Crazy things could lead to rematch

mlough@macon.comNovember 3, 2011 

The world of college football is clearly ready and amped up for LSU and Alabama ... round one.

Let’s go ahead and ponder what may or may not make anti-BCS folks go off and what would definitely send pro-Boise State people into a tizzy.

Who’s to say that in a month and a few days that LSU and Alabama aren’t still the top two teams in the nation and should play for the national championship?

We know that Florida has lost to both, 38-10 to Alabama and 41-11 to LSU.

We know that Tennessee has lost to both, 37-6 to Alabama and 38-7 to LSU.

So we must look ahead.

Alabama follows LSU with Mississippi State, Georgia Southern and Auburn.

Yes, War Eagles, you might be in the way of a national championship in Tuscaloosa.

LSU has Western Kentucky, Mississippi and Arkansas.

The Tigers have the tougher road. Mississippi is a rival and Arkansas is better than Auburn. Then again, the Iron Bowl is at Jordan-Hare.

South Carolina will be a top 10 team if it wins the East, and Georgia would be around 15th, which matters in the BCS computers.

Say Alabama wins a close game Saturday, and then LSU hammers Arkansas (currently No. 7 in the BCS, with No. 9 South Carolina coming to town this week in a game that yes, will have an impact on the national championship pairings). The Razorbacks have Tennessee and Mississippi State before LSU, so they’ll either be around No. 7 by then with a win Saturday or No. 11 or 12 with a loss.

Still with me? I know, I know.

And say Alabama gets by Auburn in a competitive game.

There’s no reason Alabama and LSU wouldn’t still be 1-2 entering the SEC title game.

Most expect the West winner to roll over the East winner, but what if the East -- especially a top-10 South Carolina -- is competitive? You can’t penalize LSU/Alabama for a win, but a closer-than-expected win tightens the computer gap.

Meanwhile, those non-conference opponents are playing, and LSU had the tougher slate with Oregon and West Virginia, which helps the Tigers in the computer polls, and that’s notable if LSU loses Saturday.

Hold on, you yell. What about Oklahoma State, Stanford and Boise State?

Oh, there’s so much glorious football left.

Oklahoma State has No. 14 Kansas State this week, fickle Texas Tech and Iowa State after that and then Oklahoma. That’s no Sunday drive.

Stanford, after dispatching Oregon State on Saturday, hosts No. 8 Oregon, California and Notre Dame. Couldn’t Oregon, a preseason top-five team, get back in the hunt with a win?

And Boise State has, well, Boise State’s schedule. Sorry. As much as I love Chris Petersen and think he could give clinics to teams he plays -- and yes, I’m talking about the Bulldogs -- on how to be aggressive and unpredictable, Boise State just doesn’t have the weekly battles to warrant a national title shot.

That, we all know, is another debate, one the Broncos may get a chance to counter soon with the ridiculous realignments.

This just in: What if Alabama and LSU are both 11-1? LSU beats Alabama and loses to a No. 7 or better Arkansas in a nail-biter? LSU goes to the SEC championship?

It adds to the already tasty gumbo.

The argument about records remains weak. Is 8-0 Houston better than the seven teams ahead in the BCS standings? Is 8-0 Houston better than your one-loss team in front? Equal to LSU, Alabama?

You’d take 7-1 Southern Miss over 5-3 Texas A&M?

It’s about actual quality, and that’s why another LSU-Alabama tussle is a legitimate possibility, barring some wild 21- or 28-point game Saturday and/or falling flat against the East champion on Dec. 5.

Remember, the process -- you’re welcome, Nick Saban -- involves a mixture of polls and equations, some of which are borderline absurd.

At this point, let’s pause a moment to allow for the primal scream: THIS IS WHY WE NEED A PLAYOFF!

OK, deep breath.

All of this is an offensive lineman’s buffet worth of confusing speculation and what-ifs.

But frankly, it could easily deserve to happen and not happen. Still, man, LSU and Alabama in the national championship game? In New Orleans?

For that to happen, a lot of crazy stuff must take place. And if we know anything, we know that college football is one crazy cat.

Contact Michael A. Lough at 744-4626 or mlough@macon.com

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