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Will LSU vs. Bama Really Be For The Title?

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Oct 3, 2011


Will anyone get any respect if they don't play in the SEC, or will LSU vs. Alabama be for the national title?

CFN Analysis 

5 Thoughts, Oct. 3 

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- Fiutak: Will LSU vs. Bama be for the title?
- Cirminiello: Russell Wilson is what the game needs 
- Zemek: The time problem at South Carolina
- Sallee: Georgia is back in the SEC title hunt
- Mitchell: What's wrong with South Carolina
- Harrison: What went wrong with Ohio State    

E-mail Pete Fiutak

Supposedly, the national championship will be played on November 5th when LSU travels to Alabama.

At least that’s what the perception appears to be if you're not playing an SEC schedule, forgetting the no one-wants-to-talk-about-it fact that the league is squishy-soft outside of the killers at the top. 

It’s become the norm to cast Boise State off the island every year because of its schedule, but now it’s being done for everyone else who's not in the SEC. 

At the end of Wisconsin’s demolition of Nebraska, Kirk Herbstreit, sort of under his breath and in passing, muttered something – to paraphrase - about how the win was dominant and how it might change the national title chase a bit, but the Big Ten is the Big Ten and there's no LSU or Alabama on the slate.

And he was right.

All of a sudden, Wisconsin is hitting the Boise State problem. This year, if you're not playing Alabama, LSU, or Oklahoma, it's going to be hard to win over the world. For Wisconsin, through no fault of its own, it's schedule that looked so tough this offseason - including games against Oregon State and Nebraska - now might not get the job done.

Ohio State’s offensive line gets blown over by a soft breeze and the attack is punchless, so the October 29th game in Columbus won’t bring the Badgers much in the way of national respect. Penn State is awful, Minnesota is big bowl of bad, and Purdue is an injury-plagued mess, so that means Wisconsin’s national title street cred comes down to beating Ohio State, Michigan State, and Illinois on the road after beating up Nebraska at home. Throw in the new Big Ten title game, and is this enough to give a 13-0 Wisconsin enough juice to play for the national title? It would be impressive, but LSU and Alabama are playing each other and Oklahoma has to deal with a nasty nine-game Big 12 slate.

What if it's Michigan?

You want to talk about a fun December? Imagine if the Wolverines go 13-0 with this schedule to close: at Northwestern, at Michigan State, Purdue, at Iowa, at Illinois, Nebraska, and Ohio State. Leaving out Wisconsin would be one thing, but Michigan being thrown to the Rose Bowl instead of the national title game would change the world.

But I digress. That's not going to happen, but Stanford is in the position to step in if Oklahoma loses and/or if the SEC champion has one loss. 

Will anyone wake up in time to notice the Cardinal schedule? No one did last year when Oregon blew through an awful, awful league that will once again overinflate the production of its champion, but it'll go unnoticed by the people that matter.

The people who voted in the Coaches’ Poll – most of which couldn’t name the head coach or a second Stanford player besides Andrew Luck – moved the Cardinal up to four after beating up San Jose State, Duke, Arizona and UCLA. Stanford has beaten four teams that probably won’t go to a bowl - or at least one of any significance - will beat a fifth in Colorado this week, and then gets Washington State (who lost to San Diego State), Washington (who lost big to Nebraska), USC (who sputtered against a Minnesota team in a battle with Indiana to be this year’s worst BCS program), Oregon State (No. 1B next to Minnesota and Indiana), Oregon (great, but can’t run the ball against a real, live, defensive front seven), California (who lost to Washington already), and Notre Dame.

Alabama and LSU fans would take that deal in a heartbeat to avoid playing each other.

So the question that lingered this offseason is still out there: if Alabama or LSU wins the SEC Championship but has one loss, will you feel comfortable with an Oklahoma/Oklahoma State/Stanford/Wisconsin/Clemson/Boise State/Georgia Tech/Michigan national championship?

If you had to bet the house, the wife and the kids, would you take any of those teams over Alabama or LSU on January 9th in New Orleans?

I hate the BCS. It would be so much more fun to see all these great teams play instead of arguing about schedules, but if it's an Alabama/LSU vs. Oklahoma national title, the BCS will get away with it again.

- Fiutak: Will LSU vs. Bama be for the title?
- Cirminiello: Russell Wilson is what the game needs 
- Zemek: The time problem at South Carolina
- Sallee: Georgia is back in the SEC title hunt
- Mitchell: What's wrong with South Carolina
- Harrison: What went wrong with Ohio State