The two best teams are playing for title

December, 5, 2011
12/05/11
3:10
PM ET
Now that it’s a done deal that Alabama and LSU will meet in a rematch in the Allstate BCS National Championship Game, the uproar around the country has been predictable.

[+] EnlargeAlabama vs. LSU
Marvin Gentry/US PresswireAlabama and LSU will butt heads for the national championship, even if a rematch isn't popular around the country.
A snapshot of some of what’s being said:

  • Nobody wants a rematch.
  • The BCS system stinks.
  • The media have ruined college football.
  • The SEC is overrated.
  • It’s unfair that LSU has to play Alabama again.
  • Oklahoma State deserves a chance at the title.

We could sit here for weeks, even months, and debate all of these things.

But in short …

  • Rematches aren’t ideal.
  • Yes, the BCS is a flawed system for determining the national champion.
  • It’s always the media’s fault.
  • The SEC is so overrated that it’s won five straight national championships (soon to be six straight) and had four of the top 9 and five of the top 16 teams in the final BCS standings this season.
  • It’s absolutely unfair that LSU would have to beat Alabama twice to win the national title, especially with the Tigers winning in Tuscaloosa the first time.
  • And as Clint Eastwood so famously said in “Unforgiven,” the greatest Western ever made, “Deserve’s got nothing to do with it.”

A lot of teams probably think they deserve to play for the national championship.

Clearly, Oklahoma State is one of those and makes a strong case, especially with the way the Cowboys beat up on Oklahoma last Saturday night.

But it’s also the same Oklahoma State team that lost to Iowa State a few weeks ago when the door was wide open for the Cowboys to move into one of those top two spots in the BCS standings.

Alabama’s only blemish was to No. 1 LSU … by three points in overtime.

I understand the argument that Alabama has already had its shot at LSU and that it would be more compelling to see somebody else get a shot.

But the BCS system isn’t set up to give us the matchup everybody thinks will be the most compelling or most entertaining. That’s what is being lost in all this uproar.

It’s set up to give us the two best teams in college football, and just as LSU coach Les Miles stated on Sunday night, the two best teams this season were LSU and Alabama.

Sure, it would be fun to see how Oklahoma State’s offense would do against that LSU defense or how Stanford’s Andrew Luck would fare against Alabama’s defense.

If we had a playoff, we’d probably get to find out. Of course, if we had a playoff, something tells me we’d also see Alabama vs. LSU again somewhere along the way, probably in the championship game.

Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy challenged the voters right after the Cowboys’ 44-10 romp against the Sooners.

“I think people have to decide whether they want to see a 9-6 game or 39-36 game,” Gundy said. “I think this is an opportunity for people to find out how good the defense is in the SEC. We’d like to have that challenge.”

Gundy was politicking for his team, and kudos to him for doing so. That’s what he should have been doing.

But he was a little off on his score predictions.

Here’s betting the Alabama-LSU rematch features more than just field goals the second time around, but it’s not going to be a shootout, either. Not with those two defenses and not with that many future NFL draft picks lining up on defense for the Tigers and Tide.

And I’ll give Gundy this: Oklahoma State probably is explosive enough to score in the high 30s against Alabama or LSU.

That is, as long they play about eight extra quarters.

Chris Low | email

College Football

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