We're getting into title game mode now folks and we've got five match ups that everyone should tune into during the game. Here at ITB, just like the rest of the blogosphere, we love the lists so we'll be dropping one of these five up until title time folks. The five match ups we're most looking forward to for the BCS Championship Game are:
Terrence Cody vs Huey, Hall & Tanner
Jordan Shipley vs Javier Arenas
Sergio Kindle vs Davis & Carpenter
Earl Thomas vs Greg McElroy
Rolando McClain vs Colt McCoy
Each of these match ups will be crucial to the success of both teams and are at the heart of Nick Saban and Mack Brown's gameplans. If you listened to the show this week then you heard how excited I am about this match up. I'll try to set my Rolando McClain bias and my anti-Colt McCoy-ness aside to deliver a clear view of what is in store for this match up.
McClain as I've stated before is the most football savvy player on the field currently in the college football world. McCoy isn't too shabby himself as he's done quite well as the leader of the Texas Longhorns following legend Vince Young.
Read more for the McClain versus McCoy match up...
Why this match up is important?
McCoy is everyone's darling; folks in Texas and around the nation love the All-American boy with the cowboy name who got "robbed" of the Heisman and a national title shot. McClain is In The Bleachers' favorite player of this season; a heads up player who makes plays with his brain before he ever makes that tackle.
Who will win this match up and how?
The isn't much left to write about Colt McCoy that hasn't already been written; he's hovering around a 70% lifetime completion percentage, he's tough, accurate and is a two time Heisman finalist. Outside of two games the senior has looked absolutely phenomenal including carrying his team in a shoot out against Texas A&M.
McClain is the type of football player that every coach dreams of having playing that interior linebacker positions. He's a smart, athletic player who sets the defensive tempo both in his physical play but also in his audibilizing at the line of scrimmage.
This game will be played like a chess match between Saban/McElwain and Muschamp/Davis. Colt McCoy and Rolando McClain will be the on the field generals that decide the outcome of this battle. I fully expect McCoy to come out ready to fire at will; there is no secret that the Horns don't run the football very well and because of the Colt will look to hit his spots and soften the Bama run defense.
In full reversal I think Saban and McClain will counter in two ways; first by dropping seven or eight defenders to quickly close the holes in their "picket fence zones" and secondly by bringing pressure from different areas. Texas is not a big motion team as they are very basic in their offensive scheme. Colt McCoy doesn't make a lot of line of scrimmage adjustments and thus Rolando McClain will be more than ready to adjust coverages, pressures and call defensive line stunts on the field.
There is area where Texas has a clear advantage should they choose to utilize; tempo. The longhorns can control the tempo with a quick snap count and no-huddle offense. This speeding up of the tempo will not only stop the Tide from making defensive substitutions but will also limit the amount of adjusting McClain can do at the line. McCoy in conjunction with Davis would be wise to make use of speeding the tempo when big man Terrence Cody is in the game in order to get the big man running and keep him in the game.
Although Texas can dictate tempo McClain still holds the upper hand through his understanding of the scheme and his free reign with the Alabama defensive calls. Watch for McClain to adjust to McCoy's shifting of the backs, spy the dual threat quarterback and set himself up underneath the Longhorn intermediate routes to disrupt McCoy.
In the end I think with the myriad of pressures at his disposal McClain holds a slight edge over McCoy's short passing game and scrambling ability. McClain proved himself a more than adequate spy against Tim Tebow and throughout the season has been the nation's best linebacker. McCoy will have to work hard to out fox the wily veteran linebacker and this should be the best match up to watch of this year's BCS Championship Game.