Sunday, December 4, 2011
If it's Alabama again, so be it
By Chris Low
ATLANTA -- The entire state of Alabama will be on pins and needles while awaiting the announcement of the final BCS standings on Sunday night.
Oklahoma State’s 44-10 rout of Oklahoma on Saturday night was just what the Crimson Tide were hoping wouldn’t happen. Now, it’s probably going to come down to the narrowest of margins between Alabama and Oklahoma State for that No. 2 spot in the final BCS standings.
LSU, meanwhile, locked up its berth in the Allstate BCS National Championship Game with a 42-10 bludgeoning of Georgia in the SEC championship game on Saturday, and the Tigers made it abundantly clear afterward that they had no problem going through Alabama a second time to get their crystal trophy.
“We beat them at their house,” LSU receiver Russell Shepard said. “Now they’ve got to come to our house [New Orleans]. So I feel like we have the advantage. We didn’t play our best football that first game.
“Now, we have a full month to prepare, and there’s nobody I would want preparing us more than Coach Miles.”
LSU sophomore safety Eric Reid said that if the Tigers' opponent is Alabama, everybody shouldn’t expect the same kind of game. LSU won 9-6 in overtime on Nov. 5 in Tuscaloosa.
“It’s a new game,” Reid said. “The game we played in the past is in the past. We’ve got to go out there with a clean mind and clean slate and do it again.
“The name on their jersey doesn’t matter to us. We’re going to line up and play football. If it’s Alabama again, then we’ll be playing Alabama again.”
Reid added, “But, first, we’ve still got a little celebrating to do.”
Sam Montgomery, the Tigers’ sophomore defensive end, reiterated his sentiments from a week ago. In short, the ultimate way to culminate this season would be to beat Alabama for a second time.
“It’s one of those things that you want to go down the hardest path, so when you look back on these moments, there’s nothing nobody can say,” Montgomery said.
One thing that Montgomery doesn’t buy is that LSU won the first time simply because Alabama missed four field goals.
“I wouldn’t blame it on the field goals at all,” Montgomery said. “You have an offense. We have a defense. You have a kicker. We have a kicker. Pressure is a part of football. If you can’t handle pressure, you’ve got a problem. Get the right guy in.”
Shepard said the last time he checked, football was made up of three phases.
“At the end of the day, we don’t care what anybody says,” Shepard said. “We’re 13-0. If we’ve got to play Bama, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma ... we welcome anybody. We’re not scared of anybody.”
LSU senior offensive guard Will Blackwell said he didn’t think it was fair that Alabama would get a shot at the national title without winning its conference title.
“But I’m not a voter, and my opinion doesn’t really matter,” Blackwell said. “If we beat them again, we’ll be the best team there ever was.”