It’s a new sports year, who will pass the big test?

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 7, 2010

It was 4:45 Tuesday morning, when I couldn’t sleep, that I realized another year of sports in Covington County awaits me.

The past two weeks have been really busy to the point where I didn’t even give thought to what my New Year’s resolutions will be for 2010.

I have a few and let’s just say I’ll strive to accomplish them.

For now, 2010 brings with it a new chance or opportunity for local teams to do their best in their respective sports.

Even though basketball is well under way right now, area play has just started for five teams — Andalusia, Straughn, Florala, Pleasant Home and Red Level. Opp got its first taste of area play back on Dec. 8.

It’s crunch time for each team as this month will determine who will play in the postseason, as one coach often reminds me in interviews.

And before you know it, sports such as tennis, softball, baseball, golf and outdoor track will start up in early to mid-February, during which the area and regional tournaments in basketball will take place.

Then, when the final contest in baseball and softball will take place in mid-May, recreational sports will have already gotten under way.

My “off season” will end in July, when football will start to become a normal part of my lingo everyday.

Speaking of football, tonight’s Citi BCS National Championship Game between No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Texas will sure be a showdown.

I must admit that I am not as hyped up about this game as I was before the SEC Championship last month.

I don’t really know why; it’s just kind of been on the back burner in my mind the past few weeks because of the holidays.

Maybe I’ve taken the mentality coach Nick Saban has on avoiding what the media has said about the game coming up.

Ironic, isn’t it?

I really can’t wait to sit in front of the TV and view a spectacular performance between two giants in college football.

Both teams have been prepping for this game for the last month and both expect to win, but one will fall.

It’s going to be a passing team versus a running team, no doubt.

Alabama, with its Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram, and Texas’ Colt McCoy will both have defensive eyes pinned on them.

Ingram rushed for 1,542 yards and 15 touchdowns this season. In the SEC title game, he ran for 113 yards and three touchdowns to arguably earn him the Heisman.

McCoy completed 70.5 percent of his passes for 3,512 yards and 27 touchdowns this season. His go-to guy is receiver Jordan Shipley, with 106 catches for 1,363 yards and 11 touchdowns.

In addition to Alabama’s Ingram, junior quarterback Greg McElroy shouldn’t be overlooked.

McElroy has grown up in front of the Tide’s faithful since his team’s bye-week on Oct. 31, 2009.

This season, he has thrown 2,450 yards for 17 touchdowns and four interceptions. In the game against Florida, he was 12-of-18 for 239 yards and one touchdown and no interceptions.

All of these athletes have big tests in front of them tonight.

But, who will pass?

Hopefully, the ones who have prepared the most.