Alabama has everything going for itself coming into this game. They just won a playoff game against defending champs Florida and their sophomore running back just won the Heisman. They have a dominant defense and a steady offense. They have a coach who may be a mercenary but has won a national title before. Texas may have the best Quarterback in the nation, but they lack the all around dominance and talent that Alabama can bring to the table every down. Rolando McClain and Terrence Cody are both first round talents on defense. Greg “John Parker Wilson Jr.” McElroy is steady and makes plays when you need it and delivers the ball to playmaker Julio Jones. They are hard to beat because they are so well rounded in so many areas that you can’t just shut down one player or stack the box because they will still beat you. The strategy you have to take is bend but don’t break and tackle solid.
Texas has maybe the most versatile Quarterback in the nation with McCoy (a better passer than Tebow, who is a better rusher) and the dynamic defensive end/outside linebacker in Sergio Kindle. Kindle is a first rounder and McCoy is no lower than a third rounder. Jordan Shipley is a solid wide receiver who can slip through any coverage to get a big gain. The Big 12 was down this year and it showed when Texas was in crunch time against Nebraska and almost blew it and set up a domino effect that would have sent either Boise State or Cincinnati or TCU in the National Title game. Still 13-0 is tough to do in major college football and they are one of the top two teams in the nation. Anybody who doesn’t believe this is too much into smaller schools to see how talented Texas is. Who did Boise State play this year? Oregon and 12 nobodies. TCU is a very good team but it’s not the same as playing Big 12 talent (even in a down year) week after week.
Texas needs to spread out and use their speed against Alabama’s defense. The Tide sees a spread every week in the SEC and even Florida couldn’t solve their defense.
Texas just needs to use medium passes like Florida did to set up bigger gains. They can try and run the ball but must do it outside to avoid Mount Cody. McCoy is faster than Tebow and can use a spread option to pick up yards. Shipley is a nice target and can be used as a deep threat. Alabama isn’t a great blitzing team and the Texas offensive line needs to give McCoy time to throw to have a chance. I feel confident that Texas’s defense can hold Alabama’s offense down enough to give them a chance to win. Julio Jones has great speed on the outside and needs to have two players (safety help over the top) to make sure he doesn’t kill you. Ingram can be contained but not stopped. He is healthy and rested and ready to keep proving himself. Kindle needs to have a huge game and cause havoc for McElroy (who hasn’t lost a game since Middle School) and force him to make mistakes. McElroy is safe with the ball and needs to be pressured to make bad throws.
Alabama needs to play their game and shut down Shipley to make McCoy to throw to less talented targets. The Tide can use their power running game and overall size to physically dominate the Longhorns. Alabama had a playoff game to get here and are more tested. They are the favorites for a reason. Even if Texas took care of Nebraska easily, they would still be underdogs. I see the Crimson Tide beating Texas like they beat Florida. It will be close for a while but Alabama will pull away and chew up clock.
Final Score: Alabama 27 Texas 17