Well, we’ve sifted through 34 bowls, some good and some bad. We’ve arrived at the lone game in this crazy postseason that matters: The BCS National Title Game. Let’s analyze, shall we?
#1 LSU vs. #2 Alabama
Breakdown: There’s not much left to say about the regular seasons these two teams had. Both cruised through their regular season opponents, playing only one close game, that being the time they played each other. Both teams feature suffocating defenses, which complement their bruising rush offense. All the analysts offering reasons why this game will be different than the last one are trying to suck people in because of all the complaints that the last matchup between these two was “boring.” This game will be more of the same, and that’s not a bad thing! Well, it wouldn’t be if Alabama had any business being here…
I can hear the screams of indignation from Tuscaloosa now, so follow me for a moment before you make the effigy: Does anyone remember the 2006 season? The year that Michigan and Ohio State were #1 and #2 after ripping their competition to shreds and playing one another in a pretty close game to end the season? At the end of the year that year, many people (myself included) felt that there should be a Michigan/Ohio State rematch in the championship game. We didn’t get our way, and Michigan and OSU both lost their bowl games. So follow me a bit further:
LSU belongs in the national title game. They’re the only undefeated team in D-1A (FBS if you hate convenience) and they’ve beaten 2 BCS-bowl winning teams: Oregon in a neutral site game and West Virginia on the road. Alabama, meanwhile, played only one bowl team in their nonconference schedule: the Penn State team that was beaten fairly badly by Houston. Conference play has to be taken with a grain of salt, because conferences vary wildly in strength. The SEC currently sits at 5-2 in the bowls, while the Big 12 sits at 6-2 and Conference USA is 4-1. Am I saying that the Big 12 is better than the SEC? And that Conference USA is better than both? No. What I’m saying is that Alabama’s being rewarded for doing well in its conference, when conference play’s value as a tool for analysis is negligible. *Sigh* If only there was a system whereby teams from multiple conferences could play one another in a series of games in a sort of single-elimination tournament, eventually using head-to-head competition to come up with a balanced means of determining a champion. Oh, well, a guy can dream.
Pick: Both these teams play the style of football I like, coupled with individuals whom I detest. Nick Saban is, in fact, the devil, while Tyrann Mathieu may be the biggest a**hole in all of sports. Moral considerations aside, I’ll pick LSU based on history. I think they can repeat their win over the Tide and at least give a semblance of legitimacy to the title game. Either way, it’s been a great season, and I hope you all enjoyed watching it as much as I did. Thanks for reading these posts, and I’ll see y’all in the future!