In one of the biggest rematches (not National Championships) in college football history, the only thing big about this game turned out to be the distance between the goal posts for Jeremy Shelley.
The Alabama Crimson Tide dominated the LSU Tigers, 21-0 in the 2012 Allstate BCS National Championship. No other team in the BCS era has ended up with 0 points by the time the title game came to a close.
Haunted by a loss to LSU earlier in the season when a made field goal would have brought Alabama a victory, Jeremy Shelley had plenty to be worried about going into this game. However, he put the past behind him, providing his team with 15 points with his leg. Even though it felt more like fútbol than football, it was enough to hold off LSU.
Trent Richardson acted as the warhorse for Alabama up to this point in the season. Even though Richardson still had 96 yards and the only touchdown of the game in trash time, Nick Saban used the 5-11 running back as a distraction to allow AJ McCarron to play a major role in their victory. With many play-action plays being called on first down, McCarron connected on 23 of 34 passes and collected 234 yards through the air. He made Tyrann Mathieu look like a joke as a Heisman candidate. As he has done all season long, he did what his coach needed him to do, bringing Alabama another W and another championship.
This stands as only the fifth time all season McCarron passed for over 200 yards, bolstering Saban’s effective coaching. It is no coincidence than he now stands as the only coach in the BCS era to win three BCS National Championship.
No matter whether you believe it is entertaining to see a kicking contest take place with conservative plays being called, it can’t be denied that Alabama played the game they wanted to play tonight. By means of their strong defensive play, productive special teams, and efficient offense, they didn’t sparkle in the Superdome, but they did what they had to do in order to achieve a title.
On the defensive side of the field, the Crimson Tide did indeed stifle every aspect of the Tigers offense – including the praised option play. LSU finished the game with 92 total yards and 5 first downs – another all-time low in the BCS era. They crossed midfield for the first time all night towards the end of the game but ended up fumbling the ball away on 4th down. All the field goals being kicked by Alabama seemed to tempt LSU fans that they would eventually get it going for a couple touchdowns to get right back in the game, but they just couldn’t put together enough plays to do so.
Obviously, this Alabama defense must be given credit as one of the most dominant forces the entire season. Should it be considered as one of the best all-time after this performance?
When you look at how LSU played on offense, some of Alabama’s ridiculous defensive statistics have to be tarnished. It was that bad. Jordan Jefferson looked horrid, with his cute shovel pass intended for Spencer Ware being easily intercepted by C.J. Mosley epitomizing his embarrassing performance. There isn’t a possible way to go too hard on this offense as they came out flatter than the Dallas Cowboys in a clutch game. Since LSU’s offense caused so much self-inflicted harm, I just can’t proclaim this defense as the best ever – especially since it would be irrational to make that statement pertaining to the team most recently seen on the television (sorry Kirk, I can’t use superlatives so easily).
Top 5 AP Poll:
#1 – Alabama
#2 – LSU
#3 – Oklahoma State
#4 – Oregon
#5 – Arkansas
When the résumés of Alabama (12-1), LSU (13-1), and Oklahoma State (12-1) are put next to each another, should the Cowboys have stood as #1 or #2 in the AP Polls? I won’t go as far as to put them on top, but being in the discussion for the #2 position should have taken place. Simply because LSU and Alabama play a more defensive style of football shouldn’t take away from Oklahoma State’s dominant season. The Cowboys took down Texas, Baylor, Kansas State, Oklahoma, and finally Stanford in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. I understand they lost to a subpar Iowa State team, but isn’t that just as bad as putting up a goose egg in the biggest bowl game of them all?
This year, college football provided entertainment for both offensive and defensive fans. Both are important to the game, and even though defense does indeed win championships, a game can’t be won with no points. Alabama, who relied solely on defense most of the year, dominated all three major aspects to the game – offense, defense, and special teams. What a performance to match their championship in 2010. They made it official that the hunter has more success than the hunted, poaching the Tigers in their own habitat. Easily.
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