The latest college football "Game of the Century" occurred in Tuscaloosa, Ala. on Nov. 5 between No. 1-ranked Louisiana State University and No. 2 University of Alabama.
The entire sports world was buzzing over the weekend, and for good reason. Clearly, these were the two best teams in the nation.
After the game, though, a lot of fans thought the 9-6 win by LSU in overtime didn't live up to the hype. The halftime score was only 3-3, no touchdowns were scored all game and the ending was somewhat anti-climactic: Alabama missed a 52-yard field goal to start overtime, and LSU ran the ball four times before kicking in a chip-shot 25-yard field goal to win.
But, what did everyone expect? When you combine the two best defenses in the country with mediocre quarterbacks who have never had to win a game for their team, along with conservative offensive play calling, a slugfest is what you're going to get.
The bottom line is that this was a fantastic game from start to finish. LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis called this "the most physical, hard-fought game he's ever been involved with," and he's been coaching in the Southeastern Conference for almost 30 years.
For most of the first three quarters, Alabama seemed to have control. Trent Richardson looked great at times: the only running back to put pressure on the LSU front all season. He was kept in check in the final quarter and overtime, and finished with 89 yards on 23 carries. But ‘Bama's Jeremy Shelley and Cade Foster combined to go just 2-6 on field goal attempts, and that let LSU stay in it throughout. In the end, LSU's defense stepped up in overtime to force the 52-yard field goal missed by Alabama.
But will we see a rematch?
First of all, some other teams would have to lose to even give ‘Bama a chance at seeing LSU again. Stanford University (9-0) and Oklahoma State (9-0) most likely both have to lose. Oklahoma State would need to find a loss against No. 6 University of Oklahoma or whomever they face in the Big 12 title game. The Cardinals still have a tough test against No. 8 Oregon and the Pac-12 championship game to get through.
Interestingly, ‘Bama is ranked ahead of Stanford in the latest Bowl Championship Series rankings. There is a chance ‘Bama would be ranked ahead of an undefeated Stanford team at the end of the regular season, and get the BCS title game bid. Most likely, though, Stanford will leapfrog ‘Bama with a win over Oregon.
The team caught up in the shuffle, yet again, is Boise State (Idaho). Although they only have one quality win (likely the SEC-East winner University of Georgia), all head coach Chris Petersen does is win. When are they going to finally get their chance?
I'm a huge Boise fan and would love to see them in the BCS title game. I just don't see it happening this year. Even if Stanford and Oklahoma State both lose, I think the polls would favor a one-loss Alabama over the Broncos. This is not the best Boise State team in recent years, and even the better ones haven't gotten to the BCS. After observing college football for the last ten weeks, it is clear that Alabama and LSU are just a step above every other team in the country. Teams such as Stanford, Oklahoma State, Oregon and Boise State possess more glaring weaknesses than ‘Bama and LSU.
The fact is that the Crimson Tide shouldn't be excluded from being considered for a National Championship, just because they fell to a conference rival in overtime. They deserve more than that.