Game of the Century…But What Century?

Posted: November 7, 2011 in NCAA
Tags: , , , , ,

The latest college football Game of the Century lived up to the enormous hype in many ways.

It was intense.

There was drama galore . . . right into overtime.

There were great collisions.

There were several great plays. How about LSU defensive back Eric Reid’s interception at the goal line that stopped a late Alabama threat? What about LSU punter Brad Wing’s 72-yarder in the 4th quarter?

It couldn’t have been any more closely contested, LSU winning 9-6 in overtime.

My question: Game of what century?

It looked more like a game from 1911 than 2011. There were no touchdowns. There were four missed field goals, all by Bama. This is the age of throwing the football, but on this night in Tuscaloosa it was grind it out football. Scoring 40-plus points a game has become routine, even for losers, but points were a precious commodity in this game.

Alabama’s two placekickers, Cade Foster and Jeremy Shelley, will occupy places in the school’s Hall of Infamous if the Crimson Tide doesn’t get in the BCS Championship Game, but Coach Nick Saban deserves a rap on the knuckles as well. Why would Bama have Marquis Maze as the punt returner on Wing’s 4th quarter boomer? Maze was clearly hobbled and his injury likely prevented him from fielding the line drive punt and giving his team decent field position from which to try and mount a game-winning score. Reid’s interception came on a throw by Maze, a wide receiver, out of a “Wildcat” formation. Risky call, and remember risky calls are pure genius when they work and pure folly when they don’t.

Now the debate begins about whether or not we should have a LSU-Alabama rematch for the national title if both win out. There will be arguments for a rematch even if Oklahoma State and Stanford win out and finish undefeated. (I’m not forgetting about Boise State; I’m ignoring the Broncos.)

There are, of course, some big games left to be played. LSU hosts Arkansas; Stanford hosts Oregon; Oklahoma State hosts Oklahoma. What if every team except LSU and Boise State wind up with one loss? That would be Alabama’s best chance for a rematch. What if LSU, Oklahoma State, Stanford and Boise State all finish undefeated?

I make the argument Alabama had its shot – at home, no less – and failed. So count me among those who don’t want a rematch. I’d vote – I hate to admit this – for a LSU-Boise State title game if everyone else has a loss. (That is the only circumstance I’d include Boise State.)

Sure, I’d feel some sympathy for Bama if that happens. (I’d also tell Saban to spend some of his recruiting skills on acquiring a more dependable placekicker.)

And, yes, if Bama and Boise State played I’d put my money on the Tide. My critics would scream, “That ain’t fair!”

My response: When has college football ever been about being fair?


  1. chraige says:

    I agree. ‘Bama had their shot. You have to play a perfect game to beat the best, and perfect it was not. You had them at home and couldn’t get it done. So ‘Bama, you’re done.
    As far as the game goes, I have to admit that I still like a tough fought defensive battle over the 80 point games any day. Ever notice that in the NFL if you can throw it well (ie NE and GB) it really doesn’t matter if you play good defense because you’ll still win? I hate that. Give me a balanced team any time over a great O and a bad D.

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