I miss football already. I mean, there are no more college football games to look forward to until August! (Is this an addiction? Do I need professional help?)
I have the good fortune of knowing many Texas fans. They have a huge fan base. I mean, any team that managed to survive the entire 20th Century undefeated by Alabama is going to have a huge fan base, right? And they are a classy bunch.
But, at last, the earth is spinning on the correct axis. No longer have we never defeated Texas. Finally, UA will be known at champions, not as a team that looks backwards to the way things used to be. (Texas can understand.)
Now, a few notes. First, there’s this marvelous article by Sports Illustrated‘s Andy Staples. Only a crazy fan (like all Alabama fans) can appreciate what he says.
Speaking of crazy fans, immediately after the game, local sporting goods stores opened and fans stood outside — in 15-degree weather! – for hours in line to buy souvenirs.
Second, to quote Coach Saban, “As much as I enjoy winning games, you hate to see a great player not be able to finish a game that he’s fought his entire career to be part of.”
There are those who argue UT would have won but for the injury. Maybe. Maybe not. Consider —
“I cracked my ribs in the third quarter against Florida,” McElroy said outside the locker room. “Two of them — the ninth and the 10th. Left side. It’s bad. I got it numbed up before the game and it was killing me at halftime.” …
For about a week and half after Florida, I couldn’t really throw at all,” McElroy said. “As I came back, they started to loosen up a little bit … It’s been pretty painful, pretty consistent for the entire bowl practice.” …
“It’s like watching your little brother get hit,” Dial said. “You’re like, ‘Get up! Get up! You’re O.K.’ He wasn’t O.K. I know we’ve been on the couch playing Nintendo and he’s coughed and he about went to his knees.”
A spasm midway through his rehabilitation “jarred the bones loose again,” McElroy said. “I’m just glad that we got through it and we were able to do it without taking too many significant hits on the ribs. But if I had a torn ACL, I’d play in this game. I would do whatever it took to be on the field. I just had to deal with a lot of pain.”
McElroy did not play well at all – not as well as UT back up quarterback Garrett Gilbert. Alabama was forced to rely on its running game – which had two 100-yard rushers against the nation’s no. 1 rushing defense, despite an ineffective passing game (proving how meaningless rushing numbers are in the Big 12).
Meanwhile, the quarterback of our defense, inside linebacker Rolando McClain, received 3 bags of IV fluid during the game, because he played with a stomach virus.
And Heisman-trophy winner Mark Ingram missed much of the game with cramps.
Both sides were handicapped by injuries.
It was a great game. And I expect we’ll be seeing Garrett Gilbert in next year’s BCS Championship. We’ll see Texas again in Phoenix, I’m sure.
This could be an annual event for the next several years, you know. It looks like Pete Carroll is leaving USC, and Urban Meyer – what on earth does he think he’s doing?
Better book your reservations now!