- The Washington Times - Monday, December 7, 2009

Alabama over Texas in the BCS title game is a no-brainer.

Take the Crimson Tide (13-0), give the points and stake your 401(k) on it.

People snickered when Alabama threw the bank at Nick Saban three years ago. Nobody is laughing now, least of all Urban Meyer, whose more-talented Gators were the Crimson Tide’s latest victim Saturday afternoon in Atlanta.

Alabama’s 32-13 vivisection of top-ranked Florida and all-galaxy quarterback Tim Tebow was a three-hour coaching masterpiece that ought to be framed and instantly forwarded to the Louvre.

The Gators (12-1) entered the Georgia Dome with a 22-game winning streak, arguably the greatest quarterback in college football history and virtually the same two-deep on defense that had dominated opponents for the better part of two full seasons while collecting two SEC East titles and last year’s national championship.

That same group slithered toothless into the Atlanta night after the Crimson Tide put a beating on them likely to set the Florida program back to the Ron Zook era.

Tennessee’s Lane Kiffin handicapped the game perfectly when he declared several hours before kickoff that Florida had the better personnel but Alabama had the better coaches, picking Alabama to a chorus of catcalls from the Florida faithful.

You want better coaching? Alabama torched the Gators for 490 yards of offense, 251 rushing yards and a 2-1 edge in first downs and time of possession, and the Crimson Tide shut out Florida after halftime.

You want absurd coaching? The Crimson Tide finished the game with no turnovers and one penalty for 5 yards. That’s virtual perfection.

Saban had a week to prepare for Florida. What do you think he’ll cook up for a Texas bunch both the computers and human polls universally agreed was weaker than Florida when he has a month to game-plan?

If Alabama’s performance against Florida was a coaching clinic, the Longhorns’ bumbling 13-12 victory over Nebraska was a case study in ineptitude. Not only did Texas quarterback Colt McCoy throw away any chance he had of winning the Heisman Trophy by throwing three picks against the Cornhuskers (9-4), but the Texas offense also looked unprepared to deal with Nebraska’s one sole strength - a tremendous defensive line.

Texas had to know Nebraska’s Bo Pelini was going to unleash Ndamukong Suh and Co. on McCoy, and what offensive scheme did Mack Brown and his offensive staff contrive to offset the Cornhuskers’ onslaught? None. Texas broke out its shocked-and-awed package, yielding nine sacks and 18 tackles for loss. After a battered McCoy lost track of the clock on the game’s penultimate play, the Longhorns were lucky kicker Hunter Lawrence still had a second left to sneak a 46-yard field goal past the left upright as time expired.

Alabama might not have Suh on its roster, but nose tackle Terrence Cody is the next-closest thing in the college game. Sure, Brown’s last trip to the Rose Bowl resulted in an upset of USC and a national title for the Longhorns, but there’s no Vince Young on this burnt orange roster.

Game balls and gassers

Alabama’s Mark Ingram almost certainly will win the Heisman Trophy next week after trumping Tebow and McCoy on all-in Saturday by rushing for 113 yards and three touchdowns in the Crimson Tide’s triumph. But the sophomore tailback is not college football’s top player, not by a wide margin. Nebraska’s King Kong left no doubt on that front Saturday night by notching 12 tackles, 4.5 sacks, seven tackles for loss and two quarterback hurries against the Longhorns. Suh deserves his own wing in the Wilson factory after the best defensive performance in a big game this decade.

This week’s gasser goes to Charlie Weis, who celebrated his firing from Notre Dame by ripping USC’s Pete Carroll.

In an interview with a handful of reporters, including IrishIllustrated.com’s Tim Prister, Weis asked of Carroll: “Was I living with a grad student in Malibu, or was I living with my wife in my house? You could bet that if I were living with a grad student here in South Bend, it would be national news. … He’s doing it in Malibu, and it’s not national news.”

You stay classy, Charlie.

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