Monday, January 09, 2012

G:TBCS Preview

Someone just told me they're playing the BCS championship game today. How 'bout that? I've been so focused on the Tribe's historic hoops season that I've completely lost track of college football. I honestly can't ever remember caring less about bowl season. (It's possible I wrote the exact same words at this time last year and that this is all a function of getting older and having different priorities, but I don't really have the time to research that.)

This isn't an anti-BCS post. I'm as tired of writing those as you are of reading them. But i confess to a substantial 'meh' feeling - 43 days off will do that (36 in LSU's case). But like Kellen Winslow, I'm a warrior*, so I soldier on. Like Harvey Updyke, too, who's wandering around the French Quarter like a PTSD-addled infantryman. Mike had better sleep with one eye (of the Tiger) open. (My bad.)

(* Note: I'm actually more of a worrier, at least in the context of sports rooting. Close enough.)

There are lots of places on the internet to find terrific analysis of this game. This is not one of them. Here's what I know, though:

Had this game been played two weeks after the SEC Championship Game, I'd have liked LSU by a relatively comfortable margin. The Bayou Bengals were simply wrecking people late in the season. After they beat Alabama, 9-6, in the two teams' much-ballyhood first tilt, LSU whipped its final four opponents by a combined 177-39 score. More telling to me was the way the Tigers absorbed a series of body blows from Georgia and then blew the Bulldogs' doors off, scoring 42 unanswered points to claim the SEC title.

With six weeks for Nick Saban to prepare, though, I can't see LSU's momentum making any difference. The fact is, Saban got completely outcoached in the two teams' first matchup. His mixture of panicky gimmickry and questionable decision-making (choosing to attempt long field goals, letting a badly injured Marquis Maze return a punt) were as responsible for Alabama's loss as anything that happened on the field. It's hard for me to see that sort of coaching mismatch happen again.

These are two terrific teams, anchored by phenomenal defenses and competent offenses. LSU's Tyrann Matthieu is probably the most dynamic player in the game, but Alabama's Trent Richardson is better than anyone LSU will line up opposite him. Frankly (Marty Schottenheimer homage), nothing that happens in this game will really surprise me, except for a one-sided rout. Based on nothing other than a hunch, I like Alabama, 20-16. I like Brad Smelley to play a big role. And I like these two girls in their houndstooth caps.


Boy, would I really like a playoff.

[Doofus Overlord edit, because rob's PG-13 pic sucks]


In an effort to be fair and balanced:


147 comments:

rob said...

danimal, alabama favored by 2. you're welcome.

Dave said...

i say "meh" to those low-rez girls with giant foreshortened legs. but the photo does fit the tone of the post . . .

T.J. said...

That's the best pic you could find? Did Big Ben give them each a hat after he bedded them (against their wills)?

rob said...

best i could find from work - feel free to fix it.

T.J. said...

That's what I was waiting for...on it.

Shlara said...

DeJuan and Mark have the same shoe problem:

https://twitter.com/#!/DeJuan45/media/slideshow?url=http%3A%2F%2Ftwitter.com%2FDeJuan45%2Fstatus%2F156264175407075329%2Fphoto%2F1

T.J. said...

That's better.

T.J. said...

Needed to balance the post out...

Igor said...

Okay, I believe Rob, and I acknowledge his historic record when it comes to predicting these games, but with Alabama in the mix, there might be a trace amount of bias. I need the rest of you guys to weigh in.

I am in a bowl picking pool run by an old W&M classmate. (Do you have "classmates" if you never went to class?) Straight up picks for all bowls. I have nailed 27 of the 34 bowls played thus far. I am in a 1st place tie with one other person. I need this.

I initially picked LSU and 38 points for tiebreak but I can edit my pick.

Danimal said...

igor....with that sort of record i'd be inclined to stick with your pick.

howevah...apparently the big money (whales) is on 'bama....

Danimal said...

and...that same money was on pittsburgh yesterday. and i think atlanta. so what the fuck do they know?

zman said...

Do all women who attend large southern state schools have breast implants? Does it come with the room and board? By contrast, they give you a laptop at Wake Forest.

Igor said...

Thanks, Danimal. Although that just still leaves me on the fence. Gut instinct vs. conventional wisdom / trending.

Mark? Teej? Jerry? Dave?

Just kidding, Dave.

Danimal said...

line has gone to bama -2.5

T.J. said...

OK, any of you clowns been to Louisville before?

Mark said...

I'm inclined to pick LSU because I think they're more balanced (same reason I picked them in the first game) and playing in the Superdome has to provide a bit of an advantage for them. Though, that advantage is significantly less due to them playing another SEC team located closely to New Orleans. 20-16 sounds about right. So I'll go LSU 20-17.

Couple of things that haven't been mentioned enough about this game:

- It's a referendum on how brilliant Nick Saban is at building/rebuilding a program. LSU was way down before he got there. He left, but the cupboard was stocked and they had TONS of momentum. Miles has done a very good job (proving to be far better as a coach & administrator than I ever gave him credit for) but Saban started things rolling at LSU. And Saban clearly has things rolling at Bama. It wasn't that long ago that Bama was a hot mess with only the occasional decent season to speak of. I hate Saban, but the man is an (evil) genius.

- LSU's impeccable timing: LSU has appeared in 3 BCS Title games. All 3 will have been played in the Superdome. It's a huge advantage because of both the crowd and the general comfort level the close proximity to Baton Rouge provides the players & coaches. When you consider the BCS Title game rotates between four sites, it's pretty remarkable that LSU has landed in New Orleans each time.

Danimal said...

teej...yes...for better part of a week in summer of '10...good town.

T.J. said...

Igor, I'm terrible at gambling, but I say LSU 21-20.

T.J. said...

danimal, email me anything you remember that I should hit up...

Danimal said...

Word....

rob said...

see, that first new pic is sorta cheating, 'cause you can find her photoshopped into the teamwear of your choice, also...

...what was i saying?

Igor said...

All right, gents, I am taking in all of your wisdom and adhering to Danimal's encouragement to stick to my guns. Go (not Geaux) Tigers. Sorry, Rob.

T.J. said...

Well, you know what rob, you are probably right...so I will go find a better one.

Danimal said...

teejus - will email you shortly. but one thing to remember/think about. there is a tasty brown liquor that louisville's surrouding area is well known for producing. It's called "BOURBON" pronounced, BUR-Bin. You should check out one of the places where the BOURBON is made (distillery).

Igor said...

Didn't Teej give up drinking for January? Oh, right, that was Rob.

It's a less fun series of comments if we all write what we're drinking tonight and get replies like "lemon-cayenne water for my cleansing."

T.J. said...

The assbackwards state of Georgia, everyone:

http://cbsloc.al/wyt3m4

T.J. said...

I will try this bour-boun you speak of, maybe.

rob said...

the cleansing has not yet commenced. i'll need to drink this evening.

KQ said...

Rob....don't make me get all Jillian Michaels on your ass. Start the damn program!!!

rob said...

indeed. right after this game.

KQ said...

Cool. You might as well forward it to John Elway, too.

Geoff said...

So Delonte West didn't attend the Mavs meeting with Obama today because he failed the criminal background check. That must've been a fun phone call to get.

Jerry said...

1) I like LSU. I just think they're better. One of those games where LSU is in control the entire game, but doesn't really take over on the scoreboard until late. 20-6.

2) I don't think those LSU girls are students.

3) Thierry Henry.

Dave said...

igor, my picks are the last girl on the left and the new neal stephenson novel "reamde," which i just got from the library and i'm going to have trouble finishing in the allotted time, because it's a thousand pages . . .

and the giants!

Jerry said...

Oh come on. You read much harder books than that. You should be able finish a Neal Stephenson book in 2 weeks tops.

Mark said...

Geoff - I direct you to Deadspin to see Delonte West Twitter meltdown from this weekend right around the time he realized he wouldn't be attending today's ceremony at the White House.

Marls said...

Who are the 5 douchenozzles who voted for Tim Salmon to get into the hall of fame?

zman said...

Marls vs Salmon. Fish on fish crime.

Marls said...

It's an epidemic in our community.

Marls said...

Regarding tonight's game, I have a feeling it is going to be a blowout. Sunday morning after drinking tap Budweiser and eating two greasetruck sandwiches blowout in favor of Bama.

zman said...

Thank god for the guys who sell beer innoenn station.

zman said...

And in penn station too.

Marls said...

But do they sell white truffle oil?

zman said...

Joe strummer special on tmc

zman said...

Only black

Igor said...

Joe Strummer is one of seven idols I have had in my life; he's accompanied by John Riggins, Abraham Lincoln, Evan Lloyd, John Tucker, Sam Malone, and Dave Kingman.

Igor said...

Duh. And Gheorghe Muresan.

T.J. said...

Musberger tried to call this a battle of "David vs. Goliath" in the open...

T.J. said...

The hyperbole is off the fucking charts already.

Igor said...

Gambling update: the other co-leader atop the pick pool picked Alabama to win. No tiebreak necessary. Sixteen hundred simoleons or so come down to winner take all.

Game on. Come on.

Danimal said...

Come on Igor!!!!!

So umm, if the last time these two met in "the game of the century" what are we calling this one?

zman said...

Patterson hood is on my list simply for Outfit. The rest is gravy.

rob said...

igor, you should feel pretty good - i picked alabama. also, fyi, i'm wearing my hoodie.

Danimal said...

I kind of would have liked to have seen maze school the punter there. The punter had the balls to talk smack to maze after the first kick. Punters should not do that.

rob said...

no gimmicks here, please

T.J. said...

Paul Hogan can do whatever he wants.

rob said...

lsu's punter is kind of a badass, danimal.

Danimal said...

I wonder if the marketing gurus At Mercedes ever visited the super dome prior to spending the money to have their name put on the building.

zman said...

Paul hogan don't care.

T.J. said...

There's a "Whitney Bank" that is a sponsor at the Superdome? Drunkest bank ever?

rob said...

hey, neat, a field goal.

Danimal said...

I am aware of his prowess. He is still a Caucasian punter talking shit to maze....just sayin.

zman said...

Ironically M-B makes their SUVs in Alabama.

rob said...

danimal's racist

T.J. said...

raciss

T.J. said...

Hey, I just said that...

rob said...

i'm gonna need the brain tonight, teej

T.J. said...

This G:TB/Twitter combo might be a bit much tonight...

rob said...

did the ol' ballcoach sneak into alabama's game planning sessions?

T.J. said...

I'm very sick of this "Honey Badger" thing

rob said...

honey badger don't give a shit what you think, teej

Igor said...

Hey, LSU, time to get going.

T.J. said...

True.

rob said...

go for it, please.

T.J. said...

Is Richardson hurt?

T.J. said...

Trickeration!

T.J. said...

Musberger is killing me tonight.

rob said...

anyone in the arena not know they were faking that?

rob said...

that was a terrible spot. lsu ball after the review. the fuck, saban?

zman said...

Zwoman knows all about faking it.

T.J. said...

+1, zman

T.J. said...

This game, she is ugly. As expected.

rob said...

i've seen this movie. it sucks.

T.J. said...

LSU offense needs to do something on this series. #obviouscomments

zman said...

The team that scores the most points will win this game. Book it.

rob said...

barkevioused

Igor said...

I'm left wondering how it was I managed to wager on LSU. Bama defense making them look like . . . bamas.

T.J. said...

Maybe the mingo ate your baby.

T.J. said...

Igor, relax. We have a long way (and very few points) to go.

rob said...

best back in the nation

rob said...

hey, neat, field goal

zman said...

I bet the final score is 6 to 9.

rob said...

aj mccarron played a really solid first half. more please.

Igor said...

I sure can pick 'em. #1 team in the nation. 1 first down. 0 points. Kick ass.

rob said...

i'm starting to think darren rovell is kind of a dick

T.J. said...

Igor, start (keep) drinking. Heavily.

Igor said...

Yeah. I actually flipped over to the Joe Strummer documentary for something more inspirational.

Mark said...

AJ McCarron has been really good tonight. Didn't see Bama coming out and throwing it 40 times tonight.

rob said...

jefferson is completely lost. nowhere near the east side.

T.J. said...

Mark doesn't like that joke.

Mark said...

No. Not really. I also didn't like seeing CJ Mosley's knee bend the wrong way.

rob said...

this game is way too goddamn close

T.J. said...

They leave Jefferson in? ORLY?

rob said...

tim tebow thinks jefferson's first three quarters have been dreadful

Marls said...

That has to be it for Jefferson, right?

LSU would be better off with Geofferson at this point.

rob said...

tide should punt here

rob said...

kicker ever been a national championship game mvp?

T.J. said...

He will be tonight, barring a Miles Miracle.

rob said...

alabama's special teams play is night and day different from the first matchup - huge difference

Mark said...

I feel bad for LSU's defense. They've done a fantastic job on Richardson tonight. Too bad Jordan Jefferson is shaving points.

rob said...

some lazy-ass mainstream media tweeting going on tonight. lot of surface 'analysis' of this game and groupthink.

rob said...

gentry has been exceptional

Mark said...

Like?

Igor said...

I wish this game were at least relatively interesting. Tough way to lose a mortgage payment.

T.J. said...

It still feels like LSU has a chance, as horrific as they have been offensively all night. Or am I nuts?

rob said...

mark - lots of 'this is boring' without much recognition of the talent of the defenses and how good alabama's offensive game plan has been.

T.J. said...

Mark and I agree on the overuse of the term "Honey Badger" by Brent tonight.

rob said...

not nuts at all, teej. 'least not for that.

Mark said...

I agree, Rob. I'm completely baffled by LSU's gameplan tonight. No play action downfield. Very little power running. WAY too much speed option. Just awful.

T.J. said...

Darren Rovell has quickly become the biggest asshat on twitter.

rob said...

rammer jammer!

T.J. said...

LSU should fall to #3 in the final poll after this shitshow.

T.J. said...

A touch-down? Say what?

rob said...

told y'all saban wasn't gonna be outcoached again.

gonna go ice this shoulder - hurts from patting myself on the back.

rob said...

alright alright alright

Mark said...

Stop it TJ. LSU beat Oregon, Bama at home, West Virginia, Arkansas, Georgia.

rob said...

yep - those were clearly the two best teams in the country

T.J. said...

Hahaha, so quick to defend your SEC...settle down, tiger.

Jerry said...

I was strongly anti-rematch, but you really can't argue with that kind of ass-whupping. That's one of the better defensive performances that we'll ever see.

People will have their say about the LSU offense. They weren't good. They also had no chance. A run of 3 yards was a brilliantly successful play against the Bama D. And LSU can run the ball. They've got their question marks at QB, but they can maul it on the ground. Just unbelievable defense from Alabama.

Offensively I think Bama caught lightning in a bottle a bit. That's about as well as McCarron and the receivers could've possibly hoped to play. But LSU was never going to score. By far their best chance of scoring was the sack on McCarron in the 4th quarter when the LB lit him up. 2nd was probably if the blocked FG had gone backward.

T.J. said...

That Nick Saban "Era" at Michigan State almost feels like it never happened.

rob said...

that what we're calling mark now? kinda partial to sparky.

T.J. said...

Wait...are these two teams also going to enter next season #1 and #2? SEC is nuts.

T.J. said...

Sparky is still the better fit.

rob said...

adroit question dodge there by saban. man's a pro. single-minded and possibly evil, but a pro.

T.J. said...

As EDSBS just reminded us, the Fulmer Cup is now open for business...

rob said...

alabama's academic dean may not want to watch the tape of courtney upshaw speaking.

rob said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
T.J. said...

For less than the cost of a cup of coffee a day, you can adopt an African child...now freshly adorned with a LSU National Champions t-shirt.

T.J. said...

Mark, gif of Richardson hugging the Bama mascot:
http://t.co/zaSOd06Q

Mark said...

Thanks Teej. Saw it before I went to bed last night.

Also, I think USC ends up as either #1 or #2 in the 2012 preseason poll.

rob said...

in the cool, crisp, beautiful light of morning, it seems to me that alabama's defensive performance last night will go down as one of the great efforts in history. lsu's offense isn't oklahoma state's, but the tigers were at least competent this year (57th in total yards, 22nd in rushing yards). they crossed midfield once. once.

and aj mccarron will be overshadowed by the defense, but his execution of a terrific offensive gameplan was excellent.

roll tide, bitches.

Squeaky said...

I actually stayed up and watched the whole second half. But turned it off once the score was final. Did the kicker win the MVP?

Danimal said...

I feel badly for Igor. I feel a little responsible for you picking LSU, even though you are a big boy and it was ultimately your decision.
Danimal had a turrible finish to the fiscal year, no thanks to the pats money line agains the giants a month ago - that hurt the big russian. and of course last night's dismal performance by les and his tigers. until next season.

rob said...

danimal - i have an idea for you to consider. dm me your email address on the twitter.

Igor said...

No worries, Danimal. Easy come, easy go. Appreciated the feedback.

Danimal said...

rob - the "package" has been sent.
signed,
giddy with anticipation

T.J. said...

Filler is up.