I want to bring up our “10 Points You Need to Know Before Watching the Alabama Vs. Texas Game” article again not only because I’m a shameless promoter of our work but also someone who lacks, at 8:30 this Sunday morning of our Lord, an entirely original angle. So I’ll expand upon our Jake Bressler’s point about the “other” quarterback in the Alabama-Texas A&M game: A.J. McCarron*. Because here’s the thing: where Manziel’s performance in a 49-42 losing effort on Saturday was the equivalent of A$AP Rocky’s “Peso”–flashy and brash, but one or two components away from being perfect–McCarron was Nas’ “Represent”–cool, assured and a flawless example of what a performance in his field should be.
Alabama’s senior quarterback threw four touchdowns and zero interceptions for 334 yards. He completed nearly 69 percent of his passes, which included a nifty little flea-flicker to tie the game in the second quarter; however, all of this will be lost in the shuffle because, well, Manziel**.
The essence of the Alabama program under Nick Saban–which has been neutered to a bromide at this point–is that it’s become the platonic ideal of what a college football team should be. The sum of its parts is always more important than its parts, even if those parts are damn near platonic ideals themselves. McCarron’s one of those platonic parts, a 30-2, two-time national championship winning starter whose career touchdown-to-interception ratio is 18:3.
That’s unreal. If he wins another crystal trophy, he’ll have lead an era of Alabama football whose triumphs can only be matched by the 1934-36 Minnesota Gophers squads, who also won three national championships in a row. But he’s a Saban and Alabama man, content with hiding in the team’s shadow.
To close with another thing mentioned in our preview, Tinsley brought up Bear Bryant’s famous quote about Alabama’s football culture: “At Alabama, our players do not win Heisman Trophies, our teams win national championships.” I get that the Heisman is primarily a personality contest, based off who has the most “Peso”-like performances in a given season, but sometimes it’s the players like McCarron–forever chasing results on behalf of the team–who most deserve the individual glories.
– If Oregon ever gets down on itself during a game (not that I can see it happening anytime soon; they did just crush Tennessee 59-14), I can only imagine that the above clip is how Mark Helfrich approaches his halftime speeches. Also, Phil Knight is Hans. Phil Knight is always Hans.
– Oh Christ, Texas. A week after sh*tting down its leg in Provo and firing its defensive coordinator, the Longhorns didn’t bounce back, giving up 272 rushing yards and 449 total yards against No. 25 Ole Miss in a 44-23 loss. I’ve got a fork and some A-1 steak sauce to eat those words I put in our college football preview about Texas winning the Big 12.
– Briefly back to the ‘Bama-A&M game: the GIF above marked a great moment on the Internet yesterday. Yeldon did receive a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty for the act, though.
– TEDDY BRIDGEWATER HEISMAN TROPHY WATCH: Louisville quarterback Bridgewater recorded a rather benign affair in a 27-13 win against in-state rivals Kentucky, putting up 285 total yards and one touchdown. Multiply both those numbers by five and you have everyone’s pregame expectations for Bridgewater against Kentucky. He’s obviously not living up to his talent.
– Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill suffered his fourth epileptic seizure in 22 games on the sidelines yesterday in a 29-12 victory over Western Illinois. Kill was carted off the field and was resting comfortably when the university issued a statement later Saturday afternoon. Here’s to hoping Kill’s healthy and able to continue coaching the Gophers, who have demonstrated considerable progression under the former Northern Illinois head coach since he took the reins in 2011.
– Some of you may or may not know that three of our college football writers–me, AJ and Alec Bojalad–attended and graduated from Ohio University in Athens. We stay up to date about Bobcats football, even if they play in the MAC. I figure I have the power to include this tidbit about Ohio’s win over Marshall because #YOLO. The Bobcats beat the Thundering Herd 34-31 in Athens (*sheds a single tear upon realizing that I don’t go there anymore*), marking the team’s third straight victory in the Battle of the Bell series. It’s Ohio’s first three-game winning streak against its Appalachian rivals since 1973-75.
Special thanks to Deadspin’s Tim Burke for always keeping Ohio U. alumni informed about the Bobcats’ exploits. Bobcats football: all bite, no hairball.
– In 144 seasons of fielding a football program, Rutgers had never retired a player’s number. That changed yesterday when the school retired former defensive lineman Eric LeGrand’s No. 52. LeGrand suffered a career-ending and life-altering injury in a 2010 game against Army when LeGrand was paralyzed while making a tackle. Watch LeGrand’s full speech to the Rutgers crowd below.
* – Quickly, though: Yosemite Sam’s footbawl-playin’ nephew, Johnny Manziel, had a good day in a loss to the Crimson Tide, accruing a princely 562 total yards and five touchdowns. He also had two interceptions, though (one of which was a pick-six), a small blemish in comparison to his 2012 outing. But the kid’s going to be alright. His afternoon did see him put up the second-most total yards in SEC history. It also doesn’t hurt that Drake was your personal cheerleader before the game.
** – Even CBS announcer Verne Lundquist couldn’t get Manziel off his mind. He mispronounced Alabama punter Cody Mandell’s name several times.