longhorns and Alabama Crimson Tide. Two undefeated teams, and both with a lot to prove. Love or hate the BCS (we know most of you hate it) this has all the makings to be a classic college football game.

The Texas Longhorns are in very familiar territory when they step into the BCS Championship in Pasadena California. It was just a few years ago that Mack Brown led his Texas Longhorns into the Rose Bowl where they took on and defeated USC in what was one of the all time great college football games. Now they are back for the second time in five years playing for a national championship and for the second time, the Longhorns find themselves as the underdog. Which may prove to be a good thing for the Texas squad.

Everyone knows about the big guns on the Texas Longhorns. Colt McCoy is one of the all time great college quarterbacks and he never gets the credit he is due because he played at the same time as Sam Bradford, Tim Tebow and company. That being said, Colt McCoy has played well in big games,and he has all the tools to cripple opposing defenses. A lot of people did not see Colt play this year, simply because for the most part he failed to put up the crazy numbers that he had just a season ago. However, on Thanksgiving night McCoy put on a display for the ages against Texas A&M. Against Nebraska in the Big 12 Championship game he was held in check, but McCoy still had enough to lead the Longhorns and set up the game winning field goal.

There is no doubt that Colt McCoy's favorite target is longtime friend Jordan Shipley. Jordan was responsible for 106 receptions and 1,363 yards. Plainly put, Shipley is a big time gamer on the field. He is McCoy's favorite target when throwing down field, and in third down situations. However, Shipley is also a very dangerous threat in the return game.

Texas is not a one dimensional spread team. While it is true Colt McCoy has vastly improved his passing game, the Longhorns are still a very dynamic rushing team. Running back Tre Newtown and Cody Johnson combined for 18 touchdowns and nearly 1,000 yards on the ground. That does not include the damage Colt McCoy caused with his legs when running those zone read plays. More than anything, if Texas wants a chance in this game they will need Colt McCoy to use his legs. Much like Nebraska, Alabama has a great defensive line and they bring a lot of pressure. Colt McCoy needs to have a flashback to the 2008 where he rushed for 561 yards and 11 touchdowns. A running Colt McCoy can breakdown the Crimson Tide defense.

Alabama has the Heisman winning running back in Mark Ingram. There is no doubt he was a flat out stud in the SEC this season. A school record 1,542 yards and 15 touchdowns on the ground. There is no doubt he paces the Crimson Tide offense. But he is not the only weapon at Alabama's disposal. Sophomore wide out Julio Jones is developing into a a stand out player. He gives Alabama a down the field option, that helps to spread opposing defenses out and opening up running lanes for Ingram.

On the defensive side of the Alabama is one of the best teams I have ever seen. Nick Saban is the master of hiding and bringing pressure. Everyone remembers what he was able to do with his teams while at LSU, and this Bama defense is far better than any of those. Ranked 12th nationally, Alabama has a strong defensive line that not only plugs holes, but they bring heat on quarterbacks. They are able to get up field and disrupt a teams passing game.

The spread for this game is sitting at 4.5 points and favors Alabama which is perfect. The BCS Championship game really does have all the potential to be a great game. Both teams have stand out defenses that like to rush the passer. On offense both teams have play makers who can take over a game and cripple even the best defense. At the end of the day this game will come down to the play makers. Whoever, can step up with the big performance on the big stage will win the game.

Personally, I think this is Colt McCoy's time to shine. He has waited four years to get himself onto the national stage and create his own college football moment like his predecessor Vince Young did. Alabama is a hell of a team, but this is the Longhorns time to shine.

Winner: Texas Longhorns pull the upset and win the game.


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