Final thoughts from The Game of the Century (a.k.a., Weekend at Dreamland) …
… Should there be an LSU-Alabama rematch in the BCS title game if the Tigers and Crimson Tide win out? Not unless Oklahoma State, Stanford and, yes, perhaps even Boise State get a case of the “Ls.”
Alabama may be second-best team in the country. Heck, it may be the best except for its kickers, which is a pretty big except. You don’t deserve to win a game of that magnitude if you are that deficient in such a critical area.
But the Tide had its shot. On its home field it swung and missed, the power hitter cut to pieces by LSU’s speed and big playmakers. Bama isn’t likely to find better odds on Bourbon Street than it had on Bryant Drive.
Unless, at the very least, the Cowboys and Cardinal tumble, Bama doesn’t deserve another chance. LSU playing Alabama again would be like, say, a superpower conference gerrymandering an ill-fitting school like Missouri into its ranks just for the sake of having an even number of members again.
Oh, sorry, that really happened.
… If LSU does win the national championship, you will long remember Eric Reid’s interception of Marquis Maze’s Wildcat pass at the 1 early in the fourth quarter. Reid’s determination to pull the ball away from Michael Williams was the Tigers’ defining moment, echoing Demetrius Byrd’s last-second TD catch in 2007 against Auburn.
… What was Maze doing out there for Alabama as the punt returner on Brad Wing’s 73-yard punt after Reid’s interception? He clearly couldn’t turn and make a move on the ball as it sailed over his head because of a bad ankle. It was one of several questionable decisions for Nick Saban’s team, along with Maze’s pass and not calling a timeout or two before the end of regulation to try something.
… No school in the BCS era has won the national title with an underclassman quarterback. AJ McCarron is good, but he’s a sophomore. Enough said.
… I’m worried for Jarrett Lee. Not worried that he may have to relinquish his starting quarterback job to Jordan Jefferson. That happens. The player playing better should play. But you have to root for the young man on a personal level to continue to do well after all that he’s been through in his LSU career. Saturday night he really seemed to regress into some bad, anxious habits after making a couple of nice throws to start the game.
… Les Miles said Tyrann Mathieu deserved the penalty he got for hooking Dre Kirkpatrick late in the fourth, but stayed away from calling it a cheap shot, which it appeared to be. Whether Mathieu intentionally reached out and hammered Kirkpatrick or not, the fact remains he has made few positive plays for LSU since the Florida game (including sitting out the Auburn game for suspension).
… Somewhere after the game, I’m sure some LSU fan told some Alabama fan, “Our Mad Hatter is 3-2 against your genius.”