A serious and realistic look at LSU Versus Alabama Part Deux.
The BCS - What few of us want is to see a rematch to decide a national championship. It is simple logic in the best of the American spirit: You had your shot; you lost; now it’s someone else’s turn. So this year again underscored the flaws in a BCS system that seems to routinely exclude worthy challengers. My guess is that if Oklahoma State’s name was Ohio State, or USC, or Notre Dame and they had Oklahoma State’s record, Oklahoma State’s offensive production, and beat Oklahoma 42 to 10 in the last game of the year, then Alabama would be playing in some other bowl game. Life’s unfair; the BCS system sucks; get used to it. Advantage – playoff system
Strength of Schedule – LSU has played and beaten 8 ranked teams this year, Alabama will be a record 9th. LSU has played and beaten 3 teams ranked in the Top 3 of the national polls, Alabama will be a record 4th. At the time that LSU has played them, LSU has beaten #3 Oregon, #25 Mississippi St., #16 West Virginia, #17 Florida, #19 Auburn, #2 Alabama, #3 Arkansas and #12 Georgia for the SEC Championship. Now comes #2 Alabama again. Alabama has played 5 ranked teams this year and lost to one of them, LSU. LSU takes over games in the second half after wearing out teams. It is just too hard to withstand the onslaught of running backs and defensive linemen that LSU grinds teams down with. Advantage – LSU
Special teams – LSU has two great kickers. Brad Wing can punt with either leg, can kick a spiral or an end over end punt on demand, and is deadly at dropping the ball inside an opponent’s 20 yard line. LSU has allowed just 6 return yards on punts this year. TOTAL. SIX YARDS! Drew Alleman is money anywhere inside 50 yards. Bama's kickers were a combined 2-of-6 in field goal attempts against LSU in the first matchup. For the season, Jeremy Shelley and Cade Foster are a combined 18-of-29 and just 2-of-11 from 40 yards or longer. Alabama has no one like the Honey Badger returning punts. Advantage – LSU by a country mile.
Defensive line - LSU goes 8 deep on the D-Line. How fast is Barkevious Mingo? He ran down Oregon’s LaMichael James from behind! In high school he ran on the winning 5A state champion track relay team. He runs down in coverage on the kickoff team. The LSU D-Line is deep, talented and fast, NFL fast. They will be fresh as a daisy in the fourth quarter when Bama’s O-Line will be gassed. Advantage - LSU
Linebacker – Alabama has three linebackers who will probably play in the NFL, Dont’a Hightower, Nico Johnson and Courtney Upshaw. These dudes are huge! Like 260 pounds. Tough to run over. Hightower is a finalist for the Chuck Bednarik award. It is hard to say if any of the LSU linebackers will play on Sundays and two of them are converted safeties. ‘Just win baby’ is the name of the game at this position for LSU. The LSU dudes are fast. Hard to get outside on them and they can run all day long. You still have to favor LSU. Remember, in the first meeting’s overtime period if Ford’s left foot is 1 inch to the right he scores running around those linebackers. Let’s call this one a push, perhaps a slight advantage for Bama.
Defensive backs - Both teams have NFL picks everywhere in their starting secondary. Bama has Barron and Kirkpatrick, LSU has Claiborne and Mathieu. The difference is LSU has NFL bound nickel and dime backs. Every sportscaster in America calls Mathieu the “Honey Badger” and Bama has no nicknames (unless we are going to count “Bama Boy”). “Mo” Claiborne is a sure top ten pick in the spring NFL draft. Claiborne and Barron are finalists for the Jim Thorpe Award given to the best defensive back in the nation. However, Claiborne is also a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy which goes to the nation's top defensive player. The Honey Badger Tyrann Mathieu is a finalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award given to the nation’s outstanding defensive player and is also a finalist for the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award, the only defensive player among the 5 finalists for the Walter Camp award. For LSU you add Eric Reid, Brandon Taylor, Ron Brooks, Tharold Simon, and Craig Loston. Man to man, nickel or dime and clearly it’s: Advantage - LSU
Quarterback - LSU has Jordan Jefferson & Jarrett Lee, Alabama has AJ McCarron. In the first meeting this season between Alabama and LSU, McCarron was 16-of-28 for 199 yards and one interception. Big Whoop. McCarron's judgment has to be in question with a tattoo of his nickname "Bama Boy" tattooed across his chest. A “Bama Boy” tattoo??? Why not grow a mullet to go along with it. I am not fan of Jefferson, but let’s face facts here. With the defensive backs playing in this game neither team is going to make a living passing the ball on these defenses. I’ll give Jefferson this much. He can run. Advantage - LSU
Running back - Alabama has a freight train Heisman favorite in Trent Richardson. His highlight reel run against Ole Miss is a keeper (Poor Ole Miss). The dude can put on a clinic on the effective use of the stiff arm. LSU is deeper than the Mariana trench at running back with Spencer Ware, Michael Ford, Alfred Blue, and Kenny Hilliard. Hilliard, the fourth string freshman running back, gained 100 yards against the #3 team in the nation. Advantage - LSU by committee
Wide receiver - Alabama has the alliterative Marquis Maze and LSU has the equally alliterative Reuben Randle. Both receivers run really rad routes. LSU has Russell Shepherd and Odell Beckham Jr in their three receiver set. Deangelo Peterson, Chase Clement, Kadron Boone, James Wright, Jarvis Landry and Mitch Joseph have all made significant catches for LSU. All the LSU receivers block downfield for the running game. I don't know who else Alabama has and am too lazy to look it up. Advantage – No one.
Offensive line - Alabama has NFL first round draft pick to be Barrett Jones at one tackle and probable future NFL tackle D J Fluker at the other (Fluker is no fluke), and that dude whose last name starts with a “V” at center. LSU has T-Bob who grew up playing catch with his dad, NFL quarterback Bobby “The Cajun Cannon” Hebert, football is in his DNA. T-Bob is like the Swiss Army knife of offensive linemen. I think the dude has played every position on the O line. LSU has run the ball on everyone they have played this year. All wins for LSU. LSU and Alabama have more road graders on their respective offensive lines than a Caterpillar dealership. Advantage - I’d call this one a push
Cheer girls - Alabama has the Crimsonettes and LSU has the Golden Girls. I am not a big fan of Alabama to be sure, but like all southern states they have some really hot women. The difference is that the Crimsonettes are baton twirlers and are chosen based on their timing and coordination meaning, looks is but one factor. Golden girls are chosen on their hotness and ability to dance. And hot chicks always look good dancing. Does anyone really care that they cannot twirl? Advantage - LSU
Bands - Alabama has the million dollar band. I guess a million dollars was a big deal fifty years ago. Half the coon asses going tailgate for this game will be driving custom made buses worth more than a million. LSU's band plays “Neck” and “Get Crunked”. Advantage - LSU
Coaches - LSU has a really good coach who is cool and says all kinds of whacked out stuff no one can understand. He has guided his team through adversity and controversy to an undefeated season. Alabama has a really good coach who is a dick. Advantage - LSU
Prediction: This game will feature the two best defenses in college football. The two best defenses in the South. The NFC South. You’ve got to give Richardson his due, he’ll get his 100 yards and Jefferson, Ware, Blue, Ford, Hilliard, et al will get their 200 yards. The offenses and defenses are so closely matched that LSU vs Alabama Part Deux is going to be a close game again. I think there will be more scoring this time around, mainly because after such a long layoff the play will likely be a little sloppier. I think that this time LSU’s plethora of running backs runs those big ass linebackers of Alabama from sideline to sideline and wears them down by the end of the game. But in close games the play on special teams is usually the difference. The Honey Badger has an uncanny knack for the football. You just know he is going to do something at some time. He is like lightening in a rain storm; he is going to strike somewhere. Wing keeps field position in favor of LSU. Alleman kicks field goals, and Alabama’s kickers can’t hit the side of a barn. And the Superdome is a home field advantage for LSU. Mathieu makes his momma proud playing in his home town. LSU wins by 3 to 12 points.