2010 BCS Championship Game Odds and Predictions
by Robert Ferringo - 1/4/2010
Run the ball and play good defense. That is what wins in the violent game known as football. And the team that is most capable of accomplishing those seemingly basic goals will be the team that walks out of Pasadena with the BCS National Championship.
No. 1 Alabama (13-0) will face No. 2 Texas (13-0) at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 7 in the BCS National Championship Game. The Crimson Tide are a small -4.0 favorite and the total in this game is set at 44.5. The contest will be played in the Rose Bowl and will pit two of the most venerable programs in the country against one another.
This game will also feature two of the most powerful running games in the country against two of the best rushing defenses in all the land. And in my opinion the team that is able to control the line of scrimmage and muster more yards on the ground will be the club showering in confetti when the night is finished.
That was certainly the case last year when the rivals of these two clubs – Florida from the SEC and Oklahoma from the Big 12 – waged war in the title game. Florida was able to knock the Sooners around and completely contain the high-powered, but soft, passing attack of Oklahoma. Texas is cut from a similar cloth
Both of these teams were just a single game away from playing for the title last year. Texas was omitted from the Big 12 title game due to a controversial tiebreaker rule. Alabama lost a tight game against Florida in the SEC title game.
But a year later the foundations of each team are intact and the players will get their chance at long-lasting glory. Here is a more in-depth look at the final college football game of the season:
It’s the national championship game. I’d say that both teams are motivated. As if two rabid fan bases, sidelines full of all-time greats, and the media spotlight of the sporting world don’t add any pressure.
There are several key matchups in this game that should make for great viewing. Obviously the Texas defense – ranked No. 1 in the nation against the rush – will be licking its chops for a crack at the newly minted Heisman Trophy winner, Mark Ingram. On the flip side, Alabama’s No. 2 ranked total defense has to be hyped up for a crack at two-time Heisman finalist Colt McCoy and the Longhorns passing game.
Terrence “Mount” Cody anchors Alabama’s defense. The massive defensive tackle is the fulcrum for the best defense in the nation over the past two years and he is just one of several All-American hitters that the Crimson Tide rely on. Alabama finished No. 8 against the pass, No. 2 against the run, and No. 1 in points allowed this year so they are a defense that has no weakness. Only three teams – Virginia Tech, Kentucky and Auburn – managed more than 15 points against the Crimson Tide this season.
But Texas will hit just as hard as the Tide. At least on the defensive side of the ball. The Longhorns are No. 3 in total defense and No. 1 in rushing defense, which proves that they can knock heads with the best of them. They have yielded just 15 points per game this year in the high-scoring Big 12 and since Texas Tech hit them for 24 back in mid-September only two teams topped two touchdowns against this crew.
As I suggested in the open, the team that is able to run the ball most effectively is going to win this game. And if you believe that neither team is going to have much luck the Longhorns have a clear, indomitable advantage at the quarterback position with McCoy, who has nearly four times the starting experience as his counterpart, Greg McElroy.
Line Value and 2009 BCS National Championship Odds
This line has seen little variance from its open of -4.5. Alabama is the favorite more out of respect for the SEC and the fact that the Crimson Tide were more impressive while beating last year’s national champ, Florida, in their conference championship game than Texas was in beating Nebraska to advance to this point.
However, the No. 2 team has actually won four straight championship games and has taken the title in six of the last seven BCS National Championships. The underdog was vicious at the start of the decade, taking the cash at a 5-2 clip until 2007. Since then the favorite has won and covered in each of the past two years.
Texas is 20-8-1 ATS as an underdog but just 3-7 ATS in bowl games. But the last time that the Longhorns entered a championship game as an underdog Vince Young led UT to a legendary upset of mighty USC on this exact same field.
Alabama has been more impressive at the window this season, posting a profitable 8-5 record against the number. The ‘under’ is also 6-2 in the Crimson Tide’s last eight games overall.
2009 BCS National Championship Predictions
In a game with two great coaches, two dominating defenses, and two excellent running games I would have to side with the team with the better quarterback. Colt McCoy is a four-year starter and somehow has actually seemed to live up to not only his own hype before hitting the Longhorns huddle but also living up to the long shadow cast by former Texas great Vince Young. McCoy has played in and won a significantly higher number of big games than McElroy, who is in his first year under the helm.
Also, Heisman Trophy winners have traditionally been terrible bets in bowl games. And when you give a team like Texas the double-whammy of motivation of wanting to stick it to the guy who won the Heisman over their own quarterback AND being the underdog I think that you have a situation where UT’s peak performance might be a little edgier than Alabama’s.
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