BCS Title Game Takes Center Stage

Following Alabama's 32-13 win over Florida for the Southeastern Conference championship Saturday evening, thoughts turned to the national championship. And so did our radio dial as we made our way out of Atlanta, back to Tuscaloosa.

We knew that Alabama would be in the Bowl Championship Series national championship game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on January 7. And we thought Texas would likely be the opponent, so we found the Longhorns' game against Nebraska on the radio. We came in fairly late and didn't realize Les Miles had taken over coaching at Texas.

Okay, so it just seemed like the most fouled up clock management since any big LSU game in recent years. One might say Texas was lucky to escape against Nebraska in the Big 12 championship game, but the fact is that the Longhorns have the same record as Alabama. Both teams are 13-0 and this will be a much-anticipated national championship game.

Alabama and Texas are part of that handful of the truly elite in college football history. (There aren't near as many of those teams as some may think.)

We're looking forward to being in California with Alabama fans. We can suggest the 'BAMA Magazine/BamaMag.com tour. Got to this link for details:

One thing we're not looking forward to is hearing for the next month that Alabama's all-time record against Texas is 0-7-1. That galls, particularly since we saw a couple of those where officiating calls were key elements in Bama losses. But the fact is, those previous games have zero impact on Nick Saban and this year's Crimson Tide. Nor will the history help the Longhorns and Coach Mack Brown (just kidding about Miles).

Last week a radio show discussing the Heisman Trophy asked for us to present the case for Mark Ingram. Not that it mattered to the host. He announced that he had already taken Alabama's Mark Ingram out of the running because of a sub-par game against Auburn.

Well, we stammered, maybe the decision should wait until the end of the season, that the SEC Championship Game might figure in, as might the Big 12 championship game.

Heisman ballots were due in this weekend. Alabama has never had a Heisman Trophy winner, one of the few things missing in the Crimson Tide's overstocked trophy cases. It may or may not be Ingram, but it's almost certain the Heisman Trophy winner will be in the national championship game.

Ingram and his teammates took care of any hopes Florida's great Tim Tebow had of getting a second Heisman Trophy. Now it's probably down to Ingram and Texas quarterback Colt McCoy. McCoy didn't help his chances greatly with three interceptions against Nebraska. And he would have taken himself completely out if he hadn't escaped a bone-headed play in the final seconds against Nebraska. Indeed, it was a McCoy interception that led to Nebraska going to a go-ahead field goal in the final two minutes of that game.

Saban has some connections with the Texas staff, notably the Longhorns' famed defensive coordinator (and head coach in waiting) Will Muschamp having worked for Saban at LSU. Texas offensive assistant Major Applewhite served as offensive coordinator under Saban at Alabama in 2007.

This will be Alabama's record 57th bowl appearance. Texas is second to Bama in bowl games played at 48. The Crimson Tide has 31 bowl victories, also best in college football, and Texas has 25.

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