Going into the BCS championship game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Texas Longhorns, if you had told me that with four minutes left in the game, we would be down by three points and have the ball, I would have said I liked our chances. If you had told me that we would get there with our true freshman quarterback, I would have told you that you were nuts.
After a very ugly first half, most of America thought the Longhorns would be blown off the field in the second half. I'll admit that I was worried it was going to get ugly.
Instead, the Longhorns dug deep and were playing for the win late in the game. And while the final score differential as seventeen (thanks for showing your ass, Coach Saban), Texas proved their strength of heart and depth of talent on that field.
BCS National Championship GameTexas Longhorns vs. Alabama Crimson Tide
January 7, 2010, 7pm Central
Network: ABC/ESPN Radio
I'm the first to admit that I'm biased when it comes to the Texas Longhorns. But after countless hours spent reading online articles, blogs, and forms, watching sports broadcasts, and listening to podcasts, I'm having a hard time predicting tonight's outcome.
Part of that is because both teams have been inconsistent this year. Everyone talks about Texas' close game with Nebraska because it was the most recent game. The Texas offense was essentially shut down in that game and against Oklahoma. And the Texas defense was totally absent for the Texas A&M game.
Don't forget that if Tennessee had a halfway decent field goal kicker, Alabama wouldn't be in the championship game. And that they barely slipped by a four loss Auburn team. But when Alabama struggles, people say that is just what happens in the SEC.
For the second year, Texas Longhorn quarterback Colt McCoy has been named a finalist for the Heisman Trophy. Other finalists include:
Tim Tebow, QB, Florida Gators
Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama Crimson Tide
Toby Gerhart, RB, Stanford Cardinal
Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska Cornhuskers
Even after McCoy's less than Heisman-worthy performance Saturday night, I like his odds of winning. Many of the votes were probably cast prior to the Big 12 Championship against Nebraska, when his stellar game against Texas A&M was still front of mind.
A statement game.
That's what the Texas Longhorns needed, and that's what they delivered, beating the Oklahoma State Cowboys 41-14, with two touchdowns coming from the defense. Texas moves to 8-0 on the season, and remains in the driver seat to go to Pasadena for the National Championship game.
I will always take an ugly win over a pretty loss. And Saturday's 16-13 win by the Texas Longhorns over the Oklahoma Sooners certainly qualifies as an ugly win.
Especially the first half, where Texas managed only 59 yards of offense (compared to Oklahoma's 192). Colt McCoy was sacked four times in the first thirty minutes.
As always, the Texas Longhorns coaches and players walked into Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium through the north gate two hours before yesterday's game against the Colorado Buffaloes.
To change things up, the Wife shot video while I took stills (to be posted later today or tomorrow).
The sunburn that remains on my arms this Monday evening reminds me that it was hot Saturday afternoon. Real hot. The weather report said the high was in the mid-90's, but it felt like it was at least ten degrees hotter than that.
And, the official attendance of 101,144 is a bit confusing. There were certainly never that many in the stands at any one time. It's possible that several tens of thousands of people were hiding in the shade under the stands, however.
And a huge percentage of the people who were there left at the half. I can't say I completely blame them. For a while, I wasn't sure I would make it all the way to The Eyes of Texas. Fortunately, the Wife shamed me into manning up.
Heading into the game between the Texas Tech Red Raiders and the Texas Longhorns, if you had told me that Tech would only score twenty-four points, I would have confidently predicted a win by three or four touchdowns. As it happened, the Texas defense held Tech to three touchdowns and a field goal, but Texas only won by ten points, in a game that was actually much closer than the final score indicated.
I've waited a few days to write about the the game as I wanted to have some time to think about it. It was an ugly win, but I'll take an ugly win over a pretty loss on any day of the week.
Many Texas Longhorn fans still see the play in their nightmares. Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell throws the ball to Michael Crabtree, who tosses off a tackle from Earl Thomas and outruns Curtis Brown to the endzone to put the Red Raiders ahead with only a second remaining in the game.
It doesn't help that one can't watch anything involving college football without seeing the play every two or three minutes.
Tonight, after ten long months of waiting, Texas and Texas Tech finally meet again on the football field. Only this time, it's Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, in front of a record Texas crown that should approach 102,000.