I'm utterly convinced (so it would be impossible to persuade me otherwise) that with a healthy Colt McCoy at the helm in last night's championship game, the outcome would have been totally different. UT was briskly marching toward a TD on their opening possession, following Alabama's failed fake punt attempt, when Colt was injured. Had he remained in the game, I have no doubt that they would have scored not just a field goal but a touchdown on that opening drive. The botched ensuing kickoff by Alabama positioned UT for another quick touchdown with the ball at Alabama's 40 or so. With two TD's under their belt, there's no way UT's defense allows Alabama back in the game.
As it was, Alabama struggled mightily in the second half after Muschamp made some defensive halftime adjustments. At one point well into the half, they had managed only 3 yards of total offense in the half.
Yes, Colt's absence was sorely felt. You can't lose the winningest quarterback in the history of college football and not suffer the effects. Gilbreath played pretty valiantly for a kid who's only taken some snaps during mop up operations in the second half when the game was safely iced away. The two touchdowns to Shipley were nicely executed. I think his baptism by fire will stand him in good stead for his future with the Horns.
Alabama played a decent game, but they didn't dominate at all like they did against Florida. Texas actually had 13 more total yards than Alabama in a losing effort without its star quarterback. Yep, no question in my mind that with Colt in the game, UT wins it easily.