LSU did its job by taking care of business on the field from the first kickoff of the 2011 season to the first weekend in December. Alabama did its job by, well, beating everybody but LSU and having its head coach — and Gary Danielson — stump to voters on nationally-televised platforms the first weekend of December.
Now it’s up to the voters — and Oklahoma State in Bedlam to some degree — to decide whether a rematch of the Game of the Season/Century/millennium is in order.
A first half that saw LSU muster just 12 total yards of offense, zero first downs and one questionable punt return for a touchdown — and a couple of missed scoring opportunities on the part of Georgia — gave way to a second-half onslaught, with the No. 1 Tigers woodshedding No. 12 Georgia 35-0 in the second half on its way to a 42-10 win and its first SEC championship since 2007.
That means, officially, unbeaten LSU has locked down one of the two spots in the BcS title game Jan. 9 in New Orleans. It also means that, unofficially, Alabama will be on the opposite sideline in 37 days.
The conventional wisdom heading into the SEC title tilt was that, in order to have any hope of avoiding a rematch of LSU’s regular-season win over the Tide in Tuscaloosa, the Tigers would need to lose to the Bulldogs and Oklahoma State would need an impressive enough win over Oklahoma to somehow drop the Tide to third in the BcS standings. The thought was that such a scenario would hurt the Tide enough in the computers — the LSU loss specifically having a direct impact on the machine’s view of the Tide — and that, combined with some type of voter “revolt” in the human component, the Cowboys might have been able to leapfrog UA.
Even that, though, was a farfetched outcome.
With the LSU win, regardless of what happens in Bedlam — every game matters, right BcS? — any type of leapfrogging is simply not going to happen. The gap between UA and OSU in the latest set of BcS rankings was .0839 percent; while it’s an insignificant number in appearance, it may as well be a kajillion-percent deficit. It’s simply too large of a difference for OSU to overcome — again, barring a historic voter revolution the likes of which have never been seen — in one weekend.
So, thanks to Oklahoma State gagging in Ames… Boise State kicking one away on the Smurf turf… Stanford being the anti-Cardinal in Palo Alto… we now get a rerun for the national championship.
Philosophically I have no problem with a rematch, even one that includes a team that didn’t win its division let alone its conference, playing for a championship — as long as it’s the end result of a playoff system. The BcS is what it is, however, and good luck to both LSU and Alabama in their quest for the crystal.
And good luck as well to the Delanys of the college football world in their ongoing effort to prop up a morally bankrupt cartel masquerading as a system to determine a champion. Kudos, fellas. Y’all are the best.