Shanoff's WUC: Without McCoy, Alabama Rolls

Colt McCoyToday's Calls: Alabama vs. History, Colt McCoy vs. Garrett Gilbert, Mark Ingram vs. Trent Richardson, Nick Saban vs. Mack Brown, Jets vs. Bengals, Pats vs. Ravens, Cards vs. Packers, Eagles vs. Cowboys and More. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: The national title game was defined by who didn't play. I'm not sure we've ever seen that before. ↵

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↵THE storyline was the first-series knock-out of Colt McCoy, the most valuable player on either team and the difference between Texas very likely winning the national championship — and getting rolled by Alabama. ↵

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↵Let's not take anything away from the Tide: They earned it. Between the dismantling of Florida and last night's win, they are a monstrously worthy champ — hard to remember a more punishing running game and all-around awesome D — and a potential new dynasty. ↵

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↵And yet there was something interesting happening in those first few minutes — and even the folks like me who were sure Bama would roll started to think that Texas had Alabama's number. McCoy knew it, too. Then ... boom. Game over. ↵

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↵Despite his shaky start and overall stats, that backup Garrett Gilbert could eventually make it a game is one of the most impressive displays by a QB in a title game we've seen (the end of the first half wasn't his fault; blame that on Mack Brown). ↵

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↵All it does is make you wonder, "If McCoy had been in there. ..." ↵

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↵My Final BlogPoll Top 10: ↵
↵(1) Bama, (2) Boise State, (3) Texas, (4) Florida, (5) TCU; ↵
↵(6) Ohio State, (7) Iowa, (8) Oregon, (9) Cincy, (10) Penn State ↵

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↵(Ironically, for all the media's talk about hating the BCS, they sure aren't helping that anti-BCS cause — ranking Boise State 4th behind Texas and Florida. The coaches did the same thing. I guess it was predictable.) ↵

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↵Premature Top 5 for 2010: ↵
↵(1) Bama, (2) Boise State, (3) Florida, (4) TCU, (5) Ohio State ↵

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↵(But you saw my prediction last week: Boise State, TCU and Ohio State run the table — Alabama and Florida give each other losses. Boise gets the BCS title-game edge over TCU because of Monday's game, then beats the Buckeyes for the title. Here are Dave Curtis's Top 5 contenders.) ↵

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↵NFL Wild Card Weekend (with picks) ↵

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↵*Jets over Bengals ↵
↵Is New York the Alabama of the AFC? ↵

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↵*Eagles over Cowboys: ↵
↵Third time won't be charm for Dallas. ↵

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↵*Pats over Ravens: ↵
↵Want to pick Balto; Genius finds a way. ↵

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↵*Packers over Cards: ↵
↵There will be no miracle run, part 2. ↵

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↵CBB Mania: Games of the Weekend ↵
↵Non-Conf: Kansas at Tennessee ↵
↵Big Ten: Purdue at Wisconsin ↵
↵ACC: Duke at Georgia Tech ↵
↵Big East: UConn at Georgetown ↵
↵Big 12: Kansas St at Mizzou ↵

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↵Coaching Carousel: The good news for Browns fans is that Mike Holmgren is in charge. The bad news is that he's keeping Eric Mangini as his coach. Let's set the over-under at one more season. ↵

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↵NBA Talking Points: Blowback from Gilbert Arenas continues, with the players circling Gil's "guns-up" display due for fines, which I guess when compared to an indefinite ban from the league is not all that tough to deal with. ↵

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↵You have to wonder if more teams are going to attempt to ban players gambling on trips, as the Nets just did. That won't go over well, but it's obvious that "friendly" gambling can lead to other results besides fixing games. ↵

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↵NFL Draft: Jevan Snead is going pro early, although I don't see him being picked ahead of Bradford, Clausen and McCoy — or even Tebow. But Snead has the potential to be a good NFL QB. ↵

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↵(Speaking of McCoy, all draftnik eyes will be on that pinched nerve that caused his throwing arm to "go dead," in McCoy's own postgame words. Presuming a complete recovery, it shouldn't hurt his draft stock: I'm projecting second round.) ↵

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↵Family squabbles: It cannot have been easy to be Barry Bonds' son. I'm not excusing throwing a doorknob at your mom, but I'm just saying. ↵

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↵Vick Watch: Under normal circumstances, being roped into the decade's steroid scandal would be the worst thing to happen to a player's image. ↵

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↵CFB Recruiting: U.S. Army All-America Game could be a big day for Florida, with commit/de-commit Matt Elam potentially re-committing, along with top defensive line prospects Ronald Powell and Sharrif Floyd, completing a trifecta for Urban Meyer. ↵

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↵The Last Word: "I would have given anything to be out there, because it would have been different." ↵
↵— Colt McCoy ↵

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↵Dan Shanoff writes The Wake-Up Call every weekday morning for SportingNews.com and blogs daily at DanShanoff.com. Got any comments, questions or feedback? Email Dan at shanofftsn-[at]-gmail-[dot]-com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/danshanoff. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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