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Cirminiello: LSU Didn't Show Up
Posted Jan 10, 2012

Rich Cirminiello on the BCS Championship: The Tigers didn't come to play

    Richard Cirminiello
  I’m as angry as a honey badger.

  Is this what we waded through 34 exhibition games for? Hey, I have absolutely no beef with a low-scoring game, even one that didn’t produce a touchdown until late in the final quarter. No, I appreciate a defensive battle and the subtle nuances that come along with this kind of a chess match. However, I can’t tolerate when one team flat-out fails to show up in a game of this magnitude. And LSU, the team we all admitted probably delivered the best regular season of the BCS era, did not even show up ready to play tonight. Too bad for them. Too bad for all of us.

‘Bama was brilliant on the grand stage. The Tide darn near threw a perfect game at the Superdome. The defense was a tour de force. The offense was well-scripted, with QB AJ McCarron delivering a heroic performance, and outgoing coordinator Jim McElwain calling a beautiful game. The only college town half as giddy as T-town tonight is Fort Collins, where MeElwain is set to become Colorado State’s next head coach. PK Jeremy Shelley delivered the rest with his overworked right leg.

Still, as dominant as the Tide was in the 21-0 demolition, the bigger storyline was the utter collapse of LSU. Wasn’t this the team that appeared unbeatable throughout the regular season, cruising through one of the toughest schedules ever for a contender? The speed on defense. The power running game. The superior special teams. The magic of Les. I’ll admit that I was hooked. And I never saw this kind of an effort coming from a squad that had been so well prepared from the opener going forward. I think it’s safe to say that Miles and his staff were completely outcoached by Nick Saban and his staff.

  It was fun to discuss while it lasted, but you can obviously forget about any chatter regarding a split national championship. That was only up for debate if LSU put up a valiant effort, which it did not. Yeah, Jordan Jefferson will be the poster child of this defeat, but laying an egg is always a group effort. The line didn’t block, the receivers didn’t get open and the assistants called a questionable game. Even at 6-0, this one never felt competitive.

I feel robbed. I’m guessing you do as well, especially if you reside outside of SEC country. All of the hype. All of the anticipation. All of the analysis and preparation … for this. The BCS product was very strong this year, giving us outstanding matchups in the Rose, Fiesta and Sugar Bowls, and a smashing performance from West Virginia in the Orange Bowl. Unfortunately, to no fault of its own, it saved its worst for last, a dreadful, one-sided BCS National Championship Game that failed to even approach all of the buildup.

Woe Tigers.