On Monday, January 9, 2012, the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Louisiana State Tigers will meet in New Orleans for the first ever all-SEC BCS championship game.
There is a lot of debate over whether both teams in this game should come from the same conference. A lot of people think this rematch of a regular season game should not happen. Some think a team like Oklahoma State is more deserving. Well, I didn’t set up the BCS rules and I don’t get a vote in any of the poles, but I do believe (with a small amount of bias) that the Crimson Tide are deserving of this shot at the national championship. Not only that, but I also believe that Alabama will knock off undefeated LSU and become the national champion for the second time in three years.
Let’s look at five reasons why this is a very good possibility:
Remember, Remember the Fifth of November. There is no gunpowder treason here, but you can be sure the 5th of November will not be soon forgot by any Alabama players, staff or fans. Anybody that watched the regular-season matchup of these two teams, with little or no bias, can tell you that Alabama outplayed LSU in all phases–except the kicking game. The Tigers won by three points in overtime after four missed field goals by the Tide. That’s right, I said four. That will not happen the second time around. LSU will once again be outplayed, but this time it will not be so lucky. Alabama will come out with the win, as it should have the first time around.
Trent Richardson. Trent Richardson is a beast. There is no other way to describe him. If you have ever watched an Alabama game or seen highlights on a sports show, you cannot deny this. He runs with a fury and anger that is unmatched by any other running back in the NCAA and very few in the NFL. Not only that, but he has the power and speed to back it up. The first time these two teams met, Trent had just shy of 170 all-purpose yards against one of the top-ranked defenses in the nation. A similar showing can be expected this time around, and this time it will help the Crimson Tide earn a victory.
Nick Saban. Nick Saban’s work has pretty much already been done. He recruited this phenomenal team. He hired the coaching staff. He helped the team make it this far. His work from this point on is minimal, but still important. He must help come up with a good game plan to use against LSU. He must keep his team focused and make sure the players are ready to play come gameday, along with keeping the mistakes to a minimum. Saban is the only active coach in the NCAA with two national championships (and those were with two different teams). He is definitely doing something right. It is time to make it three.
Defensive Playmakers. There can be no discussion about the Alabama Crimson Tide without mentioning the defense. It is an incredible unit. Players like Dont’a Hightower, Courtney Upshaw and Dre Kirkpatrick make it that way by going out and fighting hard every single game to hold opponents to low scores and help ensure an Alabama victory. Mark Barron, a player that I’ve often compared to Troy Polamalu, has the ability to make plays all over the field, in both the passing and running games. This defensive unit will put a chokehold on the LSU Tigers’ offense (no matter which quarterback they choose to play) and allow Richardson and the rest of the Tide offense to win the game.
Hunger of the Fans. Anybody that is not from or has never been to Alabama would have a hard time understanding this, but in a state without any professional teams to speak of, college football is somewhat of a religion. Whether they’re Alabama or Auburn fans, to a lot of the people in this state football seasons (successes or failures) set the tone for life over the next year or so until the next season starts.
ESPN Films even did a television special called “Roll Tide War Eagle” on the Alabama/Auburn rivalry game, showing how intense some of the fans are about their chosen football program. With that all-important Iron Bowl out of the way, this game is the next big thing on the schedule. Tide fans simply want it more and this will resonate with the performance of the players and staff on that Championship Monday. The Tide will return home to their family and friends as BCS national champions, and it will be a good year.
Roll Tide Roll!!
Growing up in the state of Alabama, Richard has been a lifelong Crimson Tide fan.