Bowl Preview: Championship Game


January 9th, 2012, 8:30 PM, ESPN, New Orleans, LA
Louisiana State by 2


QUICK ANALYSIS:  The two best teams in the nation, as determined by the computer.  LSU won the last game, but Alabama pissed away multiple chances.  However, had the capitalized on some of those chances, who is to say LSU wouldn’t have put in a few more scores.

MAX:  Unless you are from the Southeastern Quadrant of the United States, this game may not mean much to you.  I use everyone loosely, but everyone is griping about these two being in a rematch, and I get that, I agree.  But this is the game that has been dealt to us, and it’s the game that probably is pitting the two best teams.  LSU manhandled nearly everyone this year.  The closest anyone came to beating them was Alabama.  In LSU’s four closest games, they converted 50% of their first downs only once, against Tennessee.  They still managed to hang on to the ball in those games, and although they did have two turnovers against Alabama, Alabama also had two in that game, balancing it out.  Everyone wants to talk about LSU’s defense, but their offense has been pretty spectacular, too.  They are very efficient.  They convert 47% of their 3rd downs, but they had just over 150 3rd downs, which is less than a lot of other schools.  They are great at converting on first and second down.

Alabama really had been it’s own form of awesome this year.  They actually have the best defense, if you base it on points allowed.  They crushed all of their opponents, and they should have beaten LSU this year.  It should be noted, both teams performed about equally against similar opponents (see Tennessee and Mississippi State).  Alabama puts up a lot of yards and a lot of points, but they played way less talented teams than LSU.  (Alabama played 5 ranked teams.  LSU played 8, including 3 top 5 teams.)

Both of these coaches have won a national title.  Both of these schools are steeped in tradition.  Both have had an excellent season and have also had several weeks to game plan. But the reason I am picking LSU to cover is because they played in the SEC title game.  They have had less time to get rusty, played more quality opponents, and have way more to lose by losing.  Final score, 20-17.  Take the under.

Oh yeah, I suppose many of you are wondering why I captioned the photo above ‘Russia!’.  If you have ever watched Rocky III, where Hulk plays a character named Thunderlips, every time he goes for a move it sounds like he is saying ‘Russia!’.  I also noticed it on TV when he would wrestle.  I have never decided what he is actually saying, but don’t mess with the Kremlin Leg Drop.


~ by maxaverage on January 8, 2012.

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