Johnson: This Should Be Memorable
Virginia RB Perry Jones
Virginia RB Perry Jones
Posted Jan 9, 2012

Johnson Thought: The Cavaliers have improved by leaps and bounds in a hurry thanks to one man

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- Johnson: This Should Be Memorable  

By Terry Johnson
Please follow me on Twitter @TPJCollFootball

The 2012 BCS Championship game might be one of the more controversial pairings in its 15-year history. However, this national championship game should go down in history as one of the most memorable in college football.

What will make the game so memorable? Simple, the outcome of this game will actually change how people view college football on many different levels.

For example, one of the most polarizing topics in college football this season was the all-SEC matchup in national championship game. Experts, pundits, and fans alike debated endlessly whether or not it was good for the game to pit two teams from the same conference in the national championship.

The outcome of Monday's game should shape the language of the future BCS debates. If Alabama wins this game convincingly, fans will be more likely to embrace the concept of an all conference final. On the other hand, an LSU win would undoubtedly create more controversy (and not just in Stillwater), and likely lead to some sort of change to the BCS formula in the next season or two.

Another popular topic of conversation throughout the season is who is the best coach in the nation.

The BCS title game will again formulate some strong opinions on this topic as well. A Crimson Tide win would likely cement Nick Saban as the nation's top coach in the country, because he put together a game plan to defeat a once-in-a-generation LSU team that has beaten eight ranked teams. By the same token, a Tiger victory would firmly entrench Les Miles as the nation's best coach because he will have defeated one of the best defenses in college football history twice in the same season.

The 2012 BCS title game will not only impact what happens off the field, it will have a profound effect on what happens on the field in future seasons.

Alabama and LSU succeed on defense for different reasons. Nick Saban places more of an emphasis on recruiting bigger players that can run, whereas Les Miles focuses on getting leaner, faster players on the field. College football coaches have established a reputation for finding something that works, and then integrating that into their system. Whatever transpires in this game will have a profound impact on recruiting classes to come.

In fact, the SEC's recent string of national championships has already prompted to this to happen. After finishing 11-1 with Jim Harbaugh's vaunted passing game, Stanford switched to a physical offense that emphasized the run – despite having one of the nation's more prolific passers in Andrew Luck. Why did David Shaw make this change? Because he wanted to win football games.

Given the success that both LSU and Alabama have had on defense, every college football coach will tune in and takes notes in order to keep up with the Joneses (or the Mileses and the Sabans).

So while the 2012 national championship game might receive its share of criticism, hardcore fans will definitely want to tune in.

When they do, they will see the future of college football take shape.