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This is an article from the Jan. 11, 2010 issue
EXCERPT | Jan. 11, 1965
Good Night, Tide
In an epic Orange Bowl, Texas held off No. 1 Alabama
Bear Bryant's unbeaten Crimsom Tide had already been crowned national champion by the AP when it met the No. 5 Longhorns on Jan. 1 in the first bowl game played at night. John Underwood reported from Miami.
Twenty-one points, first of all, represents an entire season of scoring for opponents of an Alabama football team. A 69-yard touchdown pass against an Alabama secondary might happen, but only in the dreams of a Tennessee quarterback or an end from LSU. A 79-yard touchdown run—well, some dreams are more ridiculous than others. Since Paul Bryant went to coach at Alabama seven years ago, such occurrences ceased to occur.
On the other hand Texas's longest touchdown run of the season had consumed a breath-conserving 21 yards; its longest pass for a score had covered only four more yards. Texas under Darrell Royal has been expert in the art of conservative victory, but generally its victories have been about as thrilling as the cover of a telephone directory. Texas fans once applauded quarterback Marvin Kristynik for throwing a spiral. Yet there the Longhorns were, striking long range at Alabama in the first half with Ernie Koy's 79-yard run and Jimmy Hudson's 69-yard pass to George Sauer. "Not exactly characteristic," said Royal.
Texas never got past midfield in the second half and made only four first downs as Alabama overshifted to adjust to the power sweeps of Koy. But for all the momentum that the mid-game insertion of injured Tide quarterback Joe Namath provided, it was too late for Alabama. Texas had won the game in the first half.
Heading into this year's title game, Texas had beaten Alabama in their only two meetings since this matchup, most recently winning 14--12 in 1982.
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The Final Word
The bowl season hasn't lacked for theater with Tim Tebow's annihilation of Cincinnati in the Sugar Bowl and Mike Leach's ouster at Texas Tech, but the real drama, writes SI.com's Stewart Mandel, comes when Texas's Colt McCoy and Alabama's Mark Ingram lock horns
The Tide's Nick Saban and the Longhorns' Mack Brown both held their BCS national championship arrival press conferences at Disneyland last week. If you're familiar with their personalities, you can probably guess which one was happier than the other to be there. "Is this fun?" quipped Saban. "You know, what's fun for me is practice. I really enjoy practice." When asked the same question, Brown said, "We want them to enjoy Disneyland. This is one of the rewards they get for winning, to be in the last game of the year." You couldn't ask for two more diametrically opposed coaches on the sidelines. Saban views anything that takes place outside the film room or the practice field as "clutter." He's here on a business trip. Saban told his team, "It's all about how important the game is; what winning or losing the game means; the consequences of the game, positively or negatively." Brown, on the other hand, feels "it's too hard to get here not to enjoy it." McCoy feels the same way. "Our mentality is, Number 1, to have fun," said the sport's alltime winningest quarterback. "We're going to enjoy being in the national championship [game]. It's been our goal all year long to get here." Despite their differences in style, it will be highly surprising if Brown and Saban don't have their teams ready to play on Thursday night.
SI writers break down all of the latest news from the 2009 bowl season atSI.com/cfbPlus ...
• Stewart Mandel: Auburn's Walter McFadden(left) and his record breaking interception return at the Outback Bowl
• Andy Staples: Florida in limbo as Urban Meyer's timetable for a return to the Gators still unknown
• Michael Rosenberg: Anti-BCS sentiment makes college football playoffs inevitable by end of new decade