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Monday, January 9, 2012

BCS Championship Breakdown

Here is a quick look at tonight's BCS national championship game.  The game is a rematch between Alabama and LSU.  LSU comes into the game undefeated.  'Bama's only loss of the season was against LSU.  That game was played at Alabama.  LSU won a defensive struggle by a score of 9-6.  Tonight's game is being played in the Superdome in New Orleans.  Geographically, that is closer to LSU's campus, but it is a neutral site.  Neither team is sleeping in the own beds, and the fans will be evenly divided.

Predictions in college championship games are extremely difficult.  Unlike any other sport, the championship game is played a month and a half after the last time either team's last game.  So, in many ways, tonight's game is an independent spectacle that is not particularly related to what happened in the regular season.

First, my hopes.  I am rooting for LSU for two reasons.

#1.  Tonight's winner will be named the champion for this season.  I accept that this is the system in college football right now.  But, the NCAA continues to shout that in college football, every game counts.  Well, if LSU loses tonight, then none of their games counted except this one.  LSU had the strongest body of work over the course of the season.  Alabama had a very strong body of work, too.  A great body of work.  But, not as great as LSU's.  LSU beat a total of eight ranked teams over the course of the season.  LSU's opponents included Oregon on a neutral field, West Virginia in Morgantown and ... oh yeah ... Alabama at Alabama.  LSU deserves to get the crystal trophy at the end of a season like that.

#2.  If LSU wins then we do not need to hear nine months of whining out of Baton Rouge and Stillwater and even Tuscaloosa.  If LSU wins, they will be the only undefeated team in the nation.  No one will dispute the legitimacy of a title for the Tigers.  But, if Alabama wins ... let the crying begin.  Oklahoma State will renew their claims that their one-loss team had as much right as Alabama to play in the BCS championship game tonight.  And then there will be the Tigers fans who will argue that a season split deserves a split championship.  And, there is merit to that argument.  After all, there is historic precedent for splitting the college football championship.  But, if that happens, Bama fans will have a fit.  In fact, Bama fans will have a fit that Tiger fans even suggest that such a thing should happen.  In fact, Bama fans are already having a fit because people like me have mentioned this scenario.  I don't want to hear all that for the next few months, so I am rooting for the Tigers tonight.

As far as predictions go, I think that this game will be much prettier to watch than the first match-up.  I think both offenses will play better this time around, but this will not be a shootout.  Both teams have ferocious defenses.  I think the game will be decided by LSU's playmakers.  I think that LSU has more players on offense and special teams who are capable of making a big play that swings the game.  Banshee Prediction:  LSU 20, Alabama 14.