Thursday, January 7, 2010

The agony of defeat

No other way to say it, but if you bleed burnt orange, that sucked. I don't know how to classify myself. I'm from a family with no Texas ties whatsoever. My family is very much east coast centric. Me and my two other brothers are the only true Texans in our entire family. So somehow I became a Longhorn faithful. I don't know how it happened. Probably through school and at an early age, but it happened.

So its why watching tonight was like a gut punch. Alabama deserved to win, make no bones about it, but the circumstances are going to make anyone who thinks orange is a good looking t-shirt color keep thinking "what if...."

What a game, honestly one that couldn't of gone better for Alabama. The main theme for this game was the ability to adapt to the situation. 'Bama did it faster, Texas did it later and it cost them. It forced Texas to use up all they had just to make it a 3 point game, but like all huge comebacks it takes a little more to get over that hump, and Texas was out of gas.

Alabama opened the game using their exact same gameplan from the Florida SEC title game. (insert 1950's bad guy voice) "You think we're a runnin team, see?! We're a power team, see?! We're gonna throw the ball copper!" Alabama opened the game throwing the ball, trying to catch the Texas defense off guard much like they did Florida. But the problem is, the Gators were missing their best pass rusher and, bear with me I'm gonna use a lot of jargon and technical terms here, the Longhorn pass rush is pretty awesome. Texas rifled through 'Bama's early passing attack game plan and blitzed them all to burnt orange hell. Then Colt got hurt. Yikes.

It all went downhill from there. 'Bama realized Texas was obviously mentally affected by McCoy's injury and reverted back to its power football. They realized while Texas is damn good fast, they aren't so big on defense. Alabama's huge o-lined just seemed to envelope what looked like a mentally damaged Texas D. It already hurts to have a size advantage o-line vs d-line but then to have in the back of your head that your all world QB was potentially done for? Its only human for a mental lapse to happen.

But that's where the game changed. 'Bama adjusted and Texas couldn't until it was too late. At the time we were all cursing Greg Davis' iffy and predictable play-calling. But in hindsight it wasn't too bad. He didn't want to rush true freshman Garrett Gilbert to the Crimson Tide's D. Its like in basketball when a new rookie has to fill in for a star player. You don't run 4 or 5 plays for that player to score. You let him feel the game out, sort of sit on the sidelines while playing so to speak, to let the game speed catch up to you. That's what Davis did. It worked in some ways, with Gilbert adjusting his reads and making much better throws in the second half, but in the end, the lead was just too insurmountable as 'Bama just kept pounding it on the ground. Nothing you can really fault. Texas did all it could, but Alabama made the right adjustments at the right times.

Now, I don't even want to mention the facebook/twitter/interwebs hating of McCoy. He obviously was too hurt to come back in. He didn't hurt his "vagina" guys. Sorry, but I'm no scientist, but I think guys don't have those. Just taking a wild leap of faith on that one. Just watch McCoy's post game interview. The man was crushed, devastated. He said he wanted to play but he couldn't feel his arm. Let me repeat that: HE COULDN'T FEEL HIS ARM. Anyone who doubts McCoy's toughness or capabilities as a football player after that, then, well, you're probably going to be one of those ignorant sucky parents who treat their kids like sh*t when they strike out in 4 year old coach pitch baseball. And I have nothing left to say to you.

Texas fans, rejoice in the sorrow, because the Phoenix will rise from the ashes and his name is Gilbert. If the kid can almost step in with no playing time against one of the best defense's in the nation in the biggest stage in college football, imagine how good he'll be when he has a whole season and a month under his belt to prepare for his next inevitable BCS bowl game. Let that sooth your tears.

Alabama, you played a damn good football game. McCoy hurt had nothing to do with your ability to put up a staggering 205 yards rushing against the statistically best run D in the country. Well done Tide, well done.

Let's just rejoice in a great college football season and a great national championship game and pray for Colt, who obviously has more invested into this game then we can ever dream of. Good luck at the next level kid, I'll be rooting for ya. Just don't play the "what if.." game. It'll result in more tears. Trust me. I know my tears.

Oh, and go Cowboys.

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