Texas to face Alabama in BCS National Championship Game
Dec. 6, 2009
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AUSTIN, Texas -- After winning the 2009 Big 12 Championship and matching the school record with its second 13-win season, No. 2/2 Texas (13-0, 8-0 Big 12) will play the No. 1/1 Alabama Crimson Tide (13-0, 8-0 SEC) in the Citi BCS National Championship Game on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2010 (7 p.m. Central/ABC), at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.
The game will mark the Longhorns' second appearance in the BCS title game and its fourth BCS bowl in the last six years. It will also be the third time in the last six years Texas will play at the Rose Bowl after winning the 2005 National Championship against USC, 41-38, and defeating Michigan, 38-37, in the 2005 Rose Bowl (2004 season). Texas has won a national-leading 17 straight games and its 13 wins this season matches the school record set in '05. The Longhorns are 7-0-1 all-time versus the Crimson Tide with their last meeting coming in the 1982 Cotton Bowl (1981 season), a 14-12 Texas victory.
Two of the winningest programs in NCAA history will face off when Texas (second/845 wins) and Alabama (sixth/812 wins) meet in Pasadena. UT also has the third-best winning percentage in NCAA history (845-317-33/.7209), while the Crimson Tide ranks sixth (812-316-44/.7116).
The Longhorns have finished the regular season and headed to a bowl game ranked first or second six times in school history (1963, '69, '70, '77, '83 and 2005). UT claimed both The Associated Press and UPI National Championships with Cotton Bowl victories in 1963 and '69, beating No. 2 Navy (28-6) in the '64 Cotton Bowl and No. 9 Notre Dame (21-17) in the '70 Cotton Bowl. The Horns earned the UPI National Championship, which was named prior to the bowl games, in 1970 before falling to No. 6 Notre Dame (24-11) in the 1971 Cotton Bowl. In 1977, Texas entered the Cotton Bowl ranked No. 1, but fell to Joe Montana and No. 5 Notre Dame (38-10). In 1983, the No. 2 Longhorns lost a 10-9 heartbreaker to No. 7 Georgia in the Cotton Bowl. No. 1 Nebraska fell to No. 5 Miami (31-30) in the Orange Bowl that year, which would have given the Horns another national title. No. 2 Texas claimed the BCS National Championship in 2005, when it defeated No. 1 USC, 41-38.
Texas will play in a bowl game for a UT-record 12th straight season, bettering the previous mark of nine-straight from 1977-85. The Horns have won seven of their last eight bowls and have an 8-3 record under Mack Brown. In the 11 years prior to Brown's arrival, Texas went to five bowls and was 2-3. Brown is the first UT coach since Darrell Royal, who was 8-7-1 in bowl games, to post a .500 or better record.
With a 24-21 victory over No. 10 Ohio State in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, Texas has won bowl games in five consecutive years for the first time in school history (2004-08). They are one of only two schools nationally to accomplish that feat. The Horns did win five straight previously (1963-64, '66, '68-69), but the streak was interrupted by seasons that did not result in a bowl. Brown's personal string, including time at North Carolina, goes back even further. He has directed his teams to 18 straight bowls, which is the second-longest active streak in the nation.