Was Alabama football lucky to beat Texas for 2009 Championship?

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 07: Lineman Marcell Dareus
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 07: Lineman Marcell Dareus /

Everything is bigger in Texas…including their excuses for losing to Alabama football in the 2010 BCS National Championship game.

As someone who personally lives in Texas, I’m here to testify why those excuses belong in the genre of fantasy. Bring Alabama football’s Rose Bowl title win up and a Texas fan will immediately retort that if their star quarterback, Colt McCoy, had not got injured then the Texas Longhorns would have easily won the game.  They say Alabama football got “lucky”.

While I will admit that his injury did hurt the Longhorns chances, the thought that it was the lone deciding factors defies logic.  The truth is that Alabama football decided to rely on a strong running game led by the duo of Trent Richardson and Heisman trophy winner Mark Ingram.

They also sat back in a basic defense and opted to force Texas to pass.  This meant that they virtually had no running game and it hurt them in the long run as Alabama’s offense out gunned Mack Brown’s defense.  As former Alabama football defensive lineman, Lorenzo Washington explains…

"They weren’t running the football on us.  They didn’t move the ball on us with their running game all night.  On run plays, the only time they had the ball on a short field in the first half was on onside kicks … We weren’t really rushing or pressuring.  We were just playing our normal defense. Their defense was pretty good, but we outplayed them on defense, and our offense was putting up points so I think it basically would have been the same result."

What Lorenzo is saying is that had Colt McCoy not gotten injured the result would have still remained the same.  Alabama would have won because the Texas Longhorn’s defense could not stop Alabama’s running game, nor could their own offense effectively run the ball against Nick Saban’s defense.

Texas was not unlucky

When Texas fans say Alabama was “lucky” Colt McCoy was injured, I counter it wasn’t luck at all. McCoy left the game after Marcell Dareus laid a massive blow to his shoulder while was trying to run the option. It wasn’t as if he tripped over a camera wire or developed a stomach virus. He was tackled and in football, a tackle can lead to an injury.

Therefore, the injury of Colt McCoy was unfortunate for Texas fans and Alabama fans because we didn’t get to see Texas at their best, but it wasn’t luck. Luck didn’t cause the Alabama defense to smother the running game of the Longhorns and it certainly didn’t carry Trent Richardson and Mark Ingram into the end zone. In sports, as in life, you have to overcome adversity. Texas fought valiantly but they couldn’t overcome the big hit that Dareus laid on their leader that night.

As Lorenzo reminds us…

"Marcel hit him good. I’ve seen quarterbacks get hit worse and stay in the game … more than likely was a stinger. If he wanted to come back in, he could have come back in. It’s the National Championship game. Regardless of if you’re getting drafted or not, you can only win one National Championship and it was your last game in college. Nothing would have kept me out. Josh Chapman played with a torn ACL for eight weeks his senior year. So, a little stinger did the job? I don’t know how that would keep anybody out of that game."

Next: Winning big games, no one is better than Saban

Texas Longhorn fans may never discard their “luck” claim. That’s okay because Alabama football fans know better.