For the third year in the row, the Wiz presents the Mother of All BCS Title Game Prediction posts. Let's get to it.
Jim Dunaway, CBS-Birmingham anchor, host of the "Dunaway and Brown Radio Experience": Alabama 24, Texas 23 — This will erase one of the toughest bowl scores in Alabama history when Notre Dame beat the Tide, 24-23, in the 1973 Sugar Bowl. I think McCoy has a good game and Texas scores more than expected, but not enough for the title.
Jason McIntyre, The Big Lead: Alabama 24, Texas 20 — Mark Ingram struggles due to the Heisman "curse" but the defense/special teams score a touchdown and carry the Tide to the first of two consecutive titles. (Yes, I'm picking them to win it next year.)
Tennessee fan site Losers With Socks: Bammeroids 34, "the other" UT 20 — I don't know why it happens, but when 'bama loses or wins a close one, their women fall down stairs. It's odd, but all they know is if Nick pulls out a victory there's no medicaid bill comin'. The Bammeroids will have on their houndstooth hats showing off their great sense of humor like all true bamma fans! Those hats are like a flower that squirts water or some of them multi-colored shoes clowns wear. The nation will see how funny they are when they see them all in those hats!
Mike Hlas, Cedar Rapids Gazette: Texas 23, Alabama 21 — This is how it must be. No. 2 Texas must win a squeaker over No. 1 Alabama so Boise State can make its claim for a chunk of the national title. The non-BCS team won't get that chunk of championship, of course, because the system is more warped than Mike Leach's reaction to those who are concussed. Here's to at least nine turnovers and 23 penalties in the BCS' so-called title game. Here’s to the Horned Frogs and Broncos of the world continuing to plague the big boys' monopoly until the robber barons from the power conferences are kicked to the curb.
Devin Dixon, Sports Radio 1210, St. George, Utah: Texas 31, Alabama 24 — Mack Brown the reason! I think he, McCoy and Shipley will get it done. Not a big Saban fan. I saw how they prepared for the Utes last year. Ugh!
Wayne Drehs, senior writer, ESPN.com: Alabama 27, Texas 17 — Over/under on the number of hours Nick Saban will allow his players to celebrate before demanding that they turn their attention to defending their title? 17.
Drew Deener, host of "The Early Birds" on WKRD-790 in Louisville: Texas 35, Alabama 31 — Defenses go out the door. Colt McCoy game winner in the final seconds and Nick Saban loses his freakin mind!!
Adam Neft, co-host of "The Afternoon Underdogs" on WKRD-790 in Louisville: Alabama 31, Texas 17 — Before the SEC Championship game, I didn't think there was a team in the country that could match the Florida Gators. Especially defensively. Bama proved me wrong. Way wrong. Texas has a great team with a nice offense but they won't be able to score at will as they have against so many others. Bama's D probably gets a touchdown and by the start of the fourth quarter the game is within hand. Roll Tide, Crimson fans, congrats on your crystal football.
Jon Solomon, Birmingham News: Alabama 23, Texas 10 — I don't like picking a team to win the national title when it's favored and has the Heisman Trophy winner. But I dislike even more picking a team with a one-dimensional offense and minus a statement win this season. Nick Saban cracks a smile Thursday night with his version of fun: Winning.
Matt Youmans, Las Vegas Review-Journal: Alabama 23, Texas 20 — Betting against Nick Saban is not the wisest thing. What I've decided to do is go with the Crimson Tide to win but not cover the 4, and look under the total of 45. The Texas defense is strong enough to hold down Alabama running back Mark Ingram, who has the Heisman jinx working against him. Colt McCoy will manage the game well enough to keep the Longhorns in it to the end. The Tide put everything into beating Florida and played its best game.
Coach John Kentera, XX 1090 Sports Radio in San Diego: Alabama 28, Texas 17 — You win championships with defense! Crimson Tide have too much speed, too much quickness for the Longhorns to handle. Colt McCoy will be running for his life at the Rose Bowl.
Pete Thamel, New York Times: Alabama 31, Texas 10 — Bama will expose Texas as one-dimensional. Give Nick Saban a month to prepare for a team with no running game, and things will get ugly.
Brian Murphy, Murphy & Mac, KNBR, San Francisco: Texas 24, Alabama 23 — Everything — defense, coaching — points to Bama winning, so I won't be that fool who falls for that sort of logical, well-analyzed nonsense. Mack Brown pulls a stunner at the same place he did against Reggie Bush. Meanwhile, Boise State warms up the Lear jet to fly in for the Plus-One.
Sam Chi, BCS Guru: Texas 24, Alabama 21 — The 'Horns keep it close, and late in the game, down by four, McCoy leads them on a length-of-the-field drive with less than a minute left to pull out a classic 24-21 victory.
Joe Schad, ESPN: Alabama 28, Texas 17 — Alabama's overall team speed, depth on defense, high-caliber game planning and preparation are too much for the Longhorns. Watch for Alabama to utilize the tight end in this game and for Nick Saban to find multiple ways to make Colt McCoy's life difficult.
Bob Condotta, Seattle Times: Alabama 21, Texas 17 — Defense trumps offense, and Mark Ingram becomes a rare Heisman winner to play well in a bowl game.
Brent Schrotenboer, San Diego Union-Tribune: Alabama 27, Texas 20 — SEC speed beats Big 12 speed these days. But could it have offset Boise State's trickerations?
Jimmy Shapiro, Sports Radio Interviews: Alabama 27, Texas 17 — The better running team typically wins these games and that’s Alabama. Plus Saban rarely if ever loses big games (at least at the college level).
Teddy Greenstein, Chicago Tribune: Alabama 24, Texas 17 — This isn't so much Tide vs. Horns or Nick vs. Mack. It's SEC vs. Big 12.
Stewart Mandel, SI.com: Alabama 26, Texas 17 — Texas' defense is legit, and I think they'll be able to load the box and slow Ingram and Richardson. But their O-line has really struggled to protect McCoy in big games. I see Saban unleashing some blitzes, Arenas getting Shipley out of rhythm and letting Alabama's offense get a lot more time on the field. McElroy makes some big plays.
Bruce Feldman, ESPN Magazine: Texas 16, Alabama 14 — I think Colt McCoy will find ways to move the ball enough to keep Texas hanging around and then rally UT late. Of course, maybe I've been thinking too much about that supposed Heisman Jinx.
John Walters, FanHouse: Texas 24, Alabama 22 — Of the -oy boys, I like McCoy over McElroy in a game of this magnitude.
Ty Hildenbrandt, Solid Verbal Podcast: Alabama 24, Texas 21 — As is the case with all great Satan... err... Saban-led teams, the Tide will use its defense to bottle up Colt McCoy and win the field position battle, putting their offense in a position to score on a short(er) field. I'm sure Saban would be content to ride Mark Ingram to a BCS title; however, the Horns have a stout run defense. Look for Julio Jones to break out of his sophomore slump and have a major impact.
J.David, The Sports Union: Texas 34, Alabama 17 — In a non-playoff system I take … Tex-ASS. Better coach. Better looking girls. Better gang sign. And no Heisman curse — 6 trophy winners denied in the National Championship game in the 2000s. [Sidenote: However, I wouldn’t mind seeing Alabama win and have to split the National Championship ala 2003 — USC then and Boise State now — proving the AP writers truly hate Nick Saban.]
Keith Arnold, Inside the Irish and College Football Talk: Alabama 27, Texas 10 — Color me unimpressed by what Texas did to get to the national championship game. While there is something to be said for running the table with everybody gunning for you, the Longhorns' performance in the Big 12 title game reminded me that their schedule was fluff. Neither team is without flaws, but I expect Alabama to out-physical Texas and run away with a convincing win.
Ben Maller, Fox Sports Radio and Ben Maller.com: Alabama 24, Texas 14 — Nick Saban failed at running the Dolphins, but he has found his perfect NFL squad with the Tide. Smart money is always against Mack Brown in big games.
Dave Matter, Columbia Daily Tribune: Alabama 27, Texas 21 — When in doubt, go with the guys who have the best quarterback, but if the Longhorns couldn't block Ndamukong Suh — they couldn't — how are they supposed to handle Terrence Cody? They won't, at least not often enough.
Larry Brown, Sporting News Radio and Larry Brown Sports: Bama 20, Texas 13 — It's two excellent defenses going against each other so I don't anticipate much scoring, but I have a little more faith in Bama's ability to move the ball than Texas'. I wouldn't be surprised if a key turnover heavily influenced the outcome in favor of the Tide.
Dan Rubenstein, Solid Verbal Podcast and Postgame Tailgate (did not provide score): I like Texas. The run D, the experience, and top-level quarterback play are all there. The teams appear to be evenly matched, so if Texas can adequately control the line of scrimmage on defense (which teams have been able to do against the Tide), it'll come down to Colt McCoy extending drives and making plays late.
Ben Koo, Bloguin: Alabama 27, Texas 24 — Alabama will be able to control the pace and its offense has just enough to nip the Longhorns. In the end, it boils down to converting in the red zone and turnovers. I have a feeling Texas will have issues against a staunch Bama defense.
Matt Hinton, Dr Saturday: Alabama 24, Texas 18 — I usually have a rule in big games — go with great defense over great offense — but since both teams have great defenses, I'm not sure how useful that will be except as a reminder to give Texas' top-ranked run D a fighting chance to bottle up Mark Ingram. If it's possible for any aspect of the game to go unheralded in a spectacle of this magnitude, Texas' stellar defense is probably it.
Still, even Mack Brown acknowledged there's no way to look at the end of regular season and not make Alabama the favorite based on its dismantling of Florida in the SEC championship game. Texas was stumbling across the wire with a defensive collapse against Texas A&M and an anemic near-miss against Nebraska. I respect Texas, but it hasn't played anyone in Florida's ballpark, much less blown them out. If both teams play the way they closed their regular seasons, it may not be close.
Suzanne Halliburton, Austin American-Statesman: Texas 27, Alabama 21 — Colt McCoy wins his fourth straight bowl MVP trophy. Alabama can't cover Jordan Shipley all game. McCoy and Shipley will combine on a big play, late in the fourth.
Kirby Lee, Image of Sport: Alabama 24, Texas 14 — Texas squeaked into the Rose Bowl by a second. They won't have that kind of leeway against Alabama.
Scott Wolf, Los Angeles Daily News: Texas 27, Alabama 24 — The first four BCS bowls were won by the lower-ranked teams and I'll go with that trend.
Are you brave enough to make a prediction? Join the fun and leave your thoughts in the comments section.