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QUICK GLANCE

I'm trying to remember the pre-game hype of the last championship game in Pasadena involving Longhorns.

I remember the last 10 seconds, of course, and Vince Young thrusting the football over the goal line.

But I'm pretty sure the Longhorns were given the old "slim and none" chance to win because USC came in with a gazillion-game winning streak (or maybe it was "just" 34), and Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart would combine to destroy the Texas defense and not give the exciting Vince Young a chance to shine.

This time around, everyone has Texas as the underdog (not by much), but no one is making much of a big deal of it. Colt McCoy and the Longhorns have even been questioned for having fun in La-La Land preparing for it instead of being uptight.

Two great teams, two great coaches, the winningest quarterback in the history of college football and the current Heisman trophy winner. You don't need any hype for that.

Speaking of the H-word, the most interesting tidbit in the Associated Press' at-a-glance below is the fact that in the last seven National Championship games that included a Heisman trophy winner, the winner's team lost in six of those.

Here's hoping the guy who should've won it this year leads his team to a 30-20 victory.

Texas vs. Alabama at-a-glance

Line: Alabama by 4. ... Series Record: Texas leads 7-0-1
Last meeting: 1982 Cotton Bowl, Texas 14-12.

_smallUTlogo.gif What's At Stake

Two of college football's most storied and tradition-rich programs try to add a national championship crystal ball to their trophy cases. For the Crimson Tide, it would be the first national championship since 1992 and be a culmination of sorts for Nick Saban's quick restoration of Alabama football. Saban would also be the first coach in the poll era to win national championships with two teams. Mack Brown and the Longhorns are going for their second national title in five seasons.

_smallUTlogo.gif Key Matchup

Alabama defensive line vs. Texas offensive line. OT Adam Ulatoski, C Chris Hall and the Longhorns' blockers are coming off their worst game of the season. They allowed nine sacks against Ndamukong Suh and Nebraska in the Big 12 title game. Now the question is: How will they hold up against massive NG Terrence Cody and all those blitzes that Saban and defensive coordinator Kirby Smart conjure up.

_smallUTlogo.gif Players to Watch

Texas: QB Colt McCoy. The two-time Heisman finalist completed 70 percent of his passes and was also the team's second-leading rusher with 348 yards. It's unlikely Texas' inconsistent running game will find traction against Alabama, so the Longhorns' hopes are firmly in McCoy's hands.

Alabama: LB Rolando McClain. The 258-pound All-American makes plays all over the field. He led the Tide in tackles (101) and had four sacks and two interceptions. He is also like a coach on the field, directing his teammates into the right spots. But he was fighting an illness earlier in the week and how much that will affect him won't be known until the game is played.

_smallUTlogo.gif Facts & Figures

Alabama TB Mark Ingram is the eighth Heisman Trophy winner to play in the BCS championship game. Six of the previous seven were on the losing end of the title game. ... Alabama ranks No. 2 in the nation in total defense at 241 yards allowed per game and Texas is No. 3 at 251 yards allowed per game. The Longhorns' run defense ranks No. 1 in the nation at 62 yards allowed per game and 'Bama is No. 2 at 78 yards allowed per game. ... Texas WR Jordan Shipley caught 106 passes, more than the combined total of the Longhorns' second- and third-leading receivers (James Kirkendoll with 48 and Dan Buckner with 44).