Two months ago, there were no excuses. Today, there’s simply NEAUX debate. In last night’s BCS Championship Game, the Alabama Crimson Tide marked its second national title in three years and left absolutely no one of sound mind with any questions as to who was the best team in the country in 2012.
To be the best, you have to beat the best. Alabama beat the best team the nation had to offer.
They did it with offense. Hey Matt Hayes, AJ McCarron has a question for you, sir—”How do you like me now?” The Tide quarterback played the best game of his career, going 23-34 for 234 yards. Trent Richardson carried the ball 20 times for 96 yards and a stake-in-the-heart 4th quarter touchdown. They did it with Kevin Norwood, a tight end that sent most people not wearing crimson in the press box scrambling for their programs and media guides.
They did it with defense. When was the last time LSU was held scoreless for four quarters? Ten years ago, when Alabama beat LSU 31-0. The ruthlessly efficient Alabama defense held the Tigers to five first downs and 2-12 on third down efficiency. Vaunted dual threat quarterback Jordan Jefferson was kept in the pocket all night and frankly made to look like he was lost. They gained 92 yards in total offense, with only 39 on the ground. Jefferson was never a threat to throw it deep because the Tide front seven was in his face all night.
And yes, they even did it with special teams.
This takes nothing away from the LSU Tigers, who had an absolutely stellar season. Along the way to their 13-1 record, the beat the Rose Bowl champs, the Cotton Bowl champs, the Orange Bowl champs and the Crimson Tide. But hey… Ask the 2007 New England Patriots about beating the last team on the schedule.
It really wasn’t fair that LSU had to beat Alabama twice to win their third BCS crown. Some might even argue that they deserved a shot at a cupcake like Oklahoma State or Boise State. But the only people who still think life is supposed to be fair are kindergartners, liberals and certain knuckleheads in the mainstream sports media.
I have many very close friends who are LSU grads and LSU fans. Their hearts are broken this morning and I really do sympathize with them. That’s how Alabama fans felt on the morning of November 6 and on New Year’s Day, 1974—the last time Alabama lost a bowl game said to be for all the Mercedes Benzes.
Honestly, most reasonable Alabama fans would have been just fine with LSU claiming a split title if the game had played out like I predicted. National championship debates are as much a part of the college football fabric as bowl games and tailgate traditions.
But last night, the combined effort of the Alabama Crimson Tide offense, defense and special teams made it clear.
There should be NEAUX DEBATE.