Thursday, January 19, 2012
Behind The Scoreboard
Is playoff looming?
The second “Game of the Century” was played on Monday night, Jan. 9 (the first played on November 5, 2011), but to many it did little to clear up just who (or which) is number one in the collegiate football world.
Don’t get me wrong, I really believed the Crimson Tide was going to prevail in this rematch. It is not a denigration of the LSU program, its players or coaches. It was the hoped-for format – barring two teams with unblemished records, then the only other accepted scenario would have to be number one versus number two.
These two teams represented their conference well. The fact they were from the SEC only solidifies that this is the dominant conference among the collegiate. Alabama and LSU – vaunted defenses, very volatile and high-powered offenses with outstanding capabilities, both with recent BCS titles in their knapsacks. What’s not to admire?
I am sure most fans watching the game thought that it would be an exact replica of the one earlier in the season that ended with only field goals and the scoring vehicles. And for a while it looked that way. But by halftime the picture had changed. The Tide had already passed their total point output in the seasonal game.
It is very easy for us armchair sitting, Kool-aid swilling, family room inhabiting coaches to wonder during the course of the game, “Why don’t they run Trent Richardson to the outside? The Tigers have a defense equal to the Tide. It’s futile to keep hitting that line head-on.” Take note that when they did give him the outside nod (thrice) he gained ground.
The Tide had a sacrificial lamb to lead up to their first score. Marquis Maze, a premier ’Bama offense man made a 49-yard punt return and pulled up lame. The ’Bama med staff could not patch up his injured hamstring enough for him to return. Maze wept on the sideline. It was a true testament to the emotional investment these players have in this game. But not to worry, kicker Jeremy Shelly became “the man” for the Tide for the next two quarters.
You know the rest from the accounts you read, how the LSU regulars fired and fled (or is that another story?) Clearly in the second half, the Tigers’ money man (quarterback Jordan Jefferson) was already showing strain and it didn’t get any better. There had never been a shutout in the history of the BCS until now.
Alabama was elevated to number one in the land shortly after they hoisted the glorious glass egg and that brings us to an earlier note; each team finished with a loss (just one, mind you, but it still left a tie of sorts). Is a playoff looming for the BCS? The NCAA president, Mark Emmert, said he would be in favor of discussing such a move.
Duh, is that not what some of us hacks have been crying for years?
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