Here we go boys and girls. #1 versus #2.
I can complain all I want about this match up, but it doesn’t matter. I can complain about the system, but it doesn’t matter. Let’s face it I can complain, but who is going to listen? You! Cool, thanks but today is not about complaining. Today is about LSU and Alabama (I wish there was a way to make that sound like former ABC announcer Keith Jackson so you will just have to close your eyes and imagine it) and who is going to win.
Hmmmm, should I make my pick right now or do I bury it at the end of the story? What shall I do? What shall I do? I know, I will write and see if you can guess what I am now! (No, that was Animal House) I will write and you can see if you can guess who I am picking. Yes, that is the right way to phrase it.
So LSU is numero uno. The top dog (not Dawg, they beat UGA easily in the SEC Championship Game), the nation’s only undefeated team and winners of their division and conference in the toughest football league in the land, the SEC. They have already beaten three top five teams this year.
And Bama is part deaux in so many ways. Ranked number 2 and getting another chance against the Tigers. They are seeking revenge for a November 5th loss at home 9-6 in overtime. Five field goals in the game that many believed was the national championship game (just played earlier in the year) but it wasn’t the barn burner many thought it would be.
LSU starts a different quarterback tonight than that did in that first win over Bama. Interesting move by the mad scientist, Les Miles. Jarrett Lee is out and Jordan Jefferson is in. Will that make a difference? Does Miles know something the rest of us don’t? He usually does.
Alabama has that one loss. At home. After a bye week. By a field goal. In overtime. By losing that game, they didn’t win their SEC division. They didn’t win their conference. Many say they don’t belong in this game. I am one of them.
Yet, the Crimson Tide is in the BCS Title game so they have as much of a chance to win as LSU. Their Outland Trophy winner Barrett Jones said, ““Whoever wins the national championship game is the national champion, I understand how a lot of people are saying that they’ve already beaten us once, and they have.” Yes they have and the current system gives you another chance, will you take it?
Will the chant that the end of the game be “ROLL TIDE” or “GEAUX TIGERS”?
New Orleans is the backdrop to this game. The city of comeback, of second chances, of rebuilding and overcoming the odds. I wrote about it last week in this column about the city itself being the center of the sports world.
Will Alabama take on that mantra as their own and make their second chance count? Will LSU travel a few hours and put their perfect record on the line and leave with another crystal trophy? I do not bet. I don’t look at lines and as such, I don’t know who is favored by Vegas. Does it really matter? I mean, seriously, when they strap on their helmets and lace up their shoes, anything can happen and usually does. Just point to yesterday’s win by the Tebow Broncos over the Steelers and you know anything is possible.
Les Miles and Nick Saban. Miles has been here before and won. Saban has been here before and won. In fact, Saban won a title at LSU (2003) and then at Alabama (2009) and in between coached the Miami Dolphins. Miles won his title at LSU (2007) and if he wins tonight, he might just become the next head coach of the Miami Dolphins. How would that be for irony.
So we have gotten to the point of this little story when I make my pick, my prediction, when I stick my neck out and boldly go where some but not all columnists and talk show hosts will go. Since I am both and since I will not back down from anything or anyone I will make a call in this BCS Championship Game. They won at Tuscaloosa. They are undefeated and for all intensive purposes they are playing at home tonight.
LSU will win. As for the score, who cares, what difference does it make.
When you win they give you a ring.
Losers remember the score.