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T-Squared: Texas 33, Alabama 27

That's my prediction; what's yours? Correctly guess the outcome of tonight's game and you could win a Texas Tribune hat — perfect for beating Ben Philpott about the head and face.

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If politics is, as they say, show business for ugly people, it's also sports for squares ("they have Super Bowls, we have elections"). But there's no question that interest in tonight's BCS game runs high in the Capitol community — not only because various pols and staffers and lobbyists are Longhorns or because funding for public universities is a legislative hot potato but because civic pride as well as a national championship is at stake; even if we don't care particularly that Texas the school wins, we surely want Texas the state to win. Perhaps our own 'Bama boy Ben Philpott is rooting for the other team, but that's a rare affliction.

So: Given that all eyes are on that other Pasadena for the next 24 hours, I think a Texas Tribune contest is in order. Correctly predict the outcome of the Texas-Alabama game in the comments section of this post — or get closer than anyone else — and you'll win both a fashionable Tribune baseball cap and two choice seats at next Wednesday morning's TribLive kickoff event: A conversation with Joe Straus, Speaker of the Texas House. I'll be interviewing him about a great many matters of politics and policy but, alas, not football, as he went to, gulp, Vanderbilt.

My own prediction, which assumes a no-seconds-on-the-clock touchdown to win, is in the headline of this post. C'mon, what's yours?

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