Sallee: Who has improved more? Bama or LSU?
Posted Jan 9, 2012

Barrett Sallee: Which team has made the bigger improvements?

Barrett Sallee
Follow Barrett 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.