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Lee Roy Jordan picks Alabama

BCS CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

Former Crimson Tide and Cowboys great says running game and defense will make the difference.

January 07, 2010|By Mike Hiserman

Lee Roy Jordan was an All-America linebacker for Alabama, and legendary Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant once described him as "one of the finest football players the world has ever seen."

He played for the Crimson Tide from 1960-62, and those teams had a combined record of 29-3-1.

The tie: 3-3, against Texas in the 1960 Bluebonnet Bowl.

Which is not his only tie with Texas.

He resides in Dallas, where he spent his entire 14-season NFL career with the Cowboys, who he represented in five Pro Bowls.

Reached by telephone Wednesday, Jordan said he was on his way from Texas to Pasadena -- accompanied by a group of Longhorns fans.

"I have to put up with these Texas folks all the time. Just driving down the street I'm in enemy territory," he added with a laugh.

There was no hesitation about who he expected to win -- Alabama, "I think maybe by about 10 points, or something like that."

Jordan says he was taught, and believes, "defense and running games win championships."

"I think that's what will happen," he said.

"I feel very confident with our football team. I think we have a tremendous defensive team and our offense has improved throughout the year.

"We'll put a lot of pressure on their run game, and maybe be able to eliminate it all together. Then you put pressure on [Texas quarterback Colt] McCoy and make it difficult for him."

Jordan, who was equally adept at shutting down the run and pass during his playing days, regularly attends Alabama home games and said the Crimson Tide has "two guys who can run the football as well as anyone I have seen" in Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson.

About Ingram, he said: "I would classify him along with Emmitt Smith, which of course is high praise for anyone. He breaks tackles and has good speed and takes care of the ball."

About Richardson, a freshman: "He's going to be a heck of a player. He's going to give Ingram a run for playing time next season, maybe even split time with him."

Truth be told, Jordan really can't lose no matter which team wins tonight's game.

"I like Texas," he said. "I'm a fan of Texas -- but not when they play Alabama."

mike.hiserman@latimes.com

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