Colt McCoy is the epitome of class

The college football gods owe Colt McCoy a massive apology, because what they did to him on Thursday night was extremely cruel.

On the fifth play of the 2010 BCS National Championship Game, an Alabama defender hit McCoy on his right side and the quarterback’s arm immediately went dead. He motioned to come out of the game and was replaced by freshman Garrett Gilbert for the remainder of the series.

That was the last time McCoy took a snap for the Texas Longhorns, who eventually fell to Alabama, 37-21.

It’s not fair what happened to McCoy. You could see how distraught he was while having to watch from the sidelines as his team fought an uphill battle. He came back for his senior year for the opportunity to win a national championship and instead he was forced to be a spectator for his team’s biggest moment. For what he did at Texas and for college football, he deserved more than this ending.

But even though he was handed the most unfortunate of breaks, McCoy proved to everyone how much character he has. Following the game, he held back tears while talking to ESPN reporter Lisa Salters about having to watch the game from the sidelines. Nobody would have blamed him if he vented his frustrations or talked about how the outcome of the game would have been different had he played.

But instead, he made it a point of emphasis to congratulate Alabama not once, but twice while wrapping up the interview. And it wasn’t a clichéd, tongue-in-check type of congratulations: It was as sincere as they come.

McCoy managed to muster the strength to congratulate an opponent that had just benefited from one of his darkest moments. Now that’s class.

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Alabama overcomes Saban’s first quarter mistakes to win national title

Those that tuned into the 2010 BCS National Championship Game don’t need a breakdown of what transpired on Thursday night: Alabama took advantage of a Colt McCoy shoulder injury and managed to survive a late rally by Texas to cash in a 37-21 victory.

Had McCoy played the entire game, would Texas have won? We’ll never know, although the Longhorns certainly had everything working in their favor early on, taking advantage of one Nick Saban mistake after another.

Saban’s decision to receive instead of putting his defense on the field first was unwise. His decision to fake a punt after the Tide went three and out on their first possession was unnecessary. And his decision not to instruct his return team to call for a fair catch or re-position themselves after Texas had already kicked the ball short at the start of the game was neglectful.

Due to those three decisions, Saban essentially spotted the Longhorns a 6-0 lead. Had McCoy not been hurt, who knows whether or not that 6-0 lead could have been 14-0 to start the game.

Saban obviously deserves enormous credit for turning Alabama’s program around and building a national championship team. What he’s been able to do in such a short period of time has been remarkable and speaks to how good he is at what he does. He’s a motivator, a master game planner and manages to keep young men focused, which cannot be easy to do.

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