All-SEC affair in New Orleans?
October, 18, 2011
By Chris Low | ESPN.com
The BCS field is muddled. With so many teams sporting perfect records and no playoff to decide a champ, our bloggers take on the ultimate task: making a case for each team with a title shot.
Imagine the two biggest, baddest dudes in the neighborhood beating down anything and anybody that comes their way.
Every time you watch one fight, you're more convinced than ever that the only person who has a chance to beat him is the guy who lives around the corner.
They haven't squared off yet, but everybody knows it will be a classic confrontation: two behemoths slugging it out with all their might.
But why settle for just one of those scraps?
If they're truly the two baddest dudes in the whole city, let's see them go at it again when the biggest prize is on the line.
Just because they happen to live in the same neighborhood -- one in which only the strong survive -- that shouldn't exclude them from battling on the biggest stage of all.
Chris Graythen/Getty ImagesIf LSU-Alabama is as close as everyone thinks it will be, why wouldn't we want to see a sequel in the title game?
It's about matching the two best fighters. Never mind that they bloodied each other in a much anticipated split-decision a few weeks earlier.
They're the best, and everybody knows they're the best.
It's the same way with Alabama and LSU this season.
They're the class of college football, and while Nov. 5 can't get here soon enough, how sweet would it be to see these two teams go at it again in New Orleans on Jan. 9 in the Allstate BCS National Championship Game?
In a lot of ways, they're mirror images of each other, and they really haven't been pushed all season.
The closest anyone has come to Alabama is 16 points.
The closest anyone has come to LSU is 13 points.
The Crimson Tide have won their four SEC games by a combined margin of 162-27.
The Tigers have won their past four games, including a trip to No. 15 West Virginia, by a combined margin of 161-46.
Between them, they've faced seven nationally ranked teams, and their combined average margin of victory in those seven games is 21.4 points.
Already, NFL scouts are drooling. The two starting defenses alone could produce as many as 16 or 17 NFL draft picks.
And speaking of defense, there aren't two better, deeper or more talented defensive units in the country.
Alabama ranks No. 1 nationally in just about all the key defensive categories, and LSU isn't too far behind. The Tigers are No. 4 in total defense, No. 6 in rushing defense and No. 7 in scoring defense.
Nobody talks a whole lot about the two offenses, but Alabama junior running back Trent Richardson is a tackle-breaking machine who turns 5-yard runs into 65-yard touchdown runs.
LSU doesn't have a player quite that explosive. Then again, who does?
But the Tigers are deep and talented on the offensive line (a lot like Alabama) and have a way of imposing their will on teams in the second half.
You don't hear a lot about the teams' quarterbacks, either. That is, other than LSU coach Les Miles bucking conventional wisdom and working Jordan Jefferson back into the rotation even though the Tigers had been sailing right along under Jarrett Lee.
It's not a coincidence, either, that neither of these teams turn the ball over. Alabama's AJ McCarron has thrown just two interceptions to go along with nine touchdown passes. Lee has thrown only one interception to go along with 11 touchdown passes.
Alabama's last turnover came the third week of the season against North Texas. LSU has also gone four straight games without committing a turnover.
So not only are they the two baddest teams in college football, they're two of the most disciplined, too.
This is not a trumped-up plea for a playoff. The BCS isn't going away any time soon.
But if we're truly interesting in seeing the two best teams in college football meet this season for the national title, there's an easy solution.
Make it an all-SEC affair in the Big Easy.
At least then, somebody might finally have a chance to beat the SEC champion when it counts.
Final 21 Texas A&M 52 9 South Carolina 28 Final Boise State 13 18 Ole Miss 35 Final Temple 37 Vanderbilt 7
Suspended Idaho 0 Florida 0
Final Tennessee-Martin 14 Kentucky 59 Final South Dakota State 18 24 Missouri 38 Final West Virginia 23 2 Alabama 33 Final Arkansas 21 6 Auburn 45 Final 16 Clemson 21 12 Georgia 45 Final Southern Miss 0 Mississippi State 49 Final 14 Wisconsin 24 13 LSU 28