Posted January 22nd, 2012 by Ross
Filed under: Bowls, Football

As we have completed another college football season, some wonder if really the two best teams were represented in the BCS National Championship Game. Many college football fans would like to see a playoff to determine a champion on the field instead of the cocktail mixture of polls and computers. Fans would be able to deal with this elixir of data called the BCS formula if they felt that 4 teams would be chosen instead of just the top 2. I would like to see the college presidents adopt the PLUS ONE model to determine the championship. Here is how I would like to see the BCS Bowls take shape first.

  • Rose Bowl affiliation: Pac 12 & Big 10
  • Sugar Bowl affiliation: SEC
  • Orange Bowl affiliation: ACC
  • Cotton Bowl affiliation: Big XII
  • Fiesta Bowl affiliation: Big East / non AQ schools

We will give the Rose Bowl special treatment to maintain their tradition of having two BCS conference affiliations. The Sugar and Orange can maintain their regional BCS counterparts to help with travel and tradition. The Fiesta Bowl is the one that gets screwed because of past transgressions. They will associate themselves with the Big East or whatever comes of the non AQ schools. Most of the non AQ schools come from the Mountain or West region anyway. The new kid on the block would be the Cotton Bowl with its affiliation with the Big XII. The reason that the Cotton Bowl gets invited to the party is the money that this stadium can generate. No other BCS bowl site can boast the suites, access and marketing power that Jerry has created. The five BCS bowls will also end the doubling up that goes on when trying to host their affiliated conference and next week the BCS championship game. The playoff scenario below tries to take into consideration the geographic locations of the bowls to accommodate travel.

  • Cotton & Rose will host the playoffs & the Championship game will be at the Fiesta
  • Fiesta & Sugar will host the playoffs & the Championship game will be at the Rose
  • Orange & Cotton will host the playoffs & the Championship game will be at the Sugar
  • Rose & Sugar will host the playoffs & the Championship game will be at the Orange
  • Fiesta & Orange will host the playoffs & the Championship game will be at the Cotton

The use of five bowl sites allows 2 of the non-playoff venues to continue with their affiliations and a bowl site will participate in the PLUS ONE system 3 out of the 5 years. The championship game will be played on MLK Day which is a holiday for many people. One important factor is that the BCS can still keep their claim that states “every game matters.” Another proposal is to have the BCS computers come up with the two most deserving teams after the bowl season is over. Fans do not want to hear any more about BCS computers after the regular season. At least this solution has the debate between the 4th and 5th best team getting into a playoff and not getting wrapped up in what a computer spits out.

One thing needs to be said for those that get sick and tired of the SEC winning all of these BCS Championships. Moving to the PLUS ONE model will increase the likely hood that two of the playoff bound teams will come from the SEC. Three of the past six years the SEC has had two of its teams make the Final Four in the BCS rankings. Get ready fans for even more SEC money and bravado coming from this conference. Why do you think SEC commissioner Mike Slive is in favor of the PLUS ONE model?

I am hoping that we get to see this PLUS ONE model in college football soon. Let the play on the field determine the champion not the computers.

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I hope that we are all happy as we start heading into the new season with a brand new quarterback and new expectations. The past five years have been an incredible run for the Longhorn football team with more wins in the programs history than at any other time in our 127 year history.

Let’s all take a moment to reflect back when this run all started in the mountains of California. (love the personal videos!)

“The Kick” coupled with the maturation of one of the greatest Longhorn players, Vince Young, brought us the momentum we needed to achieve greatness. This greatness was realized the very next year with a 13-0 record and a BCS National Championship when the Horns beat the glitzy boys from Southern Cal 41-38. The ultimate responsibility of following up such a legend was laid upon the shoulders of a young face quarterback from Tuscola Texas. That young player named Colt McCoy had the support of an energized and confident coach in Mack Brown to continue that success for the next four years. Those four years culminated in three bowl wins including a Big XII championship.

This historic kick put the Longhorns once again on the brink of success in the BCS National Championship game until the story book run came to an end. Colt McCoy none the less provided more wins than any Longhorn or college quarterback has ever delivered with 45 wins.

Why do I recap these moments that everyone clearly has experienced themselves? The reason is the fear that we will forget the past and not appreciate the run as we start the 2010 season. This year’s team is loaded with standout defensive players all led by Coach Blood. Our offense has a few question marks, but blue chips can be found including the quarterback who grew up quickly before our eyes against Alabama. I know that we have questions at running back and we are changing our offense scheme to be a more running team, but we should win every game, right?!

I feel good about going into this year but not with the type of success that we have seen around here over the past five years. Garrett Gilbert is the real deal, but I see growing pains along with our offensive line struggling with him. I still see us reaching 10 wins, but I see that 10th win coming at Jerry World (aka the Cotton Bowl) after we finish the regular season 9-3. Who will we lose to… be sure to check out all of our predictions at 40 Acres Sports throughout the season before every game. I hope that I am wrong, but I do not see Dusty Mangum or Hunter Lawrence on our team so I will just appreciate the season before us.

Thanks for following my WTH articles throughout the season. I appreciate the opportunity to rant about the greatest University sports program in the country. You can continue to follow comments on all of UT sports on twitter at 40AcresSports or follow me at Horns1991. HOOK EM!!

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Posted January 18th, 2010 by Ross
Filed under: Football

WTH?! (What the Heck?) moments are attempts to find the memorable and the off-beat perspective on Longhorns sports. Here are some interesting moments from the Texas game against [tag]Alabama[/tag] in the Citi BCS National Championship.

I know that this post is over a week late. I needed at least that much time to get some perspective from attending this National Championship game.

Pre Game (Coin Toss) WTH Saban?! Nick Saban, your team wins the coin toss and you decide to take the ball first. The big bad SEC which claims that no one else plays defense but you guys are the ones that decide to go on offense first. Nick, either you’re tremendously cocky or you saw something that the Horns could take advantage of which you felt you needed to put points on the board first.

1st Quarter (13:01) WTH Saban #2?! OK, Nick. I am starting to think you were scared of the Horns offense. You go for a fake punt on your own 20 yard line. [tag]Blake Gideon[/tag] baited the punter PJ Fitzgerald to make the pass, but Nick you gave the green light for your players to execute this play. Hey Saban, looks to me your were a little concerned.

1st Quarter (10:54) WTH Moment of the Season?! The Tide’s Marcell Dareus hit was nowhere close to the shots that [tag]Colt McCoy[/tag] has taken while on the 40 acres. One of the most irritating stats of the game was this was Dareus’ only recorded tackle of the entire game. The tackle caused a pinched nerve that affected his throwing arm which ended Colt’s storied career. I hear some people complaining that Colt should have never been carrying the ball because he is too important to the team. These same people said leading up to this week that Colt was going to have to run to keep the Tide’s defense off balance. Isn’t hindsight a beautiful thing?

2nd Quarter (:03) WTH Hix?! To top his only tackle of the game Marcell Dareus recorded an interception just before the end of the half (he won the defensive MVP based on this play alone). The frustrating part of the [tag]Garrett Gilbert[/tag] shovel pass was not the drop by [tag]DJ Monroe[/tag]. It was the lack of a tackle by offensive lineman [tag]Kyle Hix[/tag] who could have held him up for at least a second or two instead of trying to barrel roll him down.

3rd Quarter (12:05) WTH Gold Streaker?! The gold masked man with a website on the back of his shirt wanted to interrupt the football game to protest… the BCS. I believe all universities need to be on look out for more masked streakers who want a playoff system.

3rd Quarter (:45) WTH Pass Catchers?! I have made this statement for a second consecutive game. This young group of receivers needed to come up big in this game even more so since Garrett Gilbert went in to replace Colt. Malcolm Williams’ finger tip touch of the football in the end zone would have brought UT within a single score before the start of the fourth quarter. Dan Buckner had a crucial drop early in the game until he made a solid catch in the endzone for a two point conversion. We need all the receivers including the newest recruits, Darius White and Demarco Cobbs, to help out a developing quarterback like Garrett next year. (Who knew these words would mean so much more with the dismissal of wide receivers Brandon Collins and Dan Buckner)

4th Quarter (3:14) WTH Mack Magic?! I thought of these words when Garrett took over the ball at the seven yard line. After the Longhorn faithful thought the game was over when Colt went down, the UT side of the Rose Bowl was stoked about a possible tie or go ahead score. Just a few seconds later, Alabama’s Eryck Anders recorded their only sack of the game which caused Garrett to fumble and end any momentum. I do need to point out that the OL protection got better towards the end of the game even after losing All-Big 12 center [tag]Chris Hall[/tag].

4th Quarter (1:48) WTH Saban #3?! With the score 31-21 in favor of Alabama, Nick Saban cemented himself as a red a** going in for a meaningless score. His own player, Javier Arenas, who intercepted the ball and fell to the ground instead of trying to score, showed more respect that Saban. Operating from the victory formation with only one timeout left on the Texas sideline would have ended the game. To use basketball terminology, instead of dribbling out the clock, Saban decided to dunk the ball over his opponent. I subscribe to the fact that the defense is the one responsible for stopping the other team from scoring. But when you can take a knee that will end the game with your team hoisting the ball in victory, that is the ultimate ending for a championship team.

Thanks for following my WTH articles throughout the football season. I appreciate the opportunity to rant about the greatest University sports program in the country. You can continue to follow comments on all of UT sports on Twitter at 40AcresSports or follow me at Horns1991. HOOK ‘EM!!

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Posted January 9th, 2010 by Brian
Filed under: Football

Usually the United State President gives the team that wins the championship a phone call, but Barack Obama was so impressed by the Texas Longhorns’ attitude and comeback against [tag]Alabama[/tag] that he called up [tag]Mack Brown[/tag] to tell him so. He also wanted to congratulate quarterback [tag]Colt McCoy[/tag] on his outstanding career.

Read the release from the university:

Longhorns head coach Mack Brown received a surprise phone call on Saturday morning. On the other end was President Barack Obama.

“President Obama called to congratulate us on a super season,” Brown said. “He told me to tell the kids how impressed he was with the never-give-up attitude the team had during the game. He said he loved their heart and effort and that despite all of the adversity, they hung in there and fought until the end.”

President Obama got to know Brown and the Texas team when the then Senator of Illinois visited the football facilities during a Democratic debate with Hillary Clinton in Austin in the spring of 2008.

“The President said we treated him first class on his visit and he enjoyed meeting Colt (McCoy) and the guys,” Brown added.

“He wanted me to congratulate Colt on a great career and let him know how disappointed he was for him that he wasn’t able to play in his last game.”

Brown said the team had such a great time visiting the White House after the 2005 National Championship. That was among the biggest disappointments in not winning this time.

“Going to the White House and meeting the President was such a great honor,” Brown added. “That’s something that will be a goal for our team every year, to get back to the White House.”

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Posted January 8th, 2010 by Brian
Filed under: Bowls, Football

Fantastic article from Yahoo’s Dan Wetzel on the pair of Longhorn quarterbacks who each suffered devastating nights against [tag]Alabama[/tag] in the BCS title game. The opening bit on Colt McCoy and his father really got to me…

Colt McCoy lined up about 7 yards from his dad, Brad. This was inside the Texas locker room underneath the Rose Bowl bleachers, the Longhorns quarterback missing the biggest game of his career, about to attempt the most important throw of his life.

Colt had the ball and was going to pass it to his dad as a slew of doctors and trainers watched closely. How many times had these two thrown a football back and forth, from their yard in little Tuscola, Texas, to the practice fields of Jim Ned High School, where the dad was the coach and the son was the star?

“Millions,” Colt said. “Millions of times.”

Colt had just lied to the Texas doctors and said that he was capable of returning to the BCS title game against Alabama. A hit by the Tide’s Marcell Dareus, on the fifth play of the game, had sent him to this locker room. He wanted back out there. So he tried to sound convincing despite the fact his arm felt “like a noodle.”

He hadn’t come this far to sit. Colt McCoy was going to lead Texas to the championship. He believed this. He’d always believed this. When he went down, he said, “We were about to dominate.” They weren’t going to lose, not where the Longhorns had last won a championship in 2005, not against a team against whom they’d never lost, certainly not 37-21, as the scoreboard would show after 60 minutes.

Yet on the TV in the corner, he had seen it all fade away in his absence. Alabama was rolling; Texas’ early lead was long gone.

So Colt gripped the ball, stared at his dad and thought, “It’s just a simple throw.” He threw. The ball went soft and wide. Everyone grimaced. “Give it to me again,” Colt demanded. Brad got the ball and gave it back to his son. The next throw was the same, bouncing harmlessly away. “Give it to me again,” Colt said, again. Brad did.

It was the same. It was over. Colt couldn’t throw it 7 yards to his own father. “My arm was dead,” he said. The dad hugged his son. The son broke down and cried.

“There’s no pain on my body,” Colt said later. “If I was a free safety, I’d go out there and make a tackle. I [just] have no strength to throw a football.”

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Posted January 8th, 2010 by Brian
Filed under: Bowls, Feature, Football

Maybe the toughest interview I’ve ever seen, Texas quarterback [tag]Colt McCoy[/tag] talks to ABC/ESPN immediately after the BCS title game:

Personally, a truly crushing end to a Longhorn legend’s career. Colt is a great Longhorn and a great young man. He was broken hearted yet strong, grateful, and gracious. Best of luck Colt, we’ll be rooting for you.

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Posted January 7th, 2010 by Brian
Filed under: Bowls, Feature, Football, Live

Follow along live with 40 Acres Sports on Twitter and below for our thoughts and analysis during tonight’s national title game on ABC. We’ll be live right around kickoff for Texas vs [tag]Alabama[/tag] so join us to discuss the game at 7:00pm Thursday night.

Things might be a little less wordy than normal, but please feel free to leave comments and questions using the live tool, but not all comments will be published. Read below for more notes on comments and how the live blog will work. Hook ’em!

(continue to read full live blog …)

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Posted January 7th, 2010 by Brian
Filed under: Bowls, Feature, Football

It could come down to which QB plays best. Who would you choose? McCoy or McElroy?

It could come down to which QB plays best. Who would you choose? McCoy or McElroy?

Here we go ladies and gentlemen. The king of college football for the 2009 season will be crowned tonight at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. In front of a every sports fan in the country, the #2 Texas Longhorns will take on the #1 Alabama Crimson Tide for all the marbles. In a few hours the winner of the Citi BCS National Championship Game will hold up the crystal football and have a moment they will never forget.

Predictions from the national media are all over the place. Some think Bama wins big and think Texas doesn’t stand a chance, others look at the entire body of work and think the game could go either way. Our predictions for the title game are below:

Brian Enough talk, time for some action. The Horns have heard they’ve got no chance to win for almost a month and it will motivate them to come out and play their asses off. Will it make them overly hyped or give them the burst they need to win? I don’t think it matters. Texas defensive coordinator [tag]Will Muschamp[/tag] has his goon squad ready and pumped to shut down the Tide and they’re going to do it. The defense and special teams give the Horns good enough field position all night to allow [tag]Greg Davis[/tag] to throw caution to the wind (a little) and score just enough points to beat a great Bama defense. Horns win in defensive struggle decided by special teams and turnovers.Texas 23, Alabama 13

Matt This season and game reminds me a lot of the 2005 National Championship run, but I love being the underdog and overlooked by most people in the nation. All I keep hearing about is how good Alabama’s defense is and how they dominated Florida. Well I have watched quite a few of Alabama’s games this year and I think some people need to go back and watch film on the Alabama vs Tennessee and Alabama versus Auburn games.

I think the key to the game will be if Texas can get off to a fast start. It seems in almost every game this season Texas just goes through the motions in the first half, makes some adjustments, and comes out on fire in the second half. That simply won’t work in this game. A lot of that responsibility will be on Colt McCoy. He needs to take over the game early and do whatever it takes to start off strong, even if that means running the ball more like he did in the A&M game.

Alabama does have a strong defense but I am severely unimpressed by their quarterback McElroy. He seems slow in the pocket and Texas has the speed on defense to give him some problems. I think he will have a couple of key turnovers which will be the difference in the game. I actually believe this game will be a little bit higher scoring than most people think. And because of the Texas Longhorn Rose Bowl history, I am going with a last second field goal to win. Texas 31, Alabama 30

Ross 13-0 in 2009. 25-1 over two years. This has been an incredible run by our Horns. Do you see where this prediction is going? I had the same feelings going into the 2006 National Championship game and it turned out pretty good. The UT coaches (Will and Greg) will have a lot to say about the outcome of this game more than any other game this year. The Horns have a daunting task against the most complete team that they have faced all year. I pointed out what the Horns need to do to win with the new year’s resolutions post. The Tide have the momentum from the SEC Championship game, but the Horns have the chip on their shoulder. I think Saban will have Bama wound so tight while Mack will have the Horns playing with nothing to lose. Horns will win a close one. Texas 26, Alabama 24

Predictions from Twitterverse

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Posted January 7th, 2010 by Brian
Filed under: Bowls, Feature, Football

Colt McCoy will need to use his legs to complement his arm to beat Alabama.

Colt McCoy will need to use his legs to complement his arm to beat Alabama.

The big one is finally here. We’re less than a day away from the Texas Longhorns taking on the Alabama Crimson Tide for the BCS national title. No more waiting. No more listening to national experts drone on and on about how the Horns have no chance based off one game. The two teams will finally take the field and decide everything head to head.

The Longhorns are 4-point underdogs, what can they do tonight to swing things in their favor?

1. Pick up the Alabama blitz.

The Texas offensive line has been the subject of much chatter and consternation both for fans and the national media since the [tag]Nebraska[/tag] debacle. Ndamukong Suh doesn’t play for Alabama but Terrence Cody and Rolando Mcclain do and they’re not too shabby. Cody however has 4.5 tackles for loss on the season, the same number of sacks Suh on [tag]Colt McCoy[/tag] in one game.

Cody is more space-eater than playmaker, but his size and strength in the middle frees up other defenders to make plays. As a 3-4 defense the Crimson Tide will blitz frequently and from various different positions than most teams the Longhorns played this year. That will put a lot of pressure on McCoy, center [tag]Chris Hall[/tag], and the Texas running backs to identify who is coming on every play and give Colt enough time to find the open hot route.

2. Don’t give up a big pass play on blown coverage.

The huge pass play on a blown coverage between [tag]Chykie Brown[/tag] and [tag]Earl Thomas[/tag] early against A&M was one of the reasons the underdogs were able to grab some momentum and keep up with the Horns. Those two players along with [tag]Aaron Williams[/tag], [tag]Curtis Brown[/tag], and [tag]Blake Gideon[/tag] form one of the best secondaries in the history of UT football season. That’s high acclaim for a school with as strong a recent history as Texas with multiple Thorpe Award winners and former players littered throughout the NFL.

Against inexperienced Crimson Tide quarterback Greg McElroy the secondary should be a big strength, but if they make mental mistakes and let someone get wide open deep (as has happened too often the last two years) McElroy and Julio Jones will make you pay. Force the Tide to drive down the field and make them pay for their own mistakes, don’t give it to them easy thanks to assignment errors.

3. Get Colt McCoy involved in rushing attack.

The Horns need Colt McCoy’s legs not only for the running game but to get the senior QB settled in for the passing attack as well. McCoy has stated several times that a big run and even getting tackled helps get him into the rhythm of the game quicker. Texas is a pass-first team but they need to run to keep the Alabama defense honest and to open up the playaction pass. McCoy on a few designed runs (zone read, speed option, QB draws) and also some improvised scrambles for big yardage would be the difference against an excellent defense like Bama’s.

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Mack Brown was a master yesterday putting on an amazing press conference performance, where as the Houston Chronicle’s Richard Justice put it, he was “part gospel preacher, part CEO, part coach.” Watch the whole 30+ minute question and answer session below:

(watch parts 2-4 after the jump …)

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