29_35x90 knx_35x90

TALE OF THE TAPE

Tale Of The Tape: #2 Alabama Vs. #8 Michigan

#2 Alabama
#8 Michigan
Allstate BCS National Championship Game - LSU v Alabama
Allstate Sugar Bowl - Michigan v Virginia Tech
Coaching
Winner There may be no better college football coach in the country than Nick Saban. What else could you ask for? He recruits as well as anyone (the No. 1 class in the country the past two years) and can game plan with the best of them (see last year’s BCS championship rematch).
Brady Hoke has done no wrong since arriving in Ann Arbor in January 2011. He assembled an outstanding coaching staff, recruited well, and, oh yeah, beat Ohio State, Michigan’s first win against its archrival since 2003.
Offense
The Crimson Tide runs a pro-style offense behind a big, talented offensive line—center Barrett Jones is the best lineman in the country. Quarterback A.J. McCarron won’t have Heisman finalist Trent Richardson in the backfield with him, so the junior will be asked to do more this season.
Winner Denard Robinson is on everybody’s preseason Heisman watch list, and for good reason. He’s the most electrifying player in the country. The rest of the Wolverine offense lacks elite playmakers.
Defense
Winner Most schools would have trouble replacing three first-round NFL draft picks on one side of the ball. Alabama reloads with plenty of top-level recruits, but many are unproven at the college level.
The transformation of Michigan’s defense from 2010 to last season was nothing short of a miracle. The unit went from 107th in scoring defense to sixth and made a similar jump in yards allowed.
Special Teams
Winner Jeremy Shelley returns after connecting on 19 of 21 field goals from under 40 yards (he was 2 for 6 from longer). Christion Jones takes over kick returning duties from the explosive Marquis Maze.
Michigan has uncertainty at punter despite returning two players who saw action last season. Its reliable kicker, redshirt junior Brendan Gibbons, returns after a surprisingly good 2011.

The Winner Is

Allstate BCS National Championship Game - LSU v Alabama
Winner #2 Alabama
3 out of 4

The atmosphere in Cowboys Stadium should be electric on Saturday night as these two top programs square off. Alabama is near the top of all major polls for a reason. Despite losing a ton of talent, there’s no shortage of it in Tuscaloosa. Some of the young, inexperienced defenders might get embarrassed by Robinson on a few plays, but Michigan’s re-tooled defensive line faces a stiff test. It should be competitive, but Saban’s squad has the edge.

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images) (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
    Tale Of The Tape: Chicago Bears At New York Jets

    While Jay Cutler lacks consistency, he is capable of taking over any game and carrying the Bears with his strong arm when he gets on a roll.

  2. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
    Tale Of The Tape: Pittsburgh Steelers At Carolina Panthers

    The Steelers are a veteran team that should understand how to play in a big game, but they appeared unprepared for their Week Two game with the Baltimore Ravens.

  3. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
    Tale Of The Tape: Kansas City Chiefs At Miami Dolphins

    The Chiefs picked it up quite a bit in losing a 24-17 decision at Denver, and that should be encouraging to Andy Reid and quarterback Alex Smith.

See All Tales of the Tape
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,379 other followers