- Ivan Maisel, ESPN Senior Writer
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1.Texas coach Mack Brown got a simple question to end his press conference Wednesday: When you’re not sleeping tonight, what will be racing through your mind? His extemporaneous response of nearly 1,200 words reveals what it is to coach a team heading into a national championship game better than any 10 books on coaching you ever have or ever will read.
2.On his 4 a.m. checklist: “Are they going to onside kick to open the game? Do we? How do you punt it? How do you protect? What about your fakes? What about protection? How do you start the game? How do you get your offense more comfortable than they were against Nebraska? What do you do on defense? Has Alabama opened it up with a wide-open offense against Florida to start the game differently than they had in some other games? Will they start with drop back and play-action against us? Will they try to run Ingram to start the game?”
3.On his pregame talk: “I’ll have 122 sets of eyes looking at me, an entire staff looking at me tomorrow afternoon at about 2 p.m., wanting me to put some sense into how important this game is. ‘I want you focused, I want you tough, I want you ready to play, but I want you to have fun,’ which gets really contradictory when they’re looking at you. ... You want to respect Alabama, but you don’t want to have your team where they’re not sure that they think you think they can win.”
3dSharon Katz, ESPN Stats & Information
4dTom VanHaaren and Erik McKinney