Sunday, December 4, 2011

Should LSU Play Alabama For The National Championship?

Count me as one of those college football fans who really don't want to see Alabama play LSU in the National Championship.  Partly because it's been done before, and partly because I don't want to see another massive defensive struggle where neither team scores a touchdown.  

I know that the second time around, Nick Saban is less likely to be as conservative as he was in their first game.  I know that LSU's confidence has only grown since that game and that they may take more chances themselves.  

I also know that I'm looking at two schools who are likely to be at the top of the rankings for years to come, and perhaps I just don't want that.  LSU-Alabama to me is a major reason why Florida's coach is not Urban Meyer anymore (and why he ultimately bailed to the Big Ten).  It's a reason why there's little chance for any other SEC school to go undefeated and reach a national championship.  My alma mater, Georgia, can recruit similar athletes but don't put them in the right positions to play when the time comes.  

Coaching is ultimately what sets LSU and Alabama apart from virtually every other school.  They have the two best programs year-to-year and the ability to recruit anyone they want (so why Alabama has a poor kicker and LSU two poor quarterbacks is beyond me), and they will continue to be dominant because of that.

Unless LSU and Alabama add top-tier non-conference games in their schedule (such as when Georgia lost to Boise St this year), it's going to be difficult for other schools to get a shot at them.  Oklahoma State is going to be on the outside looking in, never able to have their offense challenge LSU's defense.  Michigan State and Wisconsin will never have a chance to put their teams on the field against LSU or Alabama.

We'll never know for sure who truly is the best team because they haven't played (and won't play) the best teams in other conferences.  We all know that a playoff ends these arguments, but in the system we have right now, a playoff is at best a few years away.  

So ultimately, yes, Alabama should get its rematch with LSU in the title game.  There is no rule against it, and no great argument against it other than we all want a playoff system.  Right now they appear to be the two best teams based on what we've seen on the field.  Hopefully it'll be a better game than the first time around.

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