#1: BCS Championship
Alabama Crimson Tide vs Texas Longhorns (95.2 CQR)
Eddie: In the RBA consolation game, we present the BCS #1 and BCS #2 teams. (3) Alabama beat Florida to clinch the SEC and knocked off Virginia Tech along the way in non-conference action, both of which are impressive wins. However, they also needed two blocked kicks against Tennessee and a last-minute comeback to beat Auburn. (4) Texas hails from the Big XII, which is still living off last year's credibility, and has had trouble dispatching Oklahoma, Texas A&M, and Nebraska. In fact, they're really lucky to have even won their conference. In this game, we match two of the best defenses in the country. RBA pegs Texas's opponent-adjusted defense at 7.3 PPH versus Alabama's 10.3 PPH. Although Texas is considered to be the more offensively-minded team, Alabama is actually more efficient, posting a methodical 11.6 PPH against Texas's 9.3 PPH. This statistic, coupled with Alabama's 0.94 turnover per game advantage swings the game in favor of the Crimson Tide, 18-17, with 52.9% confidence.
Justin: In an odd moment you "You're-right-but-you're-wrong", both Eddie and I agree that Alabama and Texas are, respectively, the third- and forth-best teams in college football this year but disagree on who will win. It's only my lower estimation of Boise State that prevents the Fiesta Bowl from taking the top spot in our bowl preview. Both teams are good on both sides of the ball, but (3) Alabama has made it here thanks to their 2nd-ranked defense (8.6 PPH) whereas Texas is here thanks to their up-tempo offense (28.4 PPH). From here on out it's bad news for Texas, though. The Longhorns are tied atop the offensive efficiency standings, but their companions are the (1) Florida Gators who had no answer for the Crimson Tide defense. Texas just barely snuck past (14) Nebraska in the Big XII title game, and the Crimson Tide's defense is a full 1.8 PPH better than the Cornhusker unit that held Texas to 13 points. The only other team to hold the Longhorns below 35 points this year? (6) Oklahoma, who lost a narrow 16-13 game to Texas at the start of the year. The Sooners have also been doing it with defense, rating a defensive efficiency of 9.2 PPH. Expect Texas to try and make this an up-tempo, offense-oriented game. Expect Alabama to shut down those hopes and take home the BCS title, 31-27.