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Sunset Vette

06 Nov

LSU Over ‘Bama

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The wildcard for me is coaching: I think Les Miles brings a certain unpredictability aspect to the game, so if Sabin can get into his head that could impact the outcome of the game.

That’s what I wrote last week while thinking about the LSU versus Alabama game that took place last night, and as amazing as it is to say, I think that’s exactly what happened.

Except in reverse.

I think the Mad Hatter’s reputation got Sabin worried, and he reached. How else can you explain the trick play where Maze tried an option pass that was intercepted on the one yard line? And then putting Maze (on a bad ankle) out to return a punt that ended up rolling by for a 70+ yard effort? How else can you explain the terrible play calling in the first overtime? Les Miles, on the other hand, coached a very conservative game. After seeing the effect the LSU defense was having on the ‘Bama offense he apparently realized it was going to be a slug-fest. Back up on your own goal line? Run three times and punt. Down inside the five on fourth down? Points are going to be hard to come by so take the safe field goal and eschew going for it on forth down. LSU made yards running up the middle, made yards running around the end, passed when they had to, and punted extraordinarily well (with one notable exception). Alabama missed a bunch of field goals (including one in the first overtime) and had another blocked.

Turns out that was enough to win the game.

It would not have been enough had Eric Reid not gone up and taken away the pass that Maze threw. If Reid doesn’t get that ball, Alabama sets up on the one yard line and certainly scores from there.

One article on another sports network was titled “Les Drama” and had a subtitle that read “Coach Les Miles left the tricks behind as No. 1 LSU beat No. 2 Alabama at its own brand of football.” It was an interesting turn-about as Les – in my opinion – clearly out-coached Sabin in a game that most likely determined the fate of the two teams. At this point LSU still has to get by Arkansas in order to make it to the SEC championship game, but if they win out they’re heading back to New Orleans for their third attempt at a national title, and ‘Bama will be going to the Sugar Bowl.

On the negative side, I was extremely disappointed in the play from the “honey badger.” He took out a ‘Bama player on the ultimate cheap shot on a punt return, costing the Tigers only a 15-yard penalty as a result. If this were the NFL he would be facing a fine. I suspect LSU might suspend him for a game or two, but somehow he’ll be back against Arkansas.

Around the rest of the country, we saw Oklahoma State barely survive an offensive onslaught from Kansas State. When are people going to realize that teams don’t become offensively empowered when they play the Cowboys, but that the Cowboy defense is just that bad? Seriously, this is what we have to look forward to in the national title game? Oklahoma is a more complete team, so I hope the Sooners go into the Bedlam game and come out victorious because I really don’t want to see Oklahoma State in the title game.

Nebraska might be rethinking their move to the Big 10 after getting bounced by Northwestern. Last night on the weekend recap ESPN pointed out that this was the third week in a row that a top-ten team lost to an un-ranked opponent, starting with Oklahoma losing to Texas Tech, followed by undefeated Clemson losing to Georgia TEch and ending up with Nebraska. I think Oklahoma State’s coach said it best when he said, “It’s March Madness every week in college football” or something to that effect. (By the way, as I was watching the weekend wrap-up show I did feel the earthquake from Oklahoma all the way down here in Dallas. :shock:)

Stanford and Boise State both won, and both have challenging games next week. Stanford goes into Oregon to take on the Ducks and the Broncos take on TCU… and not in a bowl game this year. 😉 The Stanford game is likely to be televised, and it would be awesome for LSU if the Ducks won the game. For one thing it only helps cement the Tigers as one of the premier teams in the NCAA this year, having beat the Ducks earlier this season, but it removes Stanford from the ranks of unbeaten teams. TCU has not played up to their reputation from the past few years (Andy Dalton’s success in the NFL could be one indication that TCU wasn’t just all about defense) and the Horned Frogs have to play on the blue turf. Still if anyone is going to trip up the Broncos, TCU probably has the best shot.

How would I like the season to end? That’s an interesting question. I would love to see LSU win out and head to the national title game. But who to play? I don’t want to see Oklahoma State, but Oklahoma presents an intriguing match. I don’t want to see Stanford, although Andrew Luck would certainly bring a marquee name to the game I don’t think they have the defense or even the overall offensive skill to hang with LSU. What about the Big 10 champion? Penn State has already lost to Alabama. Nebraska was in the top spot and had already played all of the other top teams. Now that they’ve lost again, they’re going to have to get help from someone else to even make the championship game, much less win it. Michigan State is now in the top spot… but they play at Iowa, where the Wolverines just got defeated. Iowa plays very tough at home so that’s far from a “gimme” game. Anyone from the ACC going to step up to the plate? Not after Clemson lost, although the Tigers remain the highest ranked ACC team I don’t see them climbing back to the top two.

Boise State? If they get by TCU, they will likely finish the season undefeated. The Broncos are obviously the biggest cheerleader for Georgia at this point. Boise State took down Georgia in the first game of the season, and that victory remains their crown jewel. If Georgia makes it to the SEC title game (which is now within reach, since South Carolina lost to Arkansas) then Boise State has a decent argument. I think it comes down to the computers, who – inexplicably – seem to love Oklahoma State. If the Cowboys lose, where does Boise come in on the computer rankings? Right now they’re 4th and could go higher based on ‘Bama’s loss.

The BCS show tonight on ESPN is going to be very interesting. I may even watch it this time instead of waiting to read about it tomorrow. 😎

One Response to “LSU Over ‘Bama”

  1. 1
    Dave Rathbun Says:

    Wow. Alabama dropped all the way to number 3 in the polls. 😯 I didn’t expect them to drop out of the top ten, necessarily, but I sure didn’t expect them to remain ahead of other undefeated teams.

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