BCS National Championship Game Preview

January 9, 2012

This is the game that everyone has been waiting for. Everyone but me, it seems.

Back on December 4th when the bowl game matchups were announced, I proclaimed that I would not watch the title game out of protest that it should not be a rematch of a regular season game. Although secretly I knew it would be nearly impossible to do such a thing, the decision was taken out of my hands as I will not even be at home to watch the game.

Regardless, I understand that most fans will still be watching, and I still have an opinion. So here is the preview for the final game of the 2011-2012 college football season.

Allstate BCS National Championship Game

Alabama vs. LSU

A rematch isn’t ideal, but in the minds of the voters, coaches and computers this is the matchup pitting the nation’s two best college football teams against one another. We have seen this game before, but I don’t think that round two will resemble round one all that much, if at all.

The Crimson Tide is out to prove that they have the best defense in the nation, not the second best. Alabama did a solid job at stopping LSU’s offense, but allowed them to get into field goal range one time too many. However, it wouldn’t have been a problem had the Crimson Tide hit the field goals they tried. Alabama was a dismal 2 for 6 in the kicking game the last time these teams squared off, and you are mistaken if you think that isn’t going to matter again. The key for the Tide, along with capitalizing on their field goal attempts, will be a balanced offensive attack that doesn’t put too much pressure on Trent Richardson. If there was one place where the Tigers looked out of place against Georgia in the first half of the SEC title game, it was in stopping Aaron Murray. AJ McCarron isn’t Aaron Murray by any stretch, but doesn’t need to be because of the threat of Richardson. All McCarron needs to be is efficient.

The Tigers have the uncanny ability to make second half adjustments that make the opposing team look like a completely different squad in the third and fourth quarters. However, this is not the game to get down early and expect to make a valiant second half comeback. The effort from quarterback Jordan Jefferson is going to be extremely important for the Tigers in this game. Against Georgia, Jefferson was forced into making bad throw in the first half because the Bulldogs came after him with pressure. Alabama has the film of that game, and they also know how little Jefferson throws the ball anyway. The Crimson Tide have the nation’s best run defense, and will not be overwhelmed in the second half by LSU’s potent running game. Therefore, Jefferson will be called upon to step up and make some plays. If he doesn’t, the Tigers may have trouble scoring.

As I alluded to earlier, this game will probably not be all that similar to the first “Game of the Century” matchup. The team that wins this game will have to be able to score. I noted that LSU may have trouble scoring if Jefferson is unable to move the ball through the air, and I believe that is precisely what will happen. It will be close again, but Alabama will do just enough on offense to avenge their loss earlier in the season, and muddle further the argument over who the best team in the nation really is. I have the Crimson Tide for 18 points in the College Bowl Mania game.

Final Score: 24-20 Alabama

– K. Becks

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