2012 BCS National Championship: Why LSU/Alabama Is the Game We Need

Jeremy TurnerSenior Analyst IDecember 15, 2011

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 05:  Michael Ford #42 of the LSU Tigers is stopped by Jerrell Harris #5 and DeQuan Menzie #24 of the Alabama Crimson Tide during the game at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 5, 2011 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Earlier, I wrote an article commenting on a number of rules within the BCS that should be considered as big of a travesty as the Alabama vs. LSU rematch many people do not want to see.

But I believe that the rematch for the BCS National Championship is the game we need. While many argue that Oklahoma State deserves a shot over Alabama, I want to share some reasons why Alabama is the best choice for this game.


1) Alabama's Statistics Stack up Better against LSU Than Oklahoma State's.

The biggest reason people cite in opposition to an Alabama/LSU rematch is that Alabama had their shot at being No. 1 and blew it by missing four field goals against LSU.

But turn that negative into a positive.

For one, look at all of LSU's other games against top-ranked opponents. The Tigers easily defeated Arkansas, Georgia, Oregon and Auburn by generous margins.

Alabama lost by only three points in overtime. 

While Oklahoma State ranks higher in terms of points per game, at No. 2, compared to LSU, at No. 12, and Alabama, at No. 14, look at the conference's rankings on defense. The top four defenses in terms of yards allowed per game are in the SEC, and the SEC has five schools in the Top 10 of the same category.

The highest ranked Big 12 defense is Texas's, coming in at No. 14. So while, at No. 2, Oklahoma State's offense looks good against the No. 2-ranked LSU defense, things are more lopsided on the other side of the ball.  LSU has the nation's No. 12 offense, while Oklahoma State only has the 107th-ranked defense in terms of yards per game and 61st-ranked in terms of points allowed per game.

While no one may want another 9-6 game between LSU and Alabama, what would people say if the game had been a blowout?


2) Quality of Losses between Alabama and Oklahoma State

Let me be the first to say this: I am in no way trying to play down the tragedy that happened prior to the game between Oklahoma State and Iowa State. But let me also say that I am not going to trivialize those deaths by saying they were the reason Oklahoma State lost.

Unfortunate as it may be, death is a natural part of life. Whether it occurs right before a game or during the offseason, it happens.

People handle death differently. Some teams go out and win for a fallen player or family member.

So while what happened prior to the OSU/ISU game was very tragic, it should not be clumped into the reasons why OSU lost. OSU lost to a mediocre Iowa State team who went 6-6 on the season and finished eighth out of 10 in the Big 12. The score of the game was 36-31 in 2OT.

Alabama lost to the undefeated SEC champions, LSU, by a score of 9-6 in OT.

Many analysts and commentators do remark that you have to take into account strength of schedule. That is true, but strength of schedule cannot always compensate for bad losses.


3) Alabama Had a Heisman Finalist.

While many may not call this a quality argument, I feel it has merit. Let's look back at some previous national championships.

In the 2011 Auburn/Oregon game, Cam Newton won the Heisman, while LaMichael James was a finalist.

In the 2010 Alabama/Texas game, Mark Ingram won the Heisman for Alabama, while Colt McCoy was a finalist.

In the 2009 Florida/Oklahoma game, Sam Bradford won the trophy and Tim Tebow was a finalist.

So in the past three years, both teams who played in the national championship had Heisman finalists. While Brandon Weeden was, at one point, in the Heisman race, his numbers towards the end could not surpass those of Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III.