Final Thoughts on the BCS Champ. - Part 2
Posted Jan 9, 2012

Final thoughts on the 2012 BCS Championship: Part 2

Final Thoughts 

Before The BCS Champ.

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

- Final Thoughts on the BCS Championships - 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

By: Barrett Sallee
Follow me on Twitter: @BarrettSallee

It goes without saying that this BCS Championship Game is different than its predecessors. Never have we had a rematch for the crystal football during the BCS era, so this year, there appears to be more of a microscope placed on the matchups. Yeah, it's paralysis by analysis; so let's break it down in the simplest possible way...who has improved more?

The answer is easy, it's LSU.

After that 9-6 win in Tuscaloosa over Alabama on Nov. 5, LSU's offense has taken off. Why, you ask? Simple, they have found a playmaker at quarterback, and it's one that as been there for a while.

Jordan Jefferson.

Since Jefferson took over as the No. 1 guy midway through the first "Game of the Century," LSU's offense has clicked at its highest level all season. The Tigers went north of 450 yards in three of their final four games of the season. They only eclipsed that mark once prior to Nov. 5 - a 41-11 romp of Florida where the Tigers totaled 453 yards.

Does Jordan Jefferson make Alabama head coach Nick Saban and defensive coordinator Kirby Smart shake in their boots? Of course not. But the LSU team is much better with him at quarterback, and the last time I checked, they did win in Tuscaloosa just two months ago, when Jefferson was only a part of the game plan.

Couple Jefferson with the emergence of running back Kenny Hilliard as yet another weapon that head coach Les Miles has in his arsenal, and LSU has become a machine in every phase of the game.

That's not to take anything away from Alabama. Clearly, the Crimson Tide is better than every other team in the country. But they weren't better on Nov. 5, and they haven't improved as much as LSU since then.

Advantage, LSU.

By Matt Zemek

-- What would be really cool: One team carries a 4-3 lead into the final minute, while the other one has all three timeouts. The trailing team plants a punt on the 1, stuffs three running plays, and – with 40 seconds left – blocks a punt for a safety to win, 5-4.

-- OR…………………. LSU missing four field goals.

-- OR…………………. The only touchdowns in this game being scored by LSU cornerbacks.

-- OR………………….. by Alabama kick returners.

-- This is the 2012 BCS National Exhibition Game – you do realize this, yes?

-- LSU is the 2011 national champion of college football – you do realize this, yes? Oklahoma State is number two, even though Alabama would likely beat the Cowboys by at least three touchdowns. It's not about the eye test; it's about the resume, the body of work. On. The. Field. And no, it's not about the best loss versus the worst loss; it's about all 12 regular-season games, taken together. It's also about making the regular season mean something.

-- I felt horrible about this game as a matter of principle on the night of December 4, 2011. I feel a million times worse about it now. Really: The BCS national championship game should have mystery and a virginal kind of foreignness. Instead, it will be a re-enactment of a game played earlier in the season. It's like the World Series in the modern-day interleague play era. Seeing two teams play in the World Series after meeting in the regular season took (and still takes) the romance out of the Fall Classic. When the American and National Leagues were fully segregated, the World Series was a much bigger occasion.

-- Remember this: LSU's only BCS championship game appearances have been in years when the title game was played in the Superdome. The Tigers have now made each of the last three BCS title games staged in their home state. That's an exquisite sense of timing by Les Miles and – in January of 2004 – a fellow named Nick Saban.

-- In fairness to Alabama fans, if officials actually applied the principle of simultaneous possession (which is still on the books) to the Michael Williams-Eric Reid play at the LSU 1 in the fourth quarter on November 5, I'd have spent the past two months arguing against a rematch from the other side of the fence… a fence painted Red with Al the Elephant smiling in the background.

-- Brass tacks: Who wins? It's the Superdome. LSU doesn't lose title games inside the Superdome. A.J. McCarron is going to hemorrhage turnovers. Tigers 23, Tide 10.

By Terry Johnson
Please follow me on Twitter @TPJCollFootball

- Winston Churchill said "Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time". The same can be said for the BCS system; it is not perfect but it is better than any other system that Division I football has ever had.

- At least until the university presidents allow a playoff.

- Considering how well both teams played the last time, the coach of the winning team will be considered the top coach in the land.

- Do not expect another low-scoring battle. The offensive coordinators have been preparing for this game ever since the last one, and have no doubt put in some wrinkles designed specifically to win the national championship.

- The offensive line coaches have been reminding the big uglies that they failed to score a TD on November 5. As a result, each line will play with even more nastiness this time, which makes for an extremely physical game.

- If you're still not convinced that there will be more offense in this game, look at the last two games that each team has played.

- LSU has trailed by two scores in each of its last two games. This gives the Tigers the advantage because they will not panic if they fall behind, because they know that they can come back.

- The Tigers will mix in some more option in this game, because they nearly scored a TD on it overtime.

- The Crimson Tide will use Trent Richardson as receiver more often than they have all season.

- Alabama will not resort to trickeration once they hit the red zone.

- By the same token, Jim McElwain will be much more aggressive with his play calling this time, because he has nothing to lose since he is now the head coach at Colorado State.

- This game should finally settle the debate as to whether it is better to be big (Alabama) or to be fast (LSU) on defense.

- Special teams play will be flawless in this game, because the coaches have no doubt spent more time preparing.

- Finally, much has been made about the all-SEC final, and whether or not it is good for college football. Regardless of whether or not you agree with the final pairings, the end result will ultimately benefit college football. With Oklahoma State's notable omission from the BCS title game, teams from outside the SEC will start scheduling tougher games to avoid a similar fate. Would Alabama be playing for the national championship if Oklahoma State had beaten against Oregon or Wisconsin, instead of Louisiana-Lafayette or Arizona in non-conference play?

Phil Harrison

- We can stop all of the hand wringing and complaining about a rematch now. The BCS party's getting ready to start, and make no mistake, even the loudest critic will be watching.

- Why is nobody, I mean nobody giving Alabama a shot? Did we all forget how close the first game was and how many points ‘Bama left out on the field..And that defense?

- If this game hinges on special teams again--still big advantage to LSU.

- Look for the Alabama coaching staff to unleash AJ McCarron a bit more in the rematch. You get the feeling that given more slack in the leash, he wouldn't pee on the neighbors bushes.

- Can the LSU defense make a big play again? It seems "honey badger" and gang make at least one big play that turns the tide each time out. Contrary to popular belief, the Tigers will need it...

- LSU held Trent Richardson to under 100 yards in the first game. If the Tiger defense can have the same effort, the chances of sweeping the season series-and ultimately hoisting the trophy is very good.

- Everyone's going to be watching what happens the first time Alabama lines up for a field goal. Making the first attempt could result in a big sigh of relief from Tide faithful.

- What kind of impact is Jordan Jefferson going to have in the rematch--given an opportunity to go the whole way this go 'round?

- Please, please let there be more points scored!!