As you would probably expect from a National Championship, Monday's game between LSU and Alabama is going to have a lot of talented players.
Still, talent doesn't necessarily win when it's going against other talent, especially on the big stage. These players are all talented, and may well have a bright future in the sport of football. Still, when the game is going on Monday, don't expect anything big from them.
Mathieu did one thing when the two teams played on Nov. 5.
He put a bulls eye on his back. Now that Alabama is getting a rematch, they're not going to have to wait until next year to exact some revenge.
While Mathieu is a ball hawk, the Tide will go at him all game, notably with Trent Richardson. Richardson's blockers will lock into No. 7 to take him out of the game.
When he's back returning punts, Alabama will stay away from him.
I am picking Alabama to win this game. If I am wrong, the Tigers will need big days from players other than the Honey Badger. Nick Saban and company will not allow for Mathieu to win this game.
Jefferson might be a dynamic quarterback, but he's going to have a tough day. He doesn't throw anywhere near well enough to do significant damage against the Alabama secondary. The problem is that the speed of the Alabama defense isn't going to allow a lot of running. Their speed will negate the element of surprise.
LSU's offensive punch will depend almost exclusively on the three-headed running attack of Michael Ford, Spencer Ware, and Alfred Blue. Other than that, the Tigers won't get any significant offense.
No, this isn't just beating up on the Bayou Bengals. Marquis Maze is a dynamic play maker for the Crimson Tide and can easily sway the field position battle with punt returns. Unfortunately for Alabama, that's not going to happen here.
This is going to come down to a battle of Maze vs. LSU punter Brad Wing. Wing is the best punter in the country, and he will keep Maze on the run all game. If he has to, look for Wing to keep the ball out of bounds. But look for Wing to do a lot of corner kicks and bombs over Maze's head.