If you’re still bitching about the rematch in the BCS National Championship…well it’s time to move on and accept it.
We’re getting No. 1 LSU and No. 2 Alabama on Jan. 9 in New Orleans.
Does that mean another defensive battle? Or did the two coaches learn something from the first meeting in Tuscaloosa that could mean an entirely different game this time around?
I’m leaning toward the second option.
It all starts with LSU’s confidence. You don’t get to 13-0 and dominate so many opponents without talent and the belief in those players.
Les Miles believes in his team and the Tigers believe in each other. That’s a great combination.
With LSU it starts on its defense with Tyrann Mathieu, Morris Claiborne, Eric Reid and Brandon Taylor. Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron found out in the first meeting how NFL-ready this group is, so it’s important he doesn’t make any mistakes.
That puts a lot of pressure on the Tide offensive line, and even more so on running back Trent Richardson. But Richardson is a gamer and he’ll be ready for the rematch, which promises to be a bruising battle again.
Richardson enters this game with 1,583 yards and 20 touchdowns on 263 rushes. He managed just 89 rushing yards (and obviously no touchdowns) on 23 carries in the 9-6 overtime loss to LSU. He still had some big moments when he ripped off some nifty runs.
If Alabama’s bulky offensive line can get some movement against LSU, then Nick Saban may feed Richardson the ball 30-plus times in this game.
So what does LSU do differently on offense, because you could easily make an argument that the Tigers performed worse than the Tide in the first game.
LSU did make the transition from Jarrett Lee to Jordan Jefferson at quarterback. Therefore, it’s easy to make the leap that the Tigers will execute better this time around with Jefferson the established leader now.
What LSU tries to do, though, is wear down defenses by battering them with its huge offensive line and bruising backs Spencer Ware and Michael Ford. I personally watched these two torch West Virginia’s defense by ripping off runs at 5- and 8-yard chunks in the fourth quarter.
But Alabama’s defense is arguably the best in the nation, so the Tide will be up to the challenge again.
Bama has two All-American defensive backs (Mark Barron and Dre Kirkpatrick) and another at linebacker (Courtney Upshaw).
Wow, there is going to be some serious talent on the field in New Orleans.
So whether you like this match up or not doesn’t really matter.
Because we definitely have the top two teams playing for the title.