Cirminiello: Speed Kills In Title Game
Posted Jan 9, 2012

Ricahrd Cirminiello's thoughts on the 2012 BCS Championship

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- Cirminiello: Speed Kills
- Harrison: AJ McCarron's Time  
- Zemek: These Two Teams Will Do It Right 
- Johnson: This Should Be Memorable

Richard Cirminiello

Speed kills. A physical, blue-collar offensive line can be pretty lethal as well.

A nasty front wall doesn't get much attention. It never will. It's just the nature of the game. Blockers are designed to be anonymous cogs in an offensive machine, the behind-the-scenes BASF of an attack that makes everyone around them better. LSU has been a prime example throughout the 2011 season.

There's no Honey Badger in the trenches in Baton Rouge. Heck, most fans couldn't name a single LSU offensive lineman, yet their importance to this magical 2011 season is indisputable. From left to right, Chris Faulk, Will Blackwell, P.J. Lonergan, Josh Williford and Alex Hurst, with T-Bob Hebert playing a valuable utility role off the bench, have been the quiet heroes of the Tigers' charge toward immortality. Quiet to all but those who've had to lock horns with them on Saturdays … or Monday.

I like LSU in the BCS National Championship Game for myriad reasons, but near the top of the list is the sheer physicality and brute strength of a line that didn't exactly begin the season with a ton of fanfare. The Tigers can simply bully opponents a yard or two off the line of scrimmage, helping make the cadre of running backs appear to be interchangeable parts.

Yup, Spencer Ware, Michael Ford, Alfred Blue and Kenny Hilliard are all gifted young backs with bright futures, but you don't average five yards a carry in the SEC without a ton of help from the 300-pounders at the line of scrimmage.

Assistant Greg Studrawa's well-coached blockers don't discriminate; like a honey badger, they operate with a don't-give-a-damn attitude, blocking with equal ferocity, regardless of whose number has been called. Now, five yards a pop won't happen versus a ‘Bama D yielding half that number this season. However, LSU won't give up any ground against the Tide's front three of ends Jesse Williams and Damion Square, and NG Josh Chapman. In fact, the Tigers will have a slight edge at the point of attack, which will help keep drives from stalling, and Jordan Jefferson out of too many third-and-long situations.

The number of angles worth watching in the LSU-Alabama rematch is almost endless. Likely to get a little lost in the shuffle will be that Tigers offensive line, arguably the biggest reason why the offense has done an about-face after struggling so frequently a year ago. If this unit can continue to be a thankless hero, LSU's third national title since 2003 becomes as sudden as a pancake block.