Sallee: Alabama needs to do it with style
Posted Nov 14, 2011

Sallee: Week 11 Thought: Alabama has to look great in its wins

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Week 11  Thoughts, Nov. 14 

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- Cirminiello: Please ... a plus one!
- Fiutak: What does each one-loss team need?
- Harrison: The desperate state of the Big East  
- Zemek: Boise State's one-and-dones
- Sallee: Alabama needs to do it with style
- Johnson: Houston, you're next

By: Barrett Sallee
Follow me on Twitter: @BarrettSallee

Now, a rematch seems more likely

Whether it be LSU vs. Alabama or LSU vs. Oregon for the national title, seeing two teams that played each other during the regular season in New Orleans is more likely now that Boise State and Stanford have lost. So, for all of the contenders, that means that style points matter.

For Alabama, that's bad news.

Alabama dominated Mississippi State Saturday night in the same way it has done it in its other eight wins - by running the ball and playing defense. Don't get me wrong, that method works. It works very well. But if Alabama wants a rematch with LSU for the crystal football, it's going to have to show the country that it can win big games in other ways, because ground and pound won't be enough given the current landscape.

Like it or not (and for the record, I - like you - also think this is absurd), the national audience was thoroughly unimpressed with the performance of both teams in the "Game of the Century" between LSU and Alabama. LSU is probably going to win out, so style points don't matter; but if Alabama wants to get another shot at LSU, it's going to have to beat Auburn in two weeks in a way other than its typical style.

The human element still counts for two-thirds of the BCS equation, and there is already a ground swell of anti-rematch sentiment, especially in the case of Alabama, which won't be the champion of its own division assuming the chalk holds up. But Alabama will also have to prove to the doubters that have votes that it's capable of giving LSU a different game than the one the nation saw two weeks ago.

Is that fair? No. LSU and Alabama are the two best teams in the country; and if Oklahoma State loses (which I doubt), theoretically they both should be in the BCS National Championship Game. But that's the way it is.

Bottom line, Alabama has to take a risk. It has to go on the road to Auburn in two weeks with an exciting offensive game plan that will prove to the rest of the country that it can give LSU a different kind of game than it did during its previous matchup. That could put the Tide at more risk of falling victim to the upset, but if the title is the ultimate prize, that's a risk that Alabama has to take.

If it doesn't, its chance of a rematch will disappear.