Last March, I took a look at how MNC winners over the past several seasons held up with regard to the hoary saw about football success being based on running the ball and stopping the run. Essentially, it appears to be a valid indicator.
Over that seven year period, national championship teams have averaged 31st nationally in rushing offense and 15th in rushing defense. And in each of the last five years, a national champ has ranked in the top five in either rushing defense or rushing offense nationally.
So how did LSU compare this season? Pretty darn well, as a matter of fact. The Tigers didn’t finish in the top five in either rushing defense or rushing offense, but they did beat – handily, as a matter of fact – the historical average for the decade by finishing 11th nationally in rushing offense and 12th in rushing defense.