Alabama vs. LSU Rematch: Why Kickers Once Again Will Determine Outcome

T.J. Mcaloon@@tjmcaloonContributorJanuary 9, 2012

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 05:  Drew Alleman #30 of the LSU Tigers celebrates after kicking the game-winning field goal in overtime to defeat the Alabama Crimson Tide 9-6 at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 5, 2011 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The first Alabama vs. LSU game wasn’t determined by either team's offense or defense. Instead, the game came down to which kicker had the better game. The same thing will happen in tonight’s BCS National Championship Game.

In the first game, Alabama went 2-of-6, while LSU was 3-of-3. If Alabama would have converted just one of those three missed field goals from the first quarter, Alabama would have won easily. 

The misses were so detrimental to kicker Cade Foster that he had to shut his Facebook page down due to the fallout from the game. From the New York Times, LSU’s athletic director Joe Alleva came to Foster’s defense of missing kicks from 44, 50 and 52 yards, saying: “That’s just not easy, O.K.?” 

However, while Foster and Jeremy Shelley missed from long range, LSU’s Drew Alleman is getting praised for his ability to convert “chip shots.” 

None of his three kicks were over 30 yards, with the game-winning field goal being an attempt from 25 yards. 

The first game was a defensive battle, with both teams having two weeks to prepare for their matchup. 

Now, with a month to prepare for this BCS National Championship Game, each team should be even more prepared for whatever LSU or Alabama can do tonight. We should expect to see another game where the offenses of both Alabama and LSU can move the ball into field-goal range, before the opposing defense shuts the door and forces a field-goal situation. 

Alabama’s Nick Saban is prepared to put his kickers back into the same situation tonight, saying:

"I think what we’ve tried to do with our guys is say, ‘Look, you had a bunch of low-percentage kicks in that game, and we are confident in your ability to just stay focused on the process of what you need to do to make your best kick.’"

Tonight’s game will not be the offensive explosion that we saw in the Orange Bowl, Rose Bowl and Fiesta Bowl. Instead, the rematch between Alabama and LSU should resemble their first match in Tuscaloosa. 

Foster and Shelley were able to bounce back after a disastrous game in November. However, if they happen to have the same game tonight, it will be extremely hard to come back from failing in the biggest game of the year. 

Where as if LSU’s Alleman can go perfect again, leading LSU to their third BCS championship, he will become a legend in Baton Rouge that will forever be remembered for winning the BCS National Championship.