Posted on: November 6, 2011 12:07 pm

R-E-M-A-T-C-H? Another team deserves a shot

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- I suppose if we’re throwing around words loosely, we can dub last night’s LSU-Alabama game a “classic.” It was a very good game – not great – but very good. (I think at least one touchdown needs to be scored for it to be a great game, no?)


The nation saw two of the best teams in the country last night, with LSU outkicking Alabama, 9-6, in overtime. I’m all about defensive struggles because that makes each play that much more intense. Take a 1-0 pithers duel in baseball for instance. Every pitch is critical; every baserunner is crucial; every hit is... you get the idea. I love hard-nosed, smash-mouth football. The game had both of those on the defensive front, but the by giving both Alabama and LSU's defense so much credit we're ignoring the obvious: Neither team has a national championshp offense. Or, at the very least, neither team showed the possibility of having a No.1-team-in-the-land offense in a game watched by millions.


Put it this way: If last night’s game was (and this is hypothetical) No. 1 Nebraska at No. 2 Michigan State and it ended 9-6 in overtime, the Big Ten’s heavyweights would be dubbed frauds and people not only wouldn’t be clamoring for a rematch, but people would be arguing that the winner wouldn’t be deserving of a spot in the BCS Title Game.


By all accounts, LSU has proven to be the best team – as of November 5<sup>th</sup> – in all of college football. The neutral-site game against Oregon looks bigger and bigger each week; playing at West Virginia doesn’t look as tough as it once did, but it’s still an SEC heavyweight playing a preseason Big East favorite in a hostile road environment. And, last night, LSU silenced a crowd of 100,000 fans who were so boisterous before the game many in attendance said it was the loudest college football crowd they had ever experienced.


Despite Alabama's greatness, there is no proof the Crimson Tide are the country’s No. 2 team. Heck, Oregon put up 27 points on that LSU defense. Alabama might very well finish the season 11-1, which will secure it a spot in some BCS bowl. But at this point, anyone singing R-E-M-A-T-C-H needs to calm down and look at reality here. There are still four undefeated teams who all have a better argument for playing in the title game. Obviously, LSU is the leader in the clubhouse. Oklahoma State, despite not having a defense, is electric offensively, has quality wins and is steamrolling through the Big 12. Stanford hasn’t played a rough schedule but has proven it will dominate whatever team stands on the opposite side of the field. Last but not least is Boise State. While past performance is meaningless, no one can argue that Boise State doesn’t deserve a title shot if it is one of the only two undefeated teams in the country. The Broncos have begged for games against great teams. The only teams who’ve agreed in recent years are Virginia Tech and Georgia. Boise State has won all of those games. Boise State tried to schedule a game or series with Michigan. Big Blue turned it down. There are dozens of other “big time” programs who have said the same thing. (I’m willing to bet, despite its reputation for taking on all comers, that LSU is one of those programs). So Boise State does what it always does: Beat the teams on its schedule handedly and hope the computers and voters sort things out correctly.


Flash back to 2006 when No. 1 Ohio State hosted No. 2 Michigan. Both teams were 11-0 and, in the regular season finale, the winner was guaranteed a spot in the BCS Title Game. The Buckeyes won, 42-39, in another “Game of the Century.” Immediately, people, especially those in Big Ten country, picketed for a title game rematch. Florida, who at the time had 1 loss and had the SEC Title Game to play, begged the voters to give another team a shot. The Gators won the SEC, got a shot, and obliterated the Buckeyes, 41-14.


Funny how, five years later, the same SEC fans that begged for another team (Florida) to get a shot is trying to get behind a rematch. But that’s the SEC mentality: We have the country’s best 12 teams; just deal with it.  


The last handful of weeks are bound to make the BCS race much more chaotic, but one thing is certain: Another team deserves a shot; just deal with it.



Posted on: September 8, 2011 1:11 pm

2011 NCAA Football Preview

2011 NCAA Football Preview

1. Alabama

2. Boise State

3. Stanford

4. Oklahoma

5. Oregon

6. Virginia Tech

7. Nebraska

8. Wisconsin

9. South Carolina

10. Notre Dame

11. Ohio State

12. Florida State

13. LSU

14. TCU

15. Iowa

16. Texas A&M

17. Miami

18. West Virginia

19. Arizona State

20. Oklahoma State

21. Arkansas

22. Michigan State

23. Houston

24. Nevada

25. Georgia



BCS National Championship: Alabama vs. Boise State

Rose Bowl: Nebraska vs. Stanford

Sugar Bowl: South Carolina vs. Oregon

Orange Bowl: Virginia Tech vs. Wisconsin

Fiesta Bowl: West Virginia vs. Oklahoma

*All one has to do is look at Alabma's team when healthy last year. That small sample size would show early-season dominance and a mauling of then 11-1 Michigan State in the Capital One Bowl. With 16 players returning (9 on that vaunted defense), a BCS bowl is in the bag and the BCS is only an undefeated season away. 

Conference Championships:

SEC: Alabama over South Carolina

Big 10: Nebraska over Wisconsin

Pac-12: Stanford over Arizona State

ACC: Virginia Tech over Florida State

Posted on: September 8, 2010 12:59 pm

2010-11 NCAA Football Preview

Without further ado, here is my NCAA Football Preview for the 2010-11 season. While most other experts jump on the Alabama bandwagon predicting a repeat, I'll go a different route and look to a team that, like it or not, continuously gets batter and better and should run the table -- the Ohio State Buckeyes.

I see just two teams running the table this year and those teams will square off for the championship on January 10 (Yeah, for whatever reason, we should expect to see the title game played after the Super Bowl in a few years at this rate of pushing the game further and further back!!!).

Anyway, here is my Top 25 (how I see the regular season ending) as well as my BCS Bowl Predictions. Enjoy!

2010-11 College Football Preview

1. Ohio State

2. Boise State

3. Nebraska

4. Alabama

5. Oregon

6. Wisconsin

7. Virginia Tech

8. Georgia

9. Texas

10. Oklahoma

11. TCU

12. Miami (Fla.)

13. Pittsburgh

14. Florida

15. Notre Dame

16. Iowa

17. Florida State

18. Utah

19. Arizona

20. USC

21. North Carolina

22. LSU

23. Oregon State

24. Penn State

25. Michigan State



BCS Title Game: Ohio State vs. Boise State

Rose Bowl: Wisconsin vs. Oregon

Sugar Bowl: Alabama vs. Pittsburgh

Fiesta Bowl: Nebraska vs. Georgia

Orange Bowl: Virginia Tech vs. Texas



The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com