This column appears in the Jan. 11 issue of ESPN The Magazine.
It's a fact that someone will win the BCS title game. It's a smart
assumption that, with two of the nation's top three defenses colliding,
points will be scarce. And it's pure hope that, for a 2009 season that
opened with an unprecedented three Heisman finalists coming back and that
saw a historic five undefeated teams go to the bowls, we get a final game
capped by a fourth-quarter, game-winning drive.
Well, it looks like the BCS computers have smiled upon us. The Jan. 7
championship game will pit two quarterbacks, Texas' Colt McCoy and Alabama's
Greg McElroy, who are two of the nation's best fourth-quarter winners. The
numbers prove it. McCoy has an FBS-record 45 career wins, with late
comebacks against Oklahoma and Nebraska this season. McElroy, the junior
who's Bama's first-year starter, hasn't lost a game since middle school,
including tight W's in 2009 over Tennessee and Auburn.
How do they work that magic? Fans, as a rule, remember only that last
scoreboard click, when their 24-30 panic switches to 31-30 pandemonium. So
we asked both Texas-bred QBs to describe their most memorable comebacks,
which quickly became a four-step viewer's guide on how to transform a
possession into a Drive. These lessons might prove valuable on Jan. 7.