BCS gets LSU-Tide rematch
Posted: Monday, December 5, 2011 7:01 pm
By RALPH D. RUSSO
College Football Writer
If you like sequels, the BCS has a championship game for you: Alabama-LSU II.
The Crimson Tide edged Oklahoma State in the final round of voting Sunday and will play the top-ranked Tigers in the BCS national championship game on Jan. 9 in New Orleans.
Undefeated LSU is the only team to beat Alabama this season, and the head BCS official sees a rematch as a perfectly good title game.
“Absolutely, if they’re 1 and 2, and they are in all the polls released today,” executive director Bill Hancock said.
Still, it’s not exactly a game the public was clamoring for — at least outside of Southeastern Conference territory.
And it will do nothing to quiet critics of the Bowl Championship Series or calls for a college football playoff.
Like it or not, the system has ensured that the SEC — home to both schools — will run its streak of BCS championships to six in a row.
Alabama has one of those and will be making its second BCS title game appearance in the last three seasons. The Crimson Tide claims 13 national championships overall and is one of the most decorated programs in the land. It’s won seven AP titles since the wire service started its poll in 1936.
LSU will be seeking its third BCS championship since 2003 at the Superdome — the site of its first two.
Tide coach Nick Saban won that title for LSU in ‘03. Current Tigers coach Les Miles matched his predecessor in 2007, winning a championship with a team that lost two games.
These talented Tigers, led by dynamic defensive back Tyrann Mathieu, have rarely even trailed against a schedule that included Oregon and West Virginia.
“This team loves the big stage,” Miles said.
Alabama, with its top-rated defense and Heisman Trophy contender Trent Richardson, was the only team to stay within 13 points of the Tigers this season.
The Cowboys made a late surge by beating Oklahoma 44-10 on Saturday night, and closed the gap on Alabama in the polls. But it was not enough to avoid the first title game rematch in the 14-year history of the BCS.
The Tigers (13-0) beat the Tide 9-6 in overtime on Nov. 5 in Tuscaloosa.
“This could be a totally different type of game,” Saban said. “There’s so many good players on both sides of the ball for both teams.
“There’s so much opportunity for this game to play out completely different and have a completely different flavor than the first game.”
Published in The Messenger 12.5.11