04 January 2010
The Alabama football team practiced on Sunday for the twelfth time in preparation for the Texas Longhorns and the BCS National Championship Game. The full pads practice was once again held at Orange County College and Costa Mesa High School.
Here's what you need to know:
Once again, there's nothing new to report. No one appears to be sick, and everyone that is expected to play practiced. Marquis Johnson continues to work with a heavy wrap on his left hand, but it looks like he'll play.
My laptop is on the fritz, so I'm not sure how much coverage there will be from California. If I'm able to acquire one, even for limited times, I'll have reports as they are available.
Since this could be my final remarks prior to the game, I'll give you my overview on how the Tide has prepared, as well as my thoughts as to what you can expect in the game.
It is important to remember that Nick Saban has not only coached in the BCS Championship Game, but he has also won this game. His strategy has been a brilliant one, and I expect Bama to be very prepared.
In the last few practices in Tuscaloosa there were some remarks by some players about how they thought the practices were a little less intense than they were expected. Coach Saban's comments about those same practices indicated that he was pleased.
So why the discrepancy? Coach Saban has been there, and knows what he's doing.
He realizes that a team can not possibly maintain an incredibly high level of intensity for two or three weeks. It's just not possible. And so Nick Saban and his staff worked very hard to restrain the guys... to keep them under wraps a little. They understand that the team needed to wait until they got to California before the intensity really picked up.
That's not to say that the practices weren't intense. They were. But the practices in Tuscaloosa were held with the same level of intensity that was seen all throughout the year. And the players are expecting things to be ramped up a bit. That's likely what they have witnessed now that they are in California. The restraints have been taken off, and the team is finally able to rise to the level of intensity that they have been expecting.
And the good news for all of us is that this Bama team is capable of an amazing level of focus and intensity. We witnessed it in Atlanta during the first week of December. And if Bama plays that game again, the Tide will win the game easily.
Make no mistake about it, though, this game will be a challenge. Alabama will have to play at that level to win this game. Texas is a very, very good football team. Colt McCoy is the winningest quarterback in the history of colleg football. And the Longhorns will be tough to beat.
Having said that, Alabama is well prepared. Alabama is very talented. Alabama is very focused. And the bottom line is that Alabama is simply too tough of a football team to lose.
This won't be a blowout. But I fully expect Alabama to win this game very similar to how they won the Florida game. Alabama will wear the Gators down over the course of the game, and the Tide will win by a comfortable two score margin.
Texas has simply not played a team this season that has the bulldozing style of running attack, or the varied style of speed and power defense that Alabama possesses. Alabama is simply a better team.
My score prediction - Alabama 31 Texas 17.
Bama comes home from Pasadena with national title #13.
Roll Tide! And I hate orange.
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