Here it is, folks, the last game of college football until September. As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.
Thursday, January 7
8:00: Alabama vs. Texas (BCS Championship Game @ Pasadena, CA; ABC): As much as I would love to pick Texas here, it’s very difficult to actually do so. Let me rehash the things you’ve read everywhere else: Texas’s offense struggled against the only two teams they played that had good defenses (Oklahoma and especially Nebraska), no one besides McCoy can run the ball effectively, and while Texas sports a competent defense themselves, so did Florida and yet they couldn’t keep Alabama out of the end zone well enough for the tight contest this probably will be.
However, something I’ve seen a lot of so far this bowl season is rust, that is, teams coming out flat, offenses struggling early in games, etc. (And if you think it’s bad now, next year’s title game will be on the 10th. Ugh.) This could work in either or neither team’s favor, but if the stars align and Alabama’s defense comes out slow and lets Texas put a couple of quick scores up that will change the entire complexion of this game. I don’t rate the chances of that happening very high, but I think that’s what the Longhorns have to hope for.
Previous meetings: These two teams have met before, but despite their historical dominance Alabama is actually winless in this series (0-7-1, to be exact). They haven’t faced off since the 1981/82 Cotton Bowl.
Last bowl game: Alabama, quite satisfyingly, lost last year’s Sugar Bowl to Utah, 31-17, while Texas won their BCS game (the Fiesta) 24-21, over Ohio State.
To wrap up my bowl prognostications, I’m 16 of 33 (or about 48.5%). By my standards, that’s pretty bad. While it’s not quite the debacle of 2005, I still prefer to be at least in the upper 50’s. I also ran an ESPN Bowl Mania group among my friends this year. I came in 6th, which was good for dead last. I currently have 250 points and will finish last regardless of tonight’s result. So props to my friend Will (whose particular brand of insight has appeared here before) for running away with the asimsports Bowl Mania Group crown, with a straight-up record of 22-11 and 388 points heading into tonight.
Anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed my brand of “analysis” here on asimsports this college football season. While I’ll certainly try to talk about baseball more this year, it’s a long season and yet it doesn’t lend itself to weekly updates.