I guess the five-reasons rule is doubled for national title games, which is why Pete came up with 10 “non-X-and-O reasons” why Texas will beat Alabama here. And when you see “non-X-and-O” you can be assured you’re about to get a giant helping of nonsense. Pete didn’t let us down.
Reasons number 10 and 9?
10. The Alabama pass defense
9. The Texas run defense
Those seem a little X-and-O-y to me, a non-professional sports analyst. The reasoning for 10 is where the real insanity comes in:
The Tide finished seventh in the nation against the pass allowing just 164 yards per game while it led the nation in pass efficiency defense.
This is the first sentence under the 10th reason, the Alabama pass defense, that the Texas Longhorns will beat the Alabama Crimson Tide. How many mushrooms must one consume before the idea that Alabama possessing the number one pass efficiency defense in the country is a reason that Texas will win seems like a good one? (Answer: There aren’t enough mushrooms on the planet.)
While that sounds impressive, the defense only faced one bomber of a quarterback, Ryan Mallett of Arkansas.
Who they completely shut down.
While the Hog sophomore started out the season with two great games, this was only his third game with the team (he completed 12-of-35 passes for 160 yards and a touchdown with a pick).
Like so. And what does his third game starting have to do with anything? He torched Georgia (who has a bad defense, not coincidentally) in only his second start.
South Carolina’s Stephen Garcia had some success, but he couldn’t get his Gamecocks into the end zone,
Some success in this case being a line of 20/46, 214 yards, 0TDs and 1 INT. Alabama turned the ball over four times and allowed 6 points. Do you know how good your defense has to be for that to happen?
Ole Miss QB Jevan Snead had a lousy year (‘Bama doesn’t deserve too much credit for shutting him down),
No, they shouldn’t, but they shut basically everybody down, you nitwit.
and Tim Tebow threw for 247 yards.
He also completed passes at a lower than usual rate (57% compared to a career completion percentage of about 65%), had only one TD and one INT. Tim Tebow is also, arguably, the greatest college QB to ever play.
While the Tide secondary is talented, Arkansas was the only team on the schedule ranked in the top 43 among passing teams (the Hogs were ranked tenth).
Yes, they played one really great passing team, and, I hate to keep stressing this, they fucking stifled them.
Florida is fifth in the nation in passing efficiency (and Tebow had a decent 120.1 rating in the title game) and Auburn 18th (Chris Todd’s rating was 139.2), but the rest of the SEC teams are ranked 40th or lower.
Tebow’s season rating was 155.6. Todd’s: 146.45. So, you have a point with Todd, not so much Tebow. I will counter that point on Todd by pointing out that it was probably their worst defensive performance of the season by a fair margin. Which is especially relevant since you close with this:
Colt McCoy didn’t have his most efficient season, and he struggled against Nebraska throwing three picks, but he’s too good to come up with another clunker.
So, Alabama’s awesome pass defense is a weakness because McCoy came up with a clunker last game, and presumably, used up his allotment of bad games for the season? Make sense to everyone? Cool.
The reasoning for 9 is fine. However, skipping down we get:
What? You don’t see the relevance of a team not even participating in the game? All will be made clear.
Yes, it’s a different year and there are different circumstances, but the ‘Horns can learn a lot from the 2009 Sugar Bowl. Alabama was down after the loss to Florida in last year’s SEC Championship, didn’t have Andre Smith at tackle, and didn’t appear to be interested from moment one, but Utah had a lot to do with the butt-kicking. The Utes came out with an up-tempo offense, was in a great rhythm from the start, and sold out on defense to get into the backfield.
So there you go Texas, just emulate the model that Utah followed last year:
- Have Alabama’s national title hopes dashed a month prior to the game, thus ensuring:
- They come out flat.
- Get into rhythm (I suggest having the team reenact the dance training montage from Dirty Dancing).
- Be agressive.
6. The Heisman Factor
This popular myth – “Heisman = Bad Performance in Bowl Games” – is everywhere, so it pleases me to have a chance to refute it here.
Teams full of 18-to-22-year-old kids always go for the easy motivation, and when they have a prize of a Heisman winner to stop, and with weeks to prepare, they tend to shut down the star and/or get the win in the bowl. The trend doesn’t lie. 2008 Heisman winner – Sam Bradford, Oklahoma. Loss to Florida.
Bradford: 26/41, 256, 2 TDs, 2 INTs. Not outstanding, but not “shut down.”
2007 Heisman winner – Tim Tebow, Florida. Loss to Michigan.
Tebow: 17/33, 154 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs, 16 carries, 57 yards, 1 TD. Not “shut down.”
2006 Heisman winner – Troy Smith, Ohio State. Loss to Florida.
Okay, he was famously shut down.
2005 Heisman winner – Reggie Bush, USC. Loss to Texas.
Bush: 13 carries, 82 yards, 1 TD, 6 catches, 95 yards, 5 kick returns, 102 yards. I guess you could argue they shut down his kick returns. Otherwise, not “shut down.”
2004 Heisman winner – Matt Leinart, USC. Win over Oklahoma.
A direct refutation since his team won, but to keep up the stat thing, Leinart: 18/35, 332 yards, 5 TDs.
2003 Heisman winner – Jason White, Oklahoma. Loss to LSU.
2002 Heisman winner – Carson Palmer, USC. Win over Iowa.
Palmer: 21/31, 303 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT
2001 Heisman winner – Eric Crouch, Nebraska. Loss to Miami.
2000 Heisman winner – Chris Weinke, Florida State. Loss to Oklahoma.
The point of all of this is that there is no trend, you numbskull.
Going back further, the Heisman winners rocked in the 1990s, but in this decade they’re just 2-7 in bowl games and 1-6 in national championships.
And two of those six national title game losses involved good performances by the Heisman winner, three of the seven total losses. More important, the “Heisman winners rocked in the 1990s” completely refutes this entire point. Sometimes players perform well in bowl games and sometimes they don’t. There is no magical Heisman effect.
Of course, Alabama knows this and Mark Ingram should be ready, but that doesn’t mean he’s not going to be a marked man.
I think it would behoove Texas to ignore the best offensive player Alabama has, myself.
There’s more, but I’m tired of taking this apart. Here are 5-1:
5. “Nobody Respects Us” (Teams never lose when they are disrespected.)
4. Colt McCoy is better than Greg McElroy (So was Tebow, but fair point.)
3. Air Travel (The entire Alabama team suffers from aviaphobia.)
2. The No. 2 vs. No. 1 thing (2 always wins, except when they don’t.)
1. Texas really is good (Well, you’ve got me there.)
Look, I think Texas has a chance to win this game. They play good defense, and they have a great QB. The ball bounces funny sometimes. Bowl games are inherently unpredictable (well, I guess all games are, technically) due to the month off. The point is that the reasons listed in this article are nearly all stupid, stupid reasons to assert that Texas will win. Come back next week when I take apart Pete’s “10 Reasons Alabama Will Win” article (seriously: he’s doing that).