Final Thoughts On BCS Championship
Posted Jan 9, 2012

Final Thoughts before the 2012 BCS Championship between LSU and Alabama

Final Thoughts 

Before The BCS Champ.

- BCS Championship Preview
- BCS Champ. Preview Part 2 - Top Players & Picks

- Final Thoughts on the BCS Championship - Fiu & Rich
- Final Thoughts on the BCS Championships 2

- Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Receivers | Offensive Lines
- Def Lines | Linebackers | Secondaries | Spec Teams | Coaches

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

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 - There was roughly 19 times more excitement and national interest in the first game between these two. It's a shame because this should be terrific.

- This might be the most dead-even national title game of the BCS era. There's not enough of a difference for either side to think this will be anything else but another classic.

- And yes, the first game was a classic.

- In terms of NFL talent, a reasonable case could be made that these are the two greatest defenses to ever play each other in a national championship.

- If LSU plays like it did in the first half against Georgia, Alabama will win in a walk.

- If Alabama doesn't get anything going in the passing game and can't loosen up the LSU secondary, the Tigers will win in a walk.

- It seems like this game should be easily predictable. Tuesday morning, it'll seem so obvious, but right now there's nothing there like Ohio State's overconfidence in 2007 or Auburn's defense vs. Oregon's offense last year.

- You could make a viable case for either side, any score, and it might not seem crazy.

- 38-7 LSU? The Tigers were jacked up, motivated, and focused on stomping Alabama's offense to make a statement.

- 38-7 Alabama? LSU couldn't get the offense going and the Tide got up early and didn't have a problem closing things down.

- 9-6 LSU in overtime? 9-6 Alabama in overtime? It all sounds believable.

- Three possible Tuesday storylines we should've seen coming if Alabama wins … 1) Jordan Jefferson's disastrous passing night. 2) The Tide kickers redeem themselves. 3) Alabama was the far better prepared team.

- Three possible Tuesday storylines we should've seen coming if Alabama wins … 1) Alabama couldn't handle the LSU option. 2) The Tide offense got nothing out of the receiving corps. 3) LSU rose to yet another challenge when pushed.

- The biggest factor: LSU's secondary. It's going to erase the Alabama passing game.

- The best guesses for the unsung heroes: Alabama tight end Brad Smelley and LSU punter Brad Wing.

- Chris Faulk, Will Blackwell, P.J. Lonergan, Josh Williford, and Alex Hurst. The LSU offensive line averages over 6-5 and 320 pounds per man. The Alabama offensive line has more talent, but the bulk of the Tiger front five is to be a major part of the deal as the second half rolls on.

- And yes, this will get the lowest ratings of any national title in the BCS era, and it's all because of the arrogance and shortsightedness of the pay TV station that's showing it.

- No, don't use the argument that the people who want to see this game will make sure they find it. That's not the point, and that's not how you grow the sport or make the championship relevant. Of course the fans will watch this game, but it's the people who won't go out of their way to find it makes the difference in the game's importance.

- It's the national championship. The Bachelor should be on Lifetime and the BCS Championship should be on ABC..

- But here's the bigger problem, and it'll be changed as soon as humanly possible; the game can't be on the Monday after Wild Card Weekend. Storyline No. 1 tomorrow: Tim Tebow. Storyline No. 2: Tim Tebow vs. Tom Brady. Storyline No. 3: Giants vs. Packers. Play the BCS Championship on January 4th - after playing the Rose and Fiesta on the 1st, the Sugar on the 2nd, and the Orange on the 3rd – and the game would be the biggest story in sports for several days.

- Combine the two factors of pay TV and January 9th, and even though it'll be spun to look good, this game won't have enough of a national impact no matter what happens.

- These two teams and this game deserve your undivided attention. They're really that good, but too many can't see it because they need lots and lots of offense to be happy.

- I don't care if Alabama wins in double-overtime. The winner of this game is technically the national champion, even if the stats and the power rankings won't necessarily show it.

- No, AP, it's no longer a split national title if you put a team that didn't win the BCS championship No. 1.

- If you hate rematches, you might have to get used to it. These should be the top two teams next year, too.

By Richard Cirminiello 

Running right at the ‘Bama defense won't work. LSU has got to find a way to get outside the tackle box to test the Tide's lateral quickness, which could mean a few more option calls for QB Jordan Jefferson.

RB Trent Richardson holds the key for Alabama … and not just as a traditional ballcarrier. No, he'll have to be a factor in the passing game on screens and dump-offs as well.

I like Tide QB AJ McCarron, and believe he has a terrific future, but I'm also having a hard time seeing him complete more than a couple of downfield passes on this LSU D. The Tigers possess way too much depth and speed on the first and final lines of defense, especially against an average corps of ‘Bama receivers.

Oh, and if McCarron plans to have success through the air, he better do it between the twenties. Throwing on the LSU defensive backfield is next to impossible in the red zone.

TV ratings ought to be unusually high for this one in Oz. Alabama starting DE Jesse Williams and LSU P Brad Wing hail from Brisbane and Melbourne, respectively, in Australia.

Wing, by the way, is one of those unsung heroes in Baton Rouge who could wind up playing an underrated role in the outcome. He's liable to do two or three things that tilt the momentum, and shift field position in favor of the Tigers.

Alabama-LSU will be like a great pitchers' duel in October. One mistake, such as an ill-timed turnover or special teams gaffe, could permanently shift the balance of power in one direction. It's that razor-thin margin of error that helps make this national championship matchup so darn riveting.

Just a hunch, but Jefferson is going to find Reuben Randle behind the secondary very early in the first quarter. As talented as Tide CB Dre Kirkpatrick is, he's not above biting on a fake or a play-action pass.

Nick Saban is the better X's and O's coach. Les Miles is masterful at getting his kids to buy into what he's selling. Give me the latter over the former in a title bout.

Despite harboring impressive depth at running back with Spencer Ware, Michael Ford, Alfred Blue and Kenny Hilliard, the Tigers would love to uncork a little more wiggle on the stout ‘Bama D. Enter Terrence Magee, a true freshman who could entice the staff to give him a couple of meaningful touches.

While the numbers are similar, the defenses got to this point using two very different philosophies. Alabama operates like an NFL D, using more traditional sets and schemes. LSU, on the other hand, lets its athletes be athletes, encouraging them to swarm tackle in a demonstration of controlled chaos.

You just know Tyrann Mathieu is going to do something ridiculously athletic on defense or special teams that incites the LSU sideline. However, he can also be taken out of the game mentally, which the ‘Bama players are going to test as much as they possibly can without getting flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct.

The dirty little secret about the vaunted Alabama defense is that it ranks 90th nationally with just 18 takeaways. Winning a national championship might require the Tide to be a little more opportunistic on Monday night.

Week 14 Final Thoughts Part 2 - "The SEC Championship Still Matters"