The rematch is on.
As was widely expected, Alabama got the No. 2 spot Sunday in the season’s final BCS rankings, edging out Oklahoma State for the right to play No. 1 LSU on Jan. 9 in the BCS National Championship Game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
The Tigers, who guaranteed their spot in the season’s ultimate game with Saturday’s 42-10 victory over Georgia in the Southeastern Conference Championship Game, are in the BCS title game for the third time in eight years. LSU (13-0) is seeking its fourth national championship overall.
“We look forward to playing Alabama,” LSU coach Les Miles said. “They’re a very quality opponent and certainly someone we’re very familiar with.”
The Tigers beat Alabama 9-6 in overtime on Nov. 5 in Tuscaloosa, when the teams were also ranked No. 1 and No. 2 nationally. The close finish and the team’s lofty rankings left open the possibility that they could be rematched in January.
Alabama (11-1) sat idle Saturday, sweating out the final results while contenders like Oklahoma State and Virginia Tech tried to squeeze them out.
Virginia Tech lost the ACC championship game to Clemson – but still wound up in the Sugar Bowl opposite Michigan – while Oklahoma State routed Oklahoma 44-10 for the Big 12 title.
Oklahoma State finished No. 3 in the final BCS standings and will play Stanford in the Fiesta Bowl.
“I think our team is very deserving of having a chance to play in the national championship game,” said Alabama coach Nick Saban, Miles’ predecessor at LSU. “A lot of people out there think these are the best two teams in the country and want us to play again.”
The matchup insures that the SEC will win the BCS national championship for an unprecedented sixth straight year. LSU won in 2007 and in 2003, while Alabama won in 2009.
Kickoff on Jan. 9 is set for 7:30 p.m. on ESPN.