Texas vs. ‘Bama in title game


AP National Writer

(AP) — Alabama and Texas get to play
in a national title game. For TCU, Cincinnati and Boise State, the math
doesn’t quite add up but they still get a spot in a BCS bowl.

The quirky, often imperfect method of
choosing a national champion succeeded Sunday in matching top-ranked
Alabama against No. 2 Texas in the BCS championship – a Jan. 7 game
between undefeated teams that will bring together Heisman Trophy
hopefuls Colt McCoy of the Longhorns and Mark Ingram of the Crimson

And, of course, it also produced plenty for the little guys to get upset about.

No. 3 TCU, No. 4 Cincinnati and No. 6
Boise State also finished undefeated. All three were included in the
BCS, but none will play for the title, which will renew the annual
debate about college football’s way of determining the best team in the

“If we were going to talk about
fairness, the first thing we’d do is destroy that whole structure,”
said Jay Coakley, a sociology professor who authored the textbook,
“Sport In Society: Issues and Controversies.” “That’s the least fair
thing in all of college sports. It doesn’t even pretend to be fair.”

Seeking its first national title
since 1992, Alabama opens as a 3-point favorite for the game at the
Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. That’s the place where Vince Young almost
singlehandedly led Texas to a victory over Southern California in 2006
to claim the national title.

The other BCS matchups: Oregon
against Ohio State in the Rose Bowl; Iowa against Georgia Tech in the
Orange; Florida against Cincinnati in the Sugar and TCU against Boise
State in the Fiesta.

“We’re here to prove a point,” TCU
coach Gary Patterson said after his team’s fate was announced. “I voted
for us No. 2 in polls today when we voted. We believe we have a great
football team and we’re out to show we could be the No. 1 team in the

The Longhorns (13-0) have been on both sides of the BCS debate in the past.

Just last year, their chances for a
national title were squashed when they lost a three-way tiebreaker for
the Big 12 South title.

This time around, Texas defeated
Nebraska 13-12 in the Big 12 title game Saturday to secure its spot in
the national championship, though the less-than-dominating performance
certainly left things open for debate. Still, there was a big gap
between Texas and TCU in the BCS rankings, the coaches’ poll and The
Associated Press poll, which is not included in the BCS formula. The AP
awards its own national championship.

Behind 113 yards rushing and three
touchdowns from Ingram, Alabama (13-0) defeated Florida 32-13 in the
SEC championship game, an overwhelming victory over the defending
national champions that made the Tide an easy choice for No. 1.

But is anything really easy when it comes to the BCS?

TCU was ranked 17th in the preseason
polls and never really had a chance to rise above the bigger, more
traditional programs that were ahead of them.

Cincinnati made it through the Big East, one of the six so-called power conferences.

Boise State finished its fourth
undefeated regular season in the last six years, but still found itself
ranked behind No. 5 Florida, in large part because it plays in the
Western Athletic Conference.

A perfect scenario for an eight-team playoff, perhaps, but that’s years off.

“Why should Boise State and TCU, who
are both undefeated, be satisfied?” said Rep. Joe Barton, a Texas
Republican who is trying to pass legislation to change the BCS. “One
might say they were bought off, paid off, by going to the so-called BCS

Indeed, with two non-BCS schools
making the big games, there will be a few more million dollars for the
50-or-so non-BCS schools to divide among themselves. But no national

That will go to either Texas or
Alabama. The Longhorns have a 7-0-1 record against the Tide, though
many of those came when it was Bear Bryant vs. Darrell Royal on the
sidelines. They haven’t met since the 1982 Cotton Bowl, when Texas won

Updated December 6, 2009