Tuesday, December 6, 2011
LSU-OSU would have been fun to watch
By Edward Aschoff
I’ll preface this by saying that I think the BCS got it right.
LSU and Alabama are the two best teams in the country and they deserve to play each other in the BCS Allstate National Championship Game. It should be a great game and I guarantee that each team will get at least one touchdown this time.
You know you’ll be watching. Don’t act like you won’t.
But there is part of me that’s curious … very curious.
I can’t help but wonder what the national title would be like with LSU’s ferocious defense pitted against Oklahoma State’s high-powered, Playstation offense. For all the talk about how good SEC defenses are and how high-flying Big 12 offenses are, there’s part of me that wants to see it this season.
Besides, if the SEC truly wants to show its dominance, doesn’t it make sense to do it against someone outside of the conference?
Again, I believe the BCS actually got this one right, but it wouldn’t have bothered me if the Cowboys took the Crimson Tide’s place.
We’d actually get to see if Mike Gundy’s Pokes could muster up a way to score the 30-plus points he thinks they’d put up against the Tigers’ vaunted defense. You know, the same defense that ranks second nationally, allowing just 252 yards per game and has forced 30 turnovers. And the same defense that has waves of speed, athleticism and depth, and has dismantled just about everyone.
I don't know if Oklahoma State would look like, well Oklahoma State, against the Tigers, and I don’t think the Cowboys would even touch 30 points against LSU, but I think we’d have a pretty exciting game on our hands.
LSU might have the most aggressive defense out there, but it has a tendency to play too fast and too aggressive. We saw it at times against talented offenses. West Virginia racked up 533 yards, including 463 passing, on LSU. Both Arkansas and Georgia both made a some first-half plays against LSU, as well.
For as great as this defense has been all year, it hasn’t been perfect, and good passing games have found ways to make plays. Have they found ways to get wins over the Tigers? No, but there’s a formula there ... if you can combat LSU’s ability to go on hellacious runs and wear down defenses in the second half.
The Cowboys, who had the nation’s third-best offense (557 yards a game), have the pieces to give the Tigers headaches. Quarterback Brandon Weeden was a legit Heisman Trophy candidate at one point and finished the season third nationally with 4,328 yards and had 34 touchdowns. In that offense, he and the Cowboys could spread teams out and exploit plenty of mismatches. It didn’t hurt that All-World receiver Justin Blackmon accounted for 111 receiving yards a game and had 15 touchdowns.
Weeden had two other receivers record more than 600 yards as well, so there are weapons in Stillwater, Okla., to keep the Tigers’ defense on its toes.
Just imagine Blackmon, who might be the first receiver taken in next year’s NFL draft, trying to get space on Morris Claiborne, or Tyrann Mathieu making a mad dash from God knows where on the field to scare the daylights out of Weeden? Could Weeden's receivers match the track speed of LSU's secondary?
And don't forget about LSU coach Les Miles facing his old school. If ahead late, does he kneel early or kick a field goal?
Defensively, the Cowboys would have to tighten up, though. They allowed 180 rushing yards a game, and we all know the pounding LSU’s run game puts on opponents.
But the Big 12 offense-SEC defense matchup is what we'd all be salivating over. Winner shuts the other side up for a good year.
Unfortunately, we’re left only wondering. We don’t have the system in place to make this game possible.
LSU-Bama should be the game, but, man, LSU-OSU would have been fun.