Should Bama Play For The National Title?
Posted Nov 22, 2011

Tuesday Question: Would you be cool if Bama wins the BCS title?

Tuesday Question 

Bama In the BCS Championship

TQs Sept. 27. The 14th SEC Team Should Be?.  
- Oct. 4. Overranked and Underranked teams  
- Oct. 11 Midseason Surprises and Duds 
- Oct. 26 Who'll finish No. 2 in the BCS
- Nov. 8 What should Penn State do now?  
- Nov. 15 The top Heisman candidates are ... ?  

Would You Be Cool If Alabama Beats An Unbeaten LSU In The BCS Championship?

E-mail Pete Fiutak
#CFBnews & #ColFootballNews
College football needs a Grover Norquist to force every voter in the coaches' and Harris polls to sign a pledge vowing to adjust their votes and rankings to make sure to never, ever, ever, allow the BCS championship game to 1) be a rematch or 2) allow a team that's not good enough to win its own conference to have a shot at the national championship.

Personally, I think Alabama is the best college football team in the country and I think it would beat LSU six times out of ten on a neutral field, but that doesn't matter. You have to go by what happened on the field or else what's the point of playing the regular season?

LSU 9 – Alabama 6. Ball game.

This has nothing to do with Alabama, just like it had nothing to do with Florida in 1996. This is about the process, and a team shouldn't get a do-over. And just like it wasn't about Nebraska in 2001, a team shouldn't be allowed to be named the best team in the country if you're not the best team in your division, much less your conference.

If LSU beats Arkansas and Georgia, I don't care what happens in the BCS championship since it'll be irrelevant unless Oklahoma State gets in ahead of Alabama. In fact, I'd rather see an unbeaten Houston, a one-loss Virginia Tech, or even a two-loss, Big Ten champion Wisconsin – with its two losses coming on the road on last-second bombs – play LSU over Alabama or Oregon.

Again, LSU 9 – Alabama 6. Ball game.

If LSU is 13-0 and Alabama is No. 2 in the BCS standings, the Tigers should strut out of the Georgia Dome with a No. 1 finger in the air like Larry Bird – with the money ball still flying - walking off the court at the end of the 1988 all-star game three-point shootout. And then they shouldn't even show up in New Orleans. There's no need.

This goes for you, too, Arkansas. Don't think the world forgot about the 38-14 loss to Alabama.

Even if the Hogs beat LSU, no, they shouldn't play Alabama for the national title because we did that already. They were held to 17 yards rushing.

If you want to argue that Arkansas should win some sort of an SEC West tie-breaker and should play a one-loss Oklahoma State for the national title – assuming a win over Georgia - okay. In fact, I'll join your fight. If the Hogs beat LSU, they'll have played Alabama and LSU on the road and won't have gotten a home game, so they deserve to represent the West over an LSU that lost at home and an Alabama that lost at home.

But as far the national championship, if it's LSU vs. Alabama it'll be a step back for the credibility of the only regular season that matters.

Unless Alabama wins the SEC championship, it shouldn't play for the national championship. It can't play for the national championship.

By Richard Cirminiello 

Would I be cool calling Alabama the national champion if it beats LSU in the BCS Championship Game?


Would you be able to scrutinize the situation because LSU would have the better overall body of work, and the SEC hardware to boot? Of course, but this is the system that we've had for many years, one that uses its regular season as a quasi-playoff in an effort to determine the top two teams in the country. Once that's achieved, the beauty contest is over, and a winner-take-all scenario prevails. Do we hoot and holler when a wild card team goes on to win the Super Bowl or the World Series? No, most of us simply accept the fact that when the lights shined the brightest, the stage was the biggest and the stakes were the highest, the best team endured. ‘Bama would basically be the wild card team in New Orleans if it gets a rematch with the Tigers on Jan. 9. And if it can be the first team of 2011 to slap a loss on LSU, yeah, I'd be cool that when two evenly-matched teams met for the title, the winner of that game took home the trophy. Let's remember that the Tigers didn't exactly blow out the Tide on Nov. 5. It was a 9-6 game decided by a field goal in overtime.

By: Barrett Sallee
Follow me on Twitter: @BarrettSallee

Yes, if a one-loss Alabama team beats LSU and wins the national title, I will recognize the Crimson Tide as the true national champion. Everyone entered this season knowing the rules, and must live by them - whether it's perceived to be fair or unfair. Aside from a "Plus 1," this is the best system that college football can have, because any realistic playoff scenario would include automatic bids for conference champions. West Virginia doesn't deserve the same chance at a national title as LSU. It just doesn't.

Is that unfair for LSU? It absolutely is. LSU has a much better resume than Alabama AND beat Alabama in Tuscaloosa, which has to count for something. That's why I'm anti-rematch. At this point, though, a rematch is almost a certainty, so we must play the hand that we are dealt.

If Alabama wins a rematch vs. LSU in the BCS Championship Game, the Crimson Tide is the National Champion. No asterisk, no split title and no controversy. Both teams will enter the Mercedes-Benz Superdome knowing that this game is for the crystal football, and the loser has no business claiming anything.

By Matt Zemek

Yes, I do think Alabama got jobbed on Nov. 5 when the officials awarded a game-changing interception to LSU's Eric Reid instead of invoking the simultaneous possession rule to award the ball to Alabama tight end Michael Williams at the Tigers' 1. However, when Alabama won the 2009 national championship, it obviously got lucky when the SEC replay booth failed to give LSU an interception that would have changed the course of that particular clash two years ago.

LSU beat Alabama this season.

Therefore, there cannot be a rematch in the BCS National Championship Game as a matter of pure principle. I will not recognize Alabama as the national champion should the Tide beat the Tigers in New Orleans on January 9, 2012.

It's not a hard concept to grasp, college football fans: If "every game is a playoff," and if "the sanctity of the regular season" is the number one virtue of college football, then Alabama CANNOT play LSU. Not under this system or this framework. The 2006 season – in which Michigan was purposefully voted downward to avoid a rematch with Ohio State in Glendale, Arizona – did not offer what one would call a satisfying or clean resolution to yet another BCS train wreck, but removing Michigan from the BCS title game was the only reasonable thing that could have been done under the circumstances. IF college football's regular season meant anything five years ago, Ohio State needed to be rewarded – and Michigan punished – for the 42-39 Buckeye win on November 18 of that year. If that game – hyped and lauded to a considerable degree – was to receive due levels of significance and weight, it demanded to be a unique creature, something not to be repeated within the context of the 2006 season. Similarly, LSU-Alabama – "The Game of the Century" – can only remain a big deal, a landmark event, if it remains a one-of-a-kind occurrence in this 2011 campaign. Repeating LSU-Alabama (like Michigan-Ohio State in 2006) makes the original act nothing other than a hollow shell, a misty memory, a spectacle full of sound and fury but signifying nothing.

It's so achingly simple: If Alabama gets a second shot at LSU, then LSU's original victory (on the road, at night) was worth very little (and worth NOTHING if Arkansas beats LSU and is somehow voted ahead of the Tigers come Nov. 27). In much the same way, Ohio State's win over Michigan would have been worth precious little if the Wolverines were able to face the Buckeyes in Arizona 51 days later. College football fans rightly complain about the paucity of season-defining showdowns and epic-scale slugfests in the sport. Therefore, the only way to promote and encourage more such blockbusters is to allow them to carry a maximum of value and meaning. If LSU's win over Alabama isn't honored the way Ohio State's win over Michigan was in 2006, college football programs will get the message: Why drum up hype for "Game of the Century"-like events when those very events are replicated weeks later in a different stadium?

Phil Harrison
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHarrisonCFN

Been there, done that. Didn't we already have a prequel to this movie? If Alabama makes its way to New Orleans to play an undefeated LSU team -- it solves nothing, and proves nothing.

The Tigers have already rolled the Tide on the road, and a rematch, albeit in the state of Louisiana would be a win on neutral turf and not nearly as impressive, even if the score is higher (and please let it be).

What we would have is a tie on the season with no way to break the tie aside from awarding the team that won last as the victor.

The World Series doesn't end after a 1-1 game tie, and neither does any sport that has ever crowned a champion in the history of humanity. No, it would be a travesty to crown Alabama the national champion if the scenario of beating an undefeated LSU team plays out. In fact, to go further, the game shouldn't even be allowed to happen.

Let's rewind shall we?

Remember the year 2006? Ohio State and Michigan were ranked no. 1 and no. 2 nearly all season. It all culminated with a classic game in the Horseshoe with both teams only enhancing their reputations. There was a swell of sentiment to let the teams play again in January because--as some experts put it--they were clearly the two best teams in the country.

Now that we know what we do in hindsight, it's a good thing a rematch wasn't allowed as a Florida team from another league, the SEC, came in and housed what was considered to be an unstoppable Ohio State team. Clearly, at least on that day, the upper crust of the Big Ten were not the clear top two teams in all of FBS. You just cannot compare apples to oranges without slicing them in the same room.

Just like 2006, another team from another conference should be given a shot to flex its muscles against the SEC champion. Alabama had its shot, and yanked four field goals, made many mistakes, and choked the game away to LSU at home. And that's where its title aspirations should end.

So bring on a new challenger. There's still Oklahoma State, Stanford, and Virginia Tech all with one loss. For that matter, Boise State and Houston are still waiting in the un-clipped BCS weeds. Bring on anybody--but just don't bring on Alabama again.

We've all seen this movie before and there is no appetite for another one. Not even Steven Spielberg could make an LSU vs. Alabama sequel a college football box office hit.
By Terry Johnson

No, I am not cool with Alabama being the national champion if they beat an undefeated LSU team in the BCS title game.

If you cannot win your own conference – or in this case your own division - you do not belong in the national championship game.

Even if we dismiss that simple – but effective - argument, Alabama should not win the BCS title over an LSU team that finished the regular season undefeated.

Should the Crimson Tide win a rematch on January 9th, the teams would have split the season series. Rather than just award the title to the team that won the most recent game – something college football has done (albeit erroneously) over the years – we should evaluate each team's entire body of work.

Since both teams would each have only one loss, what factor would prove which team is better?

The answer is simple - strength of schedule.

A careful evaluation of each team will prove that LSU has the tougher schedule of the two. LSU has defeated six ranked teams so far, while Alabama has only beaten three. Should the Tigers go undefeated, they will pick up win number 7 (against Arkansas) and 8 (against Georgia in the SEC title game) against ranked opponents in the next two weeks.

Should Alabama still win the title even though LSU beat them during the regular season, and won twice the amount of games against ranked opponents?

Absolutely not – that would send the wrong message. Alabama's coronation would render the regular season meaningless and state that every game does not count, only the games at the end of the season. In addition, a Crimson Tide national title under these circumstances would discourage teams from playing tough nonconference schedules. Why play a tough schedule (e.g. eight ranked opponents), if there is no reward for doing so?

Is that what college football is all about – playing meaningless games and avoiding challenges?

Of course not! College football is about overcoming obstacles, rather than avoiding them.

Alabama had its chance against an undefeated LSU team. They had two weeks to prepare for the game. They also had the advantage of playing the Tigers inside the friendly confines of Bryant-Denny Stadium. Unfortunately, they lost a nail biter in overtime 9-6. They do not deserve another shot at the BCS title against an undefeated LSU team because they already had the opportunity, and failed to win.

However, if Arkansas should defeat LSU this weekend, I would have no problem with Alabama as the national champion. The loss to Arkansas would knock LSU out of the SEC Championship game and send Alabama to Atlanta in their place. In order for LSU and Alabama to meet again in New Orleans, the Crimson Tide would have to win the SEC championship.

So why would be I okay with Alabama winning the national title in that scenario?

Because in that case, the Crimson Tide would be the SEC West champion, the SEC Conference champion, and BCS Title game champion.

No one could refute that argument.

Please follow me on Twitter @TPJCollFootball