Thursday, January 7, 2010

And the winner is .....

One of the most asked questions I've gotten since moving to Amarillo seven years ago is: "Do you miss Georgia (which is where I moved to Amarillo from)?

My response: "Only during football season."

While I certainly embrace almost everything about the Texas life, it's been hardest to switch alliances to new teams and to a new conference.

In the South, SEC football is (almost) a religion. The truth is people will show up in the worst weather on Saturday for a game, but if the weather isn't perfect on Sunday, the church pews will be half full.

My favorite football book is about the University of Alabama: Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer : A Road Trip into the Heart of Fan Mania by Warren St. John.

St. John is from Alabama but attended Columbia University in New York. He grew up an Alabama fan and met the legendary coach, Paul "Bear" Bryant shortly before his death, thanks to a friend of his father who worked for a sponsor of Bryant's weekly television show.

Bryant is a legend in the South and Alabama, but when St. John put a picture of him in his room at Columbia, his friends asked: "Who's that, your grandfather?"

What prompted St. John to write the book - chronicling a season with RV tailgaters who attend every Alabama football game - was a short television news segment interviewing a couple who had one of these RVs.

They had attended many games in a row and the interviewer asked if they had ever come close to missing one.

"Yes," they said. "Our daugther scheduled her wedding on a game day in the fall. We told her not to, but she did any way."

"It worked out," they said. "We were able to make the reception."

Deep South football addiction is intense. Alabama football addiction is insane.

Which brings me to tonight's game.

If both teams play their best, Alabama wins. The team with the fewest turnovers will win. I think it will come down to the kicking game.

If Alabama wins, it's the fourth straight BCS championship for an SEC team. And it would put the SEC at 6 of the 12 BCS championships since the inception of this system.

If Texas wins, it's the Longhorn's second championship in five years and it would put the Big 12 at second place in BCS championships with three (ACC , Big East, Pac 10 and Big 10 have one each.)

My pick: Alabama 27, Texas 24.

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