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LSU Football: To Win the BCS Championship, the Tigers Must Bench Jarrett Lee

BATON ROUGE, LA - NOVEMBER 12:  Quarterbacks Jarrett Lee #12 and Jordan Jefferson #9 of the Louisiana State University Tigers warm up before the game against Western Kentucky at Tiger Stadium on November 12, 2011 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Dr. SECAnalyst IINovember 22, 2011

The LSU Tigers are only three wins away from being both SEC champions and BCS national champions. There's only one thing standing in the way, and it's not an SEC football team.

The only thing that will slow down the Tigers is the decision to play two quarterbacks. Les Miles has coached almost a flawless season, but it could all go to ruins if he does not permanently bench Jarrett Lee in favor of Jordan Jefferson.

It's not as if Lee has not done a good job, he has. The problem is that they will struggle to win two of the next three games if Lee is the quarterback.

Lee has completed 104-of-167 passes for 1,306 yards and 14 touchdowns to only three interceptions. However, two of those three interceptions were against Alabama.

LSU is going to defeat Arkansas regardless of who their quarterback is. Moving the ball on Georgia and Alabama will not be as simple.

Alabama is ranked No.1 in the nation in total defense, and Georgia is ranked No.4.

However, both teams have struggled against quarterbacks who have the ability to make plays with their feet. In the case of Georgia, they have been able to shut down pocket-passing quarterbacks this season.

Consider the job they did against Tyler Bray and John Brantley. The two quarterbacks combined for 30-of-67 passes for 496 yards and only one touchdown.

Against Georgia, you have to have mobility in the pocket. They bring the blitz heavy and often. The Bulldogs are first in the SEC in sacks and tackles for loss. Even when they don’t get the sack, they create enough pressure to make the quarterback uncomfortable and turnover prone.

 

This blitzing Bulldogs defense has forced 15 interceptions and 12 fumbles.

Alabama has showed that they have very few weaknesses. However, the one offensive scheme they seem to struggle with is various forms of the option. LSU was incapable of moving the football against the Tide defense until they benched Lee in favor of Jordan Jefferson.

Once Jefferson came in the Tigers became much more successful on offense because of the Tide’s inability to stop the option. This past week, the Tide allowed over 300 yards rushing against the triple-option offense of FCS opponent Georgia Southern.

Can LSU beat Arkansas with Lee? Yes. Can LSU beat Georgia with Lee? Perhaps. Can LSU beat Alabama with Lee? Not a chance.

Even if LSU can beat Arkansas and Georgia with Lee, Jefferson still needs the snaps. To be ready for the BCS championship, he will need full-time snaps these last two games.

Lee has done a great job. In fact, without him, the Tigers would not be in this position. However, he has taken LSU as far as his ability will allow.

Critics will argue that Jefferson does not deserve to start because of his off-field mistakes. However, if Miles has decided he's worthy to be on the team, then he's worthy to start if he's the best option.

The best scenario for the Tigers to win the national championship is to bench Lee and start working Jefferson in the option offense. Moreover, with over a month to prepare for the BCS championship, the Tigers should implement versions of the triple option in to their game package.

If the Tiger will do this, 14-0 is not only possible, it becomes probable. 

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