LSU vs. Alabama: 5 Reasons the SEC Deserves a Championship Rematch
The game of the century turned into a physical, defensive slugfest that saw head coach Les Miles and his LSU Tigers as the victors in a 9-6 game that saw no touchdowns by either LSU or Alabama.
This win has put the LSU Tigers in the driver's seat and in control of their own destiny on their path to the National Championship, and assuming that they are able to win the rest of their games, they will find themselves on college football's biggest stage come January.
However, this game also provided an interesting twist for both teams: Providing that both LSU and Alabama win the rest of their games, it's not completely out of the question that they could have a rematch in the National Championship Game.
There are plenty of mixed feelings about teams in the same conference playing each other for the National Title, but for both of these teams, it may not necessarily be a bad thing to have a historic rematch between these SEC Powers.
The coaching staff's decision to keep in quarterback Jordan Jefferson, who has been working in spot duty since his return to the team, probably proved to be an effective countermeasure against Alabama's strong front seven.
Alabama's defense was a constant threat to LSU quarterback Jarrett Lee, who has been the starter all season due to Jefferson's preseason suspension.
Jefferson's athletic ability and dual-threat presence added an extra element that better allowed the Tigers to neutralize the Crimson Tide's pass rush. In a rematch, it's possible that Les Miles and the coaching staff play Jefferson sooner, who has a history of performing well against Saban and the Crimson Tide.
The Tide did not seem well prepared to handle Jefferson, but they would be sure to prepare for him in a rematch on college football's biggest stage.
Alabama running back Trent Richardson was definitely the best running back of the night, but the Crimson Tide wishes they could have involved him a little more and given him more touches on the ground later in the game.
The Tide gradually went away from the hot back, even when he reeled off several key carries and constantly gained yards after contact. Richardson showed the nation why he is among the nation's top crop of college football running backs, and why he is likely to be in an NFL uniform quite soon.
The Tide could have also gotten Richardson involved in the passing game a little more than they did, as Richardson is an underrated receiver coming out of the backfield and is adept at catching the football.
The Alabama receiving corps, outside of Marquis Maze, failed to size up against LSU's secondary, and Richardson out of the backfield could have alleviated some of AJ McCarron's struggles in the passing game.
A rematch could help Richardson make more of an impact, especially in the passing game.
Special Teams Made the Difference
In a game like this, nobody predicted that no touchdowns would be scored by either team or that the score would be as low as 9-6.
It showed how good the defenses were, how the offenses have their own issues and how special teams proved to be the difference makers in this game.
This can be said especially for Alabama's kicker Cade Foster, who missed three field goals (including having a field goal blocked), which made the difference in a low scoring game such as this.
LSU kicker Drew Alleman overcame his early struggles and made his last three field goals—including the game winner in overtime—which propelled the LSU Tigers past the Alabama Crimson Tide in the Tide's own stadium.
The Crimson Tide's special teams failed to truly put LSU in any kind of trouble, as even LSU punter Brad Wing was able to flip field position. Both were effectively the MVPs of the game of the century.
A rematch could give both the Crimson Tide and the LSU Tigers another opportunity to put the ball into the end zone at least once or twice to add some extra tension in a National Championship rematch.
A Rematch Between McCarron and the LSU Secondary
Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron proved unable to make any plays against this LSU secondary, tossing two interceptions and being completely shut down by this LSU defense at home.
The staff, rather than putting the ball into 'Bama running back Trent Richardson's hands, attempted to put the ball into their quarterback's hands, and it failed.
McCarron was exposed as very little of a threat against a defense like this, and when the lights were on, he showed no ability as a playmaker or a leader and was unable to carry his team into the end zone. In the second half, he looked uncomfortable due to a combination of LSU's pressure and LSU's sound coverage.
A rematch could be just what this young quarterback needs to get back into the good books and develop as a quarterback—something that Alabama hasn't had in quite some time.
Until now, Alabama has been able to hide behind the likes of phenomenal skill players like Mark Ingram, Trent Richardson and Julio Jones. McCarron would love to have a second chance against this secondary and redeem himself as a Crimson Tide quarterback.
LSU Can Make More Use of Speed Against Alabama's Strength
If there's one thing that LSU hardly ever took out to the field on offense, it was their speed advantage on offense.
Instead, they kept trying to play ground-and-pound football against an enormous Crimson Tide front seven, which is like trying to scrub a floor with a tiny toothbrush.
With a big, physical defense like Alabama's, LSU needs to better utilize their speed by running more to the edges of the Alabama defense and tiring the defensive line, which lessens the amount of pressure on the quarterback in the pocket.
While the LSU staff did do the right thing in letting quarterback Jordan Jefferson handle the quarterback duties this time, they could have had him roll out more instead of confining him to the pocket, and let him use his athleticism to run the football around the edge a little more.
In a rematch, we could possibly see more of LSU's real speed on offense.