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January 3, 2010

BCS notes: Texas doesn't mind underdog role

Alabama coach Nick Saban has made no secret about being uncomfortable as the favorite in Thursday's BCS championship game. Texas, however, has readily embraced its role as the underdog.

"Coach [Mack] Brown told us to find an edge, find what will make you better than the guy you're going against every play," Longhorns quarterback Colt McCoy said. "When we go to practice, when we go to meetings, when we are hanging out at the hotel, we're slowly trying to find our edge, find our advantage. We're not thinking about being the underdogs, we're just thinking about what we have to do to go into this game and play our best."

The underdog has fared well in this game in recent years: the No. 2 team has won the past four BCS title games. Florida beat Oklahoma last year; LSU topped Ohio State in 2008; Florida whipped Ohio State in 2006 and Texas toppled USC in 2005.


Running back Mark Ingram became the first Heisman Trophy winner in Alabama history.

That accomplishment might not bode well for the Tide.

The last three times the Heisman winner has played in the BCS title game, he has lost. USC's Reggie Bush (2005). Ohio State's Troy Smith (2006), and Oklahoma's Sam Bradford (2008) all came up short. The last Heisman winner to emerge victorious in the BCS title game was USC's Matt Leinart in 2004. Florida's Tim Tebow won the Heisman in 2007 and won BCS titles in 2006 and 2008.


Alabama receiver Marquis Johnson practiced Saturday without a black shirt on that signifies a player can't be hit. But Johnson continues to have a cast on a hand.

"Now, whether he can catch the ball with a cast on his hand or not, he has caught some, but it could affect his ability to catch," Saban said.

Tom Dienhart is the national senior writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at dienhart@yahoo-inc.com.

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