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LSU and Alabama play for the whole damn thing on Monday, January 9. The BCS National Championship game matches up the two best teams in the country, or that’s the goal anyway. After much discussion, debating, and sometimes complaining, many have wondered whether or not the BCS system did its job on this one. Does Alabama deserve a shot at the title after already losing to LSU…at home? Do they deserve the rematch?
“They didn’t even win their division, Roger. And Oklahoma State won their conference. This is bullshit.”
I hear you, but the BCS system is in place to give the two best teams in the country a chance to win the title, and in my opinion that’s exactly what we got. Bama’s defense is damn near NFL quality, and that’s what separates them from Oklahoma State. The debating should be behind us. Okie State won the Fiesta. It’s time to move on and look forward to the national championship game.
It’s tough to really call this a preview, because how do you preview a matchup that we’ve already seen? I could just say the game might go something like this:
Even without the benefit of knowing the outcome of the first time these two teams locked up, it’s easy to surmise that this was destined to be a low-scoring, knock-down, drag-out, physical slugfest. These two teams are absolute defensive juggernauts. Let’s look at the numbers.
Alabama ranks #1 in the nation in total defense, giving up 191 yards per game. And although LSU is surrendering 61 more yards per game than Bama, they are #2 in the nation in this category. That’s just filthy. Scoring defense? Same story. Alabama and LSU go 1 and 2. Breaking down the quality of each player on each defense would get quite redundant. Just know they’re all legit. Very legit. And although we won’t see much offense in this game, we can discuss that, too.
Damn, these teams are almost mirror images of each other. They both rely heavily on running the ball, where each team ranks in the top 20 in rushing yards per game. Passing isn’t their thing, though. Each QB will be asked to make their simple throws and limit turnovers. There are at least six NFL-bound defensive backs in this game, including a Thorpe winner and Heisman finalist. Nasty.
Sorry Bama fans, but I have to do it…it’s time to discuss special teams. This is where I think LSU has a decided edge. Simply put, LSU can punt the ball, and they make their field goals, and they do it much better than Bama. We all saw what happened in their first matchup, and field goals will most likely play a huge role in this one, as well. Alabama missed four crucial field goals in their first game. I heard the Nicktator scoured the local intramural fields for a new kicker but came up empty. It almost seems unfair that a game featuring many of college football’s most elite, finely-tuned athletes could potentially come down to a 160 lb. pencil-necked soccer fanatic who grew up wearing knee-high socks and Umbros.
Each teams’ strategy on Monday night? Don’t turn the ball over, win the field-position battle, and make your damn field goals.
If either team is going to do something crazy like score a touchdown and put this game on ice, I think it’s LSU. I’m going LSU by 6.