Commentary

FBO: The two key Bama-Texas factors

In the end, it's all about red zone play and special teams for the crystal trophy

Originally Published: January 6, 2009
By Brian Fremeau | Football Outsiders
Jordan ShipleyGetty ImagesJordan Shipley's ability to do this when returning kicks could decide the BCS championship.

For another piece on the drive-sustaining abilities of the Texas Longhorns and Alabama Crimson Tide, please click here.

The Citi BCS National Championship Game presents several intriguing strength-against-strength unit matchups, notably the critical showdown between Texas' offense and Alabama's defense. (Read Mel Kiper's take on Colt McCoy's battle by clicking here.)

McCoy had the Longhorns motoring at more than 430 yards per game in the regular season; Rolando McClain and the Crimson Tide defense surrendered fewer than 250 yards per game.

Something's gotta give, obviously.


So, what can give the most easily in this game? Where could Alabama bend -- and maybe break -- en route to this one being close down the stretch? For a detailed metric analysis of the red zone and special-teams sides of the BCS title coin, you must be an ESPN Insider.

Brian Fremeau

ESPN Insider
• Has been a contributor to ESPN Insider and ESPN The Magazine since 2009
• Creator of the Fremeau Efficiency Index (FEI), a measure of college football team efficiency
• Contributor to Football Outsiders and his own site, bcftoys.com