Some pictures to get you prepared for Alabama-Texas.
The BCS title game is off. Just hours before kickoff, No. 2 ranked Texas has announced it will not play in the game in protest of the unfair BCS system.
"Even though we had a great shot at winning the game and being crowned national champion, it wasn't something we thought we could achieve with our dignity and self-respect intact," said head coach Mack Brown. "There is a right way and a wrong way to do things, and the BCS is the wrong way. How could we say we are educating young men, yet take advantage of a system like this?"
The decision by the team and the university was influenced by last year when a one-loss Texas squad was left out of the title game in place of a one-loss Florida team.
"We know what it's like to be on the other side," said Texas quarterback Colt McCoy. "And here Boise State is in the position we were last year. This is an easy decision. It's the right thing to do. I've always wanted to win a national title, but I don't want an asterisk beside it. I want to win with honor."
Texas has also announced it will forfeit the huge BCS payout it was set to receive.
"Could we use all that money? Sure," said Texas president William Powers, Jr. "But it's dirty money. I couldn't sleep at night knowing we took money from the BCS."
Alabama head coach Nick Saban says he respects the Longhorns' decision.
"Hey, good for those pussies. They knew they couldn't handle us on the field, so they're trying to make some bullshit statement about fairness," Saban laughed. "What does fairness have to do with sports? Give me that national championship trophy. And their BCS money, too. It's time Alabama gets a Nick Saban statue."
The stage is set for the nation’s top-ranked teams to face-off in the BCS title game on January 7th. With a month of grueling practice, preparation, and media hype ahead of them, players from both the Alabama Crimson Tide and Texas Longhorns are concerned that the big game will interfere with their school work.
Some, like Alabama running back Mark Ingram, are even considering skipping the game in order to avoid any potential distractions.
“It’s crossed my mind,” said Ingram. “I mean it’s a last resort, but if I have to I will. I have final exams coming up soon. How the heck am I supposed to think about football with that hanging over my head? I am a student-athlete. Student is listed first for a reason.”
Ingram said he would try his hardest to balance both priorities but acknowledged he was “nervous”about finals.
“Professor Guerin’s Psych exam should be a real corker and my English Lit final is going to be even worse," said the Heisman candidate. "Meanwhile, I’ll be going over game plans, watching tape, doing TV interviews, and practicing. Ahh! Stress! I don’t know how other guys do it! I sure hope this football thing pans out for me. Otherwise all this effort will be for nothing.”
Texas players are experiencing similar anxiety as they wonder how they’re going to juggle academics and football. Coach Mack Brown has been attempting to assuage their fears, but it isn’t an easy task.
“These kids are really stressed right now,” Brown said. “They are wondering how in the hell they’re going to play in the biggest football game of their lives while at the same time dedicating the proper amount of time to their studies. I keep telling them that it’s doable. Look at Vince Young. He didn’t have these problems. Then again, he never went to class so he didn’t feel the need to insult the teacher by showing up to final exams.”
Brown said that he would give his players the appropriate amount of time off to prepare and take their exams.
“We’re going to work with the school to make sure these kids have the time they need,” said Brown. “We’re not going to really start practicing in earnest for a couple weeks anyway. Still, even when we’re not practicing, I’m sure they’ll have the game on their minds. My suggestion would be to pretend they’re not playing in a national title game and that they’re just regular loser nobodies like the rest of the student body.”
Alabama coach Nick Saban had a different suggestion for his players: abandon school work entirely.
“I told my kids to put academics on the back burner for now,” said Saban. “I mean, what would you rather do? Pass Professor Poindexter’s English Lit nerd-fest or win the national title? Exactly. And if you win the national title, you can have any job you want in the state of Alabama, regardless of your grades. That’s why Derrick Lassic is our state comptroller right now.”