“Ichabod” Gilbert and Texas lost by a head.

Longhorn LEGEND Colt McCoy gets injured early, and Texas falls behind by 18, before giving SLEEPY Alabama a scare, and then a HOLLOW win, 37-21

The Alabama Crimson Tide are the BCS National Champions, because they were able to do what usc couldn’t:  They held off a furious comeback in the Rose Bowl by the Texas Longhorns.

With the Coach responsible for that gigantic choke in the Press Box for ABC (constantly being reminded of the most painful moment in his life), Texas tried to do it again on the same field.  But this time, Texas’ opponent made THEIR stupid 4th Down mistake — an Intercepted pass on a fake punt –EARLY in the game, before it could hurt them too badly, unlike sc’s infamous 4th & 2.  And there was no Reggie Bush botched lateral for the Tide.  Instead, Alabama’s Heisman winner came through, fighting through injury to put the game on ice.

ONE-HIT WONDER:  One hit early in the game changed EVERYTHING about this contest.  When Texas Star QB Colt McCoy got tackled hard from behind by Marcell Dareus, the hit in the back made his throwing arm go numb, and the feeling never came back.  He had x-rays, and never came back into the game. 

Alabama spotted Texas two Field Goals, when they made two huge mistakes on Special Teams.  The first one was the Punter’s fake-punt pass being intercepted in Alabama territory, and the second was allowing Texas to recover the ensuing kickoff.  But the Tide Defense held both times, so Texas led only 6-0.  Then Alabama went on a tear, scoring 24 straight before Halftime. 

On Offense, Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram was effective, rushing for 116 yards and 2 TD’s.  He had a hamstring/cramp problem, but back-up Trent Richardson came in and ran for 106 yards and 2 TD’s of his own.  And on Defense, the Tide teed off on McCoy’s Freshman back-up, Garrett Gilbert.  During the 1st Half, Gilbert, who wears #3, looked just like the Bruins’ #3, going about 1-8, and throwing two Interceptions, 1 returned for a TD.

It looked like there was no way in Hell that this poor, overwhelmed kid was going to have a prayer of rallying his team against the stout Alabama Defense.  He hadn’t been sacked, but he was rushing his throws, missing his Receivers, and not reading the Defesive alignments properly.  He actually hit his Receivers on 3 occasions, but 2 of those were dropped.  The only challenge for Alabama was to avoid complacency, once it was announced at the end of Halftime that McCoy would not be returning.

And Alabama DID go soft.  While the Tide Offense AND Defense went conservative, Gilbert finally settled down, and showed why he was recruited in the first place.  After throwing for about negative-5 yards in the 1st Half with 2 INT’s, he came back to throw for almost 200 yards in the 2nd Half, mostly to Star Receiver Jordan Shipley.  Gilbert actually connected with Shipley for 10 completions and two long TD’s, cutting Alabama’s lead down to 3 in the 4th Quarter.

Texas even got the ball back, down by 3 with plenty of time to drive for the tying Field Goal, at least.  And the way Gilbert had come around, Tide fans were nervous.  But after not getting sacked all night, Gilbert dropped back to pass and got pummelled, coughing up the ball.  Alabama took over with Goal to Go, and on 3rd Down with 2 minutes to go, Ingram made it a 10 point game.

Texas still had time for a desperate attempt, but Gilbert committed his 4th Turnover of the game, by throwing his 3rd Interception.  At that point, Alabama should have taken a knee, but, as an apparent homage to Pom Pom in the Press Box, Nick Saban instructed his team to pound the ball into the end zone.  Their Star Kicker, who beat Kai Forbath out for some All-American honors, missed the PAT (after missing an earlier FG as well), leaving the score at 37-21. 

That became the FINAL score, when Gilbert came back in and threw his 4th INT of the game, after which Alabama finally took a merciful knee.

Alabama is #1, and they deserve it, only because it would NOT have been feasible to SUSPEND the game when McCoy went down.  Everyone complains that TV and ESPN “OWN” College Football.  Well, if they did, they would have postponed the rest of the game, and allowed it to resume only after McCoy was ready to go.  Because with McCoy incapacitated, the Tide victory means very, very little. 

It is the most hollow BCS Title in recent memory, since out-manning a Colt-less Longhorn team proved about as much as the Jets beating a Manning-less Colt team.  Not only that, but the Tide was so non-plussed about beating the wounded Horns that they LET them back into the game.  By doing so, they made it a MUCH better spectator game.  However, an unbiased spectator had no choice but to start rooting for the suddenly-massive Underdog Longhorns, since only a Texas win would have had ANY historical significance in the future, while an Alabama win would always have an asterisk.

But Garrett Gilbert was just in over his head, as any unused Freshman would be in that situation, and that’s even if Alabama’s Defense wasn’t one of the Nation’s best.  Basically, “Gilbert Got Fried.”   And he probably isn’t the last Garrett to cost his school a BCS Title. 

So the Crimson Tide took the gift victory (despite converting only 2 of 12 3rd Downs), and doesn’t need to apologize.  Injuries and roster depth are absolutely a part of the game, and Alabama’s Star player Ingram was also less than 100%.  Alabama might have been the better team even if McCoy played — They certainly whipped Florida with Tim Tebow, and the Gators finished 3rd, just barely in front of Boise St. —  The sad part is now we will never know.  Without Colt, the Horns were like fillies, and just like in Baseball this year, the fillies finished second.



  1. Randall Avatar

    Asterisk my *ss Colt did play you moran. In the SEC, defense is part of the game… the part that wins championships! Colt played and was shattered by an SEC defensive hit that barely even registered as far as SEC defensive hits go.

    [T-H’s Note: What’s a “moran?” And you need to re-read the article — I was one of the few writers who did NOT say that Texas would have won if not for the injury. Alabama won it fair and square, they just looked lousy doing it, against a wounded opponent. It’s still a BCS Title, and unlike sc’s, no one is coming to take it away from you. But you have to realize that barely beating a weak Kiffin-led Tennessee team, and then struggling with a McCoy-less Texas team does NOT put your Title “up there” with some of the more impressive Championship campaigns. And if you want to say “Colt played,” even though he was knocked out after 1 series, fine, but you have GOT to know that it is a bogus argument.]

  2. Bill B. Avatar
    Bill B.

    As a Bama Fan, I have to agree that the outcome MIGHT have been different had CM played; however, with him out of the game, the Bama defense had to alter their defensive strategy. There is no majic wand or clairvoyance to determine what ‘might have been’. The end result, when the record books are looked at over the years, was the UofA won the National Championship. No asterisk; no caveats; just the W/L column.

    Love this site, by the way. You want to hear/see me go against every thing that is holy to a UofA fan and cry out War Eagle or sing Rocky Top….let either of those gaudy teams play USC…or Michigan….or Notre Dame. I’m kinda sorry that SC got Kiffin…I kinda liked having that loser around to coach UT.

    [T-H’s Note: Thanks for writing in. You are the second Alabama fan to complain (sort of) about my write-up. I didn’t mean to say that the Tide is not worthy of the Title. I felt going in that they were the superior team. I took them in my Bowl Pool, at a very high confidence number. I just feel short-changed as a fan, because it would have been more satisfying to see both teams at full strength. And I can’t blame Alabama for not being as intense after the injury (and letting them back in the game), because it just wasn’t the same as beating a healthy team. It’s like beating up a drunk — It’s so easy, that you let up. So again, I don’t mean to imply that Alabama isn’t the legit #1; I just wish they got a chance to really prove it, IN THE EYES OF Texas fans and everyone else. I hope this clears it up, and if you guys think I’m backpedaling, then I guess my choice of words originally was too harsh, even though I NEVER said that Texas would have won if not for the injury. Congratulations on your BCS Title.]