Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram rushed for a pair of touchdowns and Alabama knocked out Texas star quarterback Colt McCoy early, as the top-ranked Crimson Tide beat the Longhorns, 37-21, to win their 13th national championship. Alabama gave the SEC its fourth consecutive national champion, as Florida sandwiched a pair of titles around one by LSU the past three years. Alabama (14-0) won its first national title since 1992 and did it by surviving a late rally from freshman signal-caller Garrett Gilbert. McCoy suffered a right shoulder injury early in the first quarter of the BCS title game and didn't return. Marcell Dareus' hard hit forced McCoy out of the game and the Alabama defensive lineman later returned an interception 28 yards for a touchdown with three seconds left in the first half. Gilbert, the son of former NFL quarterback Gale Gilbert. stepped in and had a horrendous first half, but threw two second-half touchdown passes to Jordan Shipley. The last, a 28- yarder, came with 6:15 remaining. The two-point conversion pass to Dan Buckner pulled the No. 2 Longhorns within 24-21. Texas (13-1) got the ball back after an Alabama punt, but Gilbert fumbled and Ingram scored on a one-run run to seal the win.
Ole Miss quarterback Jevan Snead has decided to bypass his senior season to enter the 2010 NFL Draft. Snead threw for 2,632 yards and 20 touchdowns with 20 interceptions this past season for the Rebels, who finished 9-4 and beat Oklahoma State in the Cotton Bowl. Snead had a better statistical year in 2008, his first as a starter for Ole Miss, completing 56.3 percent of his passes for 2,762 yards with 26 touchdowns and just 13 interceptions. His 46 career touchdown passes are second only to Eli Manning's school record of 81. In Snead's two years under center, the Rebels experienced their most successful period in almost 40 years, posting back-to-back nine-win seasons for the first time since 1961-62 and consecutive January bowl victories for the first time since 1960-61. Also announcing his intentions to enter the draft on Thursday was Virginia Tech defensive end Jason Worilds, who posted 49 tackles this season for the Hokies, including 11 for loss and 4 1/2 sacks.
Sophomore quarterback Aaron Corp has decided to transfer from USC to Richmond, the University announced on Thursday. Corp began the year at the top spot on the depth chart for the Trojans, but lost out the starting job when he suffered a cracked fibula prior to the start of this past season. In his lone start of 2009 for an injured Matt Barkley, Corp finished 13-of-22 for 110 yards and an interception during USC's 16-13 setback to Washington on September 19. Since he is transferring to a school in the Football Championship Subdivision, Corp will not have to sit out a year before returning to the field. He currently has two years of eligibility remaining.
New Cleveland Browns president Mike Holmgren has decided to keep head coach Eric Mangini on board for the 2010 season. Both sides met for an extended period on Wednesday, but a formal announcement was withheld until a day later. Statements were issued by the team Thursday on behalf of both men following the much-anticipated decision. Holmgren said he was "very impressed" after having a chance to gain insight into the coach's thought process and philosophies. Cleveland won its last four games to finish 5-11 in Mangini's first year as the team's head coach. The Browns started 1-7 before then- general manager George Kokinis, a friend of Mangini, was fired in early November. Holmgren is still interviewing for a new general manager and on Wednesday he met with Philadelphia Eagles general manager Tom Heckert. However, per NFL rules, Heckert cannot be hired by Cleveland until Philadelphia, which plays Dallas in the first round of the playoffs on Saturday, completes its season.
The St. Louis Cardinals held a press conference Thursday to re-introduce outfielder Matt Holliday, whose new seven-year, $120 million contract will keep him as a cornerstone of the franchise for some time. The deal is the richest in club history, surpassing even reigning NL MVP Albert Pujols' seven- year, $100 million pact inked before the 2005 season. Holliday's deal also includes a club option for the 2017 season, a full no- trade clause and will pay out an even $17 million per season, according to Holliday's agent Scott Boras, who was on hand for Thursday's official introduction. Holliday, who has 152 homers and 592 runs batted in over an 854-game career, will now team with Pujols for the foreseeable future and form a formidable duo in the middle of St. Louis' lineup. Holliday provided a huge spark for St. Louis in 2009 after coming to the team in July via a trade with Oakland. In just 63 games for the NL Central champion Cardinals, Holliday batted .353 with 13 homers and 55 RBI, as the team went 39-24 with him in the lineup.
Reigning U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover fired a seven-under 66 Thursday to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the season-opening SBS Championshipin Kapalua. Glover played this event one other time and he ended in sixth place in 2006. That week he broke par in just one of the four rounds. Three Americans -- Matt Kuchar, Nick Watney and Dustin Johnson -- share second place at six-under 67. They were joined there by Australian Nathan Green and Scotland's Martin Laird. Current major champions Angel Cabrera (Masters) and Stewart Cink (British Open) are among four players tied for seventh just two strokes behind the leaders.