Tide Rolls (Sort of)

Alabama’s football team won their first national title in a while last night by defeating Texas 37-21. 

The Longhorns suffered their first, and most important, loss of the season.  But not without casting some doubt on whether or not the issue was decided with Alabama up 24-6 late in the third period. 

Texas, under the direction of true freshman quarterback Garrett Gilbert, put 15 points on the board to get within three points of the Crimson Tide, with just over 6 minutes left in the game.  Colt McCoy’s injury in the first quarter, it seemed, doomed the Longhorns to settle for something less than a national title. 

But, and this is the reason I watch sports, the ‘Horns refused to give up.  After looking extremely bad in the first half due to an inabliity to run the ball, and a freshman quarterback trying to run the offense, they came storming back to put a scare into Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram’s team.  They began to execute their offense.  The true freshman threw the ball to Jordan Shipley for a score on a terrific throw.  He led his team.

Now, I know that this jock-slobbering doesn’t look professional, but I like underdog stories.  I was still rooting for Bama to win the game because I believe SEC football is the most competitive in the country, and, after the regular season ends, I root for SEC teams across the board.  Even ones I hate, like Florida.  The McCoy injury and subsequent growing up of the young Gilbert makes for a good story.  And, after watching this kid play last night, I don’t think we have heard or seen the last of Garrett Gilbert. 

A lot of sports news organizations and bloggers are probably pretty upset that McCoy didn’t get a chance to finish what he started.  When he left the game, the ‘Horns were in the lead.  Maybe if McCoy was in the game, the Longhorn coaching staff may not have called that abortion of a shovel pass play at the end of the first half that led to a “pick six” by a 300 pound defensive lineman.  But, McCoy could not have tackled Mark Ingram.  He could not have prevented a long touchdown run by the Tide’s other running back, Trent Richardson.

It is true that McCoy would probably not have been picked off three times or fumbled a couple of times.  He would not have thrown the shovel pass when Gilbert did, instead waiting on the play to develop a little longer.  To say that McCoy’s injury had no bearing on the outcome of the game would be like saying gravity isn’t important.  But, McCoy is one man out of 22.  And the coaching staff for the ‘Horns should be getting his backup reps in practice, as well as putting together a plan B in the event of an injury.

Don’t fall into the trap of the nay sayers who want to take something away from Alabama.  They won this game.  They took it away from the Longhorns.

Most importantly, with the victory, the SEC gets a winning record in their bowl games.  Georgia, Auburn, Ole Miss, Florida, Arkansas and Alabama win.  Tennessee, South Carolina, Kentucky, and LSU all lose.  Nine teams in bowls.  Any other conference top that? 



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