Obligatory Game of the Century post

If you want to state your mind on what you think we’ll be in store for tomorrow night in Tuscaloosa, here you go.

A few food for thought items to get things rolling:

  • Before the season started, but after the Jefferson suspension, did you ever think you’d see something like thisWhy LSU Might Win: Quarterback experience.  If LSU holds up for the rest of the season, somebody on the staff ought to get serious consideration for the Broyles Award for turning Jarrett Lee into a team strength.
  • First, it would be huge for Alabama to score first and do it early. LSU’s defense does its best work with a one-score lead, and Alabama’s defense is not as effective when the team is down or tied as when the team is up. Second, Alabama has a better shot at a comeback than LSU does. Alabama’s defense remains quite tough when the lead grows beyond one score, while LSU’s defense loosens up some with leads larger than seven points.”
  • LSU went the entire month of October without a turnover.

I’ve got no idea who wins this sucker.  I lean towards Alabama simply because of home-field advantage.  But LSU under Miles is an impressive 11-1 in night road games.

Ah, what the hell… here’s a reader poll to go along with this.


Filed under SEC Football

71 responses to “Obligatory Game of the Century post

  1. TennesseeDawg

    I’m rooting for LSU just because Saban is a dick.

  2. Nate Dawg

    I know all about Trent Richardson, but I think that freshman Odell Beckam (#33) is a real match-up problem for Bama, if they’re not too scared to use him early in that setting. I also think LSU can win but they almost hafta score first.
    How ever it plays out, I’ll just be excited to see who wins to know who the Dawgs will get to beat in the Dome for the SEC Championship!

    • Dog in Fla

      Good point about Beckham, the best player from Newman High School since Peyton Manning. The downside to our mother of all upsets victory in the SECCG may mean that no team from The SEC will will get to play Boise State in the BCSCG but so be it. We’ll take the trip to New Orleans. That’s just the way we roll.

      • The Lone Stranger

        Hellz ya, to dat! Conference affiliation/patriotism is a distant second to representing the “G” Besides, Boise St. v. Houston has a nifty ring to it for all the marbles!

        • Nate Dawg

          And it would come full circle, seeing as how we are the last team to win the SEC Crown and not the MNC Crown…sigh…
          Love it – bring on the broncos vs the cougars!! How hard would it be for the four-letter to spin that!!

  3. Doug

    As horrendous as his tenure at Louisville was, I think a lot of the credit for Jarrett Lee’s re-emergence belongs with Steve Kragthorpe. Lee had been suffering under Gary Crowton for years, but even after Krags stepped down from the OC position because of his Parkinson’s diagnosis, he retained his duties as QB coach. Guy’s worked with Drew Bledsoe and Matt Hasselbeck and won a Big XII title with Branndon Stewart at Texas A&M — whatever his faults are as a head coach, he clearly knows something about getting the most out of his QBs.

  4. Gravidy

    I’m rooting for LSU, but I think Bammer’s gonna win. I’d love to see this game played at a truly neutral site…like, maybe, the Metrodome 🙂

    • The Lone Stranger

      Is that relic still standing? O, right, the Vikings — almost forgot they were still fielding a team.

  5. Brandon

    It is damn difficult to come in and be a standout player from day one in this league particularly at QB. The person that can do so (again most especially at QB) is certainly the rare exception of a player. Jarrett Lee is a classic example of a kid who got thrown in over his head early and everybody got on his case because he didn’t live up to their pre-concieved expectation that he was going to come in, be Joe Montana on his first day and lead their team to the promised land. The main problem in that scenario is the unrealistic expectations. I’m no fan of LSU but I’m glad to see the kid didn’t get broken in the process, and has come back, matured and shown his potential.

    • The Lone Stranger

      This is a good point, the guy has hung in there and those Bayou people are likely tougher on QBs than the Dawgs fan base. But even Montana only started his last two years (’77-78), albeit in an entirely different era of player entitlement.

  6. BulldogBen

    As good and as fun as LSU has been to watch this year, I also see them having stretches where they brain fart. Fortunately, they have the talent to overcome this. If they make mental mistakes in this one I don’t think they can overcome them against Bama.

    If T. Rich goes for 100 and 2 TD’s, I’d say Bama wins 28-24.

    I also think if that happens, he’s going to start making a run at Andrew Luck for the Heisman.

    • The Lone Stranger

      I have the feeling Luck has already been signed, sealed and delivered for that pointless award. The media blitz has been relentless.

      • It does appear it will take a very public collapse involving a shocking loss for it to happen, especially after how expertly his nearly fatal pick-six against USC was actually spun into a positive for his campaign.

        • The Lone Stranger

          A media-driven bonanza ratings-boosting bogus award, at least from my perspective in the two decades.

          • I agree completely, but it still remains relevant likely for this reason: because even though I know this with my head, whatever organ controls my fandom (I like to pretend it’s the heart, but I strongly suspect the spleen) really wants to see Richardson win it.

            • The Lone Stranger

              How ’bout that … it would be two Bamians in three years after having no bronze statues in 115+ years of pigskin!

  7. Russ

    I’ll say LSU simply because I think they’ve played better opponents and destroyed them the same way Bama has lesser opponents. Plus, they have the Honey Badger.

    • There’s some hidden stuff going on, there, though. Like take the UT game both played. Alabama had it’s second and third string in for the fourth quarter. LSU was still passing with it’s starters in the last two minutes against UT’s second string. Alabama has only had starters still in the game in the fourth quarter three times this season, and they have not finished a game on the field yet. Not suggesting that makes Alabama classier or anything like that, but taking their foot off the gas significantly earlier than LSU does will impact the perception of who is beating who more. No one seems to mention LSU vs. MSU when talking about domination.

    • Bryant Denny

      Each team has really only played two decent opponents: Oregon, West Virginia, Arkansas and Penn State.

      I think WV is overrated and they passed for 463 on LSU. Penn State has no offense.

      That leaves Oregon and Arkansas. Oregon was basically the same team that was stuffed by Auburn’s defense. Bama totally throttled the Hogs.

      I think both teams are very good, but analyzing their opponents can be overrated.

      • Cojones

        Plus everyone forgets that Bama’s SEC opponents decided to take their week off preparing for Bama so I feel that Bama has played teams at their best. Not so many took their week off for LSU. Something was obviously going on in coaches’s minds when scheduling. I call that high praise. Bama’s sword has been through a hotter flame and steeled their resolve to win. And as I’ve mentioned earlier, Vegas agrees with me.

        I am looking forward to see the surprise plays Miles will have installed, but I’ll bet Saban has a few of his own.

  8. The other Doug

    I have a feeling bama plays tight.

  9. Macallanlover

    All my objective analysis says take Bama because of homefield, and because Trent Richardson is such a stud, but my gut instinct is that Les Miles is the wild card in a big game. His calls can overcome an equal/slightly better match-up. I think LSU stacks the box, and Bama’s QB isn’t good enough to beat the LSU secondary’s ability to cover the WRs. Close game, think LSU wins. I once liked Bama’s fans, they were pretty classy, but the F’Bomb crowd is so obnoxious, expecting everyone to bow to a team that has won one SEC in the last decade. That group needs to be humbled and realize they are a good team/program but not invincible.

    I will not bet this game because it is within my “one play” range, that is, if you feel one play could switch who wins the bet, don’t make it. There are always lines I feel are more than 7 points off.

    • That’s like saying “I once liked Georgia fans, but then I saw an episode of Cops.”

    • BulldogBen

      Les Miles being the “wild card” can also lose them the game.

    • Bryant Denny

      I like to think the Senator’s Bama fans are kinda classy.🙂

      • Macallanlover

        As are you BD, but we all have some embarrassing folks wearing the colors; FBomb just gives you a daily chance to showcase yours. Still cannot believe Sirius/XM allows him to stay on, I enjoy all the other shows on that station, but Paauuulll has the timeslot I am usually in the car for. I can’t take it anymore, so I listen to music during that period of the day. Good luck tomorrow, I hope the game doesn’t disappoint, and doubt it will.

        • Bryant Denny

          Don’t y’all have a rep from Columbus that calls in pretty regular, too?

          Seriously, though, Finebaum’s show started way back when as kind of tacky and has moved steadily toward repulsive. He’s always been the “fire the coach” guy and has some pretty good contacts, but it’s become a show I definitely don’t let my kids listen to.

          • Macallanlover

            Stopped listening but when I was there was a regular caller (aren’t they all on that show?) from Columbus but I recall him being an AubieCane with a Georgia zipcode. Lots of those types in West Geargia. Wish to hell Alabama would annex Columbus area, bunch of frog-like folks over there…Bendict Arnold type folk. Good riddance.

    • Cojones

      Macallanlover- Good post (as usual), but will disagree on McCarron. Like Bubba and Earl would say if you stack the box against Bama to stop the run, “That Dawg will bite cheewww!!”

      • Macallanlover

        Tomorrow may well prove you right. I think Bama is a monster as a running attack, but as a passing force they don’t strike fear in anyone, so that would especially be true about LSU. If you are sayng he does a good job of “managing the game”, which is another way of saying he gets out of the way, I get closer to believing in him as a decent QB for this particular team.

        I think LSU is good enough up front to force him to show he can play with the big boys. If he does, you will certainly be proven right. I don’t think he has had to do that yet, so I don’t know. Watching him in a few portions of games, I don’t get the feeling his an “A” guy. While he may prove you right, I think Miles will plan to do as I think: you KNOW Trent Richardson can run the ball, close that hole and see if they can beat your All World DBs. Getcha popcorn out, it’s gonna be a show!

  10. Bright Idea

    Agreed Mac. I listen to Finebaum because he has good guests but those Bama callers think they will destroy LSU simply because they have Saban. I hope for an LSU win so I can enjoy the show on Monday.

  11. I’m curious about the idea that Bama’s defense doesn’t play as well from behind. Alabama has been behind three times this season (Penn State 3-0, Ole Miss 7-0, UT 3-0). Granted, it’s a very small sample size, but in those three games, only one time did the defense allow another score outside of garbage time, and that was a FG to UT when Alabama had already taken the lead.

  12. Bryant Denny

    I love Year2’s work, but I think he’s overanalyzing things a bit.

    Conventional wisdom says this is a close game and I try to stay away from CW. I’ve officially picked Bama 23-20, but wouldn’t be surprised a) if either team wins or b) if the winner does so by 7-10 points.

    Right now, I’m just ready for game time to get here and get over. That’s sad isn’t it?

    Have a good day, Dawgs.

  13. charlottedawg

    i’m going with bama 1. It’s at home 2. they have trent richardson so i think they’ll be able to have a ground game 3. lsu’s defense has shown occasional chinks in the armour example wvu had 500 yds passing i think ut had over 100 yds rushing. either way should be a great game and a legit 1 vs 2 as opposed to say osu michigan

    • That’s an interesting point you bring up. I wonder how “legit” the matchup will appear after someone has to be the loser? How often in these matchups do you ever see the loser only fall to second place in the polls immediately behind the winner? Is there any doubt that the loser will drop behind Stanford, Boise State and Oklahoma State at a minimum (assuming all of them win this weekend)?

      • Bryant Denny

        Steve, I think how far the loser falls will depend on how the actual game plays out.

        Assuming a close game, I think either loser will fall below OK State and Stanford, but not necessarily Boise.

        I also not in favor of a rematch – especially if Bama wins.🙂

        • I don’t favor a rematch either. I’ve just always been curious as to how people justify truly busting a team down simply because they had to lose to the best team in the country. By ranking them as the top team, the assumption has generally been that any team they faced should lose to them, and if not then expectations would be adjusted. So if the #2 team loses to the #1 in a respectable fashion — as should be expected (the oddities of the Vegas “favorite” being dismissed here) — why move the #2 down simply because the teams below it haven’t had to lose to #1 yet?

          • Bryant Denny

            To be honest, I see Oklahoma beating Ok State, Oregon beating Stanford, Arkansas beating LSU and then mayhem will break out.

            • Bring on Boise State! I’m not a fan of the Broncos and I don’t think they’ve merited it, but let’s go ahead and shut that argument up.

            • Stephen Garcia

              Isn’t that what usually happens? See 2006 and 2007.

            • Siskey

              I am imagining a similar doomsday scenario. I like y’alls chances but I am curious to see which defense is the best. I think the lines are similar, that y’all have the advantage at LB and that LSU has the better secondary. I hope it lives up to the hype and that there is no rematch.
              Go Dawgs!

        • FortWorthDawg

          Agree with you about the whole rematch idea. The one point that nobody I’ve heard bring up is this. Hypothetical : Alabama wins a close first game at home so the polls decide to keep LSU close behind BAMA. OSU gets beat by OU. Stanford gets beat by Oregon and Boise is just out of the picture. All the sudden everyone is screaming for THIS rematch. LSU and BAMA in the BCSNC! And suppose LSU wins …… then what? Best 2 out of 3 ? You know that’s what EVERYONE is going to be SCREAMING !

          • FortWorthDawg

            I see it as a VERY possible outcome no matter who wins the BAMA – LSU game. And if it goes down that way, you almost HAVE to put Boise St. in over a rematch. The season can’t end that way.

  14. Bulldog Joe

    I will go out on a limb and bet there will be no “loving” suspensions for this game.

  15. 69Dawg

    My take having watched both teams a lot this season is that if BAMA’s O can grind LSU’s DL into a fine powder in the second half TR runs wild. LSU is a fast D but you negate speed by running straight at them. If Bobo is the OC then BAMA tries to run outside and negate it’s own advantage (See the Boise State game). Hopefully BAMA’s OC is not as brain dead as Bobo.

  16. Mayor of Dawgtown

    Let me take a slightly different approach to this game. Who has Bama really beaten? The only 2 quality wins Bama has are against Penn State and Arkansas and both of those teams have some problems. Penn State hasn’t really played anybody except Bama yet and lost to the Tide. Arkansas should have lost to Vandy and barely got by Ole Miss. We really don’t know how good Bama is but we will find out Saturday.

    • The Lone Stranger

      And not to put too fine a point on it but PSU is aggressively mediocre, even qualifying that they compete in that slow-foot conference. Their conference opponents are 7-16 so far, and the Lions have scored more in league play than only three teams. Shoot, they had to come roaring back to nip Temple, 14-10, late in the 4th quarter.

      So maybe that little screed puts me in the LSU camp, though the outcome is still excruciatingly balanced.

    • Always Someone Else's Fault

      Ditto LSU, IMO. WVU got run by Syracuse. Oregon hasn’t played anyone since LSU beat them, and the bottom of the Pac-12 this year may be the worst bottom half of a conference in football. LSU just played two teams in a row effectively without a QB, and Relf played his worst game ever in that MSU loss. But, I’ll give credit to LSU for that one. Relf looked like he just wanted to go home.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        Good point ASEF. LSU may not really be that great either. Every year the media announces that some team or teams is the greatest in history just to sell TV time, mags, newspapers or whatever. Remember 2006 when Ohio State and Michigan were just sooooo much better than everybody else that those 2 teams (according to the WWL in the run up to the bowl season) should be playing again in the BCSNCG? I don’t like Florida much but at least that media-created myth got exposed by the Gators. I see much the same in the run-up to this year’s version of “The Greatest Game of All Time.”

  17. Always Someone Else's Fault

    Am I the only one who thinks it comes down the Law of Averages?

    LSU was living large in the Good Fortune department last year. I am not saying they were lucky – just fortunate. The Tennessee replay, the Florida bounce, the 3rd and forever against Alabama. That stuff averages out.

    Then again, when you’re on the up-side of those sorts of things, it develops a “we can’t lose” mentality that’s tough to beat. Heck, it carried over an entire off-season for Auburn. I see that same sort of confidence in LSU.

    So, how about this – since everyone says it comes down to LSU’s punter, I’ll take Bama on the strength of a blocked punt.

  18. Dog in Fla

    My vote goes to Bama by 14. Les gets no points on trick plays.

    • Cojones

      That’s the final straw! I’m not giving out any more tips on here.

      • Dog in Fla

        heh…Nick has had some trouble recently with Lester but probably focused too much on pounding Irvin over the last couple of years and running him out to the league. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Irvin’s exile turned out to be lucky for us. Since Irvin has been vanquished, Nick can now focus his attention on doing the same to Lester.

  19. H-Town Dawg

    Let’s see…The last time I saw Alabama playing in “the big game” in the SEC Nick Saban’s team blew a 24-0 lead – in Tuscaloosa. Genius! So I can see why some folks would think that there’s no way…NO WAY…that the Mad Hatter and his team can win. Saban is unbeatable!!!!!1!!!!!111!

    • Bryant Denny

      Uhhh, we could have gone a while longer without you bringing this up…

    • Always Someone Else's Fault

      Kansas blows out UNC in 2008, which feeds UNC all the way to a national championship in 2009. Same thing with Alabama-Florida, though not a blow-out.

      Saban’s not unbeatable, but he followed Three Mikes with three excellent football teams. Not unbeatable. Excellent.

      It’s college football, where 35+ point underdogs not only exist, they occasionally win. In that world, his teams have been remarkably consistent and consistently very good. I really like Miles, but I would have a hard time calling his program consistently very good.