By Shane from Centerpoint
Warning! You are about to be bombarded from all sides with an enormous amount of (mostly useless) information. Soon every talkingâ€“head that can get his mouth in front of a microphone, hand on a pen, or face in front of a TV camera will spew his opinion on the upcoming national championship game between Alabama and Texas.
Caution! The major sports media outlets will attempt to build this game into a dramatic madeâ€“forâ€“TV moment by creating the perception that the Longhorns are an â€œunderdogâ€. Professional pundits will attempt to leave you with the impression that the Crimson Tide is too powerful, all business and a much better team.
However, the experts will also portrait Texas as a giantâ€“killer. Their story will feature All-American quarterback Colt McCoy as the chosen-one. By kick-off theyâ€™ll have you pulling for him, too.
Wait a minute! Forget the mainstream mediaâ€™s take on college footballâ€™s final conflict. Their only motivation in promoting both teams is the need to sell the â€œcloseâ€“gameâ€ theory to attract viewers, listeners, and readers. Remember, commercial/ad sales have seen some hard times lately.
Actually, Iâ€™m not here to crash the party or break the code, but I am honest enough to state that I donâ€™t think the results on the gridiron will match the script written in the buildâ€“up. The supposed drama of a closely fought contest will be non-existent because I honestly believe Alabama will dominate this game.
No! I wouldnâ€™t make that comment without backing it up. Iâ€™ve got some very good reasons for thinking that Alabama will win big. Here are eleven of them:
#1 I hate to re-hash â€œFootball 101â€, but games are truly won and lost along the lines of scrimmage. Put it this way, if Texas thought Nebraskaâ€™s Suh was hard to keep off of Colt McCoy, wait until three of the same caliber athletes come after him play after play. Realistically, Alabama has about ten defensive linemen that are faster than anything the Texas offensive linemen have seen all year.
#2 Texas has a great runâ€“defense. So did the Florida Gators prior to getting shredded by the Alabama offensive line. Longhorn DC Will Muschamp will be forced to play eight-in-the-box in order to slow down Ingram and Richardson. Still, those Tide pulling-guards are deadly! Florida couldnâ€™t handle them and I donâ€™t think the Longhorns will either.
#3 Rolando McClain is a dominating force. He can disrupt a great offense with his ability to orchestrate shifts and alignments. Ro is also impossible to block. He can literally take over a game.
#4 Greg McElroy is ready for prime time. Unlike McCoy, who almost choked away his shot at glory, G-Mac has proven that he is the leader of this team. Saban can now depend on Greg to deliver and when Nick has a solid quarterback he rarely loses.
#5 Julio Jones may not have huge receiving numbers this year, but his value to the offenseâ€™s success has been tremendous. He makes big catches when needed and is a threat to score every time he touches the ball. Yet, his greatest contribution comes in downfield blocks, as he is one of the best Iâ€™ve ever watched perform the art.
#6 Tightâ€“end Colin Peek is a lethal weapon inside the stripes. He is a prototype NFL player that can draw coverage away from other receivers, while always getting open. Texas doesnâ€™t have a linebacker on the roster that can cover Peek one-on-one. His runâ€“blocking will impact the game as well. Heâ€™ll use his 6â€™6â€ 255-pound frame to destroy linebackers so the running-backs can blow through the lanes.
#7 Everybody knows that the Crimson Tide defensive backfield is coached by Alabamaâ€™s head coach, Nick Saban. Those whoâ€™ve watched them operate understand that Saban has two lock-down corners on the field. That frees up his big safeties to protect the area between the hashes â€“ against run and pass. The DBâ€™s seem to improve with every game.
#8 Last year when Oklahoma faced Florida the difference in overall teamâ€“speed was overwhelming. The Sooners couldnâ€™t run with the Gators. Simply put, Big 12 teamâ€“speed is no match for SEC teamâ€“speed. Alabama also has very large players that are really fast. Texas must adjust to this quickly or disaster could strike early.
#9 Quality depth always plays an important role in a teamâ€™s success during a championship run. The Crimson Tide is loaded and healthy at every position. Many of the secondâ€“unit players can make up with talent what they lack in experience. The bad news for the Longhorns is that most of them could start for any Big 12 team.
#10 Alabama has faced much tougher opponents than Texas has throughout the season. Theyâ€™ve been battleâ€“tested time and time again. The Longhorns had an easy schedule, with only a couple of real tests. One thing for certain â€“ the Crimson Tide is going to smack Texas in the mouth over and over again. Thatâ€™s what they do. Can Mack Brownâ€™s guys stand in and fight for four quarters? I doubt it.
#11 Finally, Coach Saban and his staff have had too much time to prepare for one game in this case. I know Brown will work hard to be ready for the contest but he wonâ€™t outwork Nick Saban. Nobody does! Saban will have the Alabama players ready mentality and physically to be relentless. Heâ€™ll have his team playing at a level where it doesnâ€™t matter who the opponent may be.