If you’re looking for long runs, sweet spirals traveling 40 yards before dropping into the arms of a wide receiver, or big numbers in the scoring column, the BCS Championship Game between LSU and Alabama might not be the game for you.
If you recall, the last time these two got together last November, the Tigers needed overtime to beat the Crimson Tide 9-6 in an overtime game that featured zero touchdowns.
Top ranked LSU (13-0) and No. 2 Alabama (12-1) are evenly matched, both with stellar defenses, making this a hard game to pick. But like a croupier (the roulette host) in Vegas once told me, “stay with whatever color is hot. If black has won five straight times, don’t bet against it until you land on red.” I don’t bet on sports, but I am a firm believer in patterns. I haven’t seen LSU lose, therefor I’m not going against them. No chance.
In college hoops, sometimes we see conference rivals meet up for a third time in either their conference tournament or the NCAA tournament after one team swept the other in regular season play. The pundits always say, “it’s really hard to win that third straight game.” Does that same principle apply to college football but in regards to the second game? I guess we’ll find out on Monday.
A more tangible reason for taking the Tigers Monday night is the fact that they beat both Oregon and West Virginia in the regular season. Both of those Top 25 teams have high-powered offenses which were on full display in the Rose and Orange bowls, respectively. In fact, LSU beat eight Top 25 teams this season, and only three of those wins came at home in Baton Rouge.
That leads me to yet another reason to pick LSU. The title game is being played at the Superdome in New Orleans, just a stone’s throw from LSU’s campus. While an equal number of tickets were sold to both schools (allegedly) and Tuscaloosa is only about 300 miles away, one could assume this will be more of a Tigers home game than a neutral site.
Okay, now to the nitty gritty; LSU ranks 12th in scoring offense with Alabama not far behind, ranked 17th in the nation. It was worth mentioning, but we all know that defense is the name of the game for these two teams. Alabama is ranked No. 1 in every defensive category, allowing only 8.83 points and 191.25 yards per game. That is ridiculous and hard for me to comprehend, especially playing against offensive linemen upward of 300 pounds in the SEC week in and week out.
But there’s a catch, of course. The LSU defense is no slouch either, surrendering just 10.54 points and 252 yards per game. The Tigers counter Alabama’s two big linebackers Dont’a Hightower and Courtney Upshaw with their top-notch corners, Morris Claiborne and Heisman Trophy finalist Tyrann Mathieu, better known as the Honey Badger. And I’ll tell ya something about Mathieu, he certainly isn’t intimidated by Alabama’s star running back and fellow Heisman finalist Trent Richardson, nor does he give a s%^! about the Crimson Tide’s cool-as-a-cucumber quarterback AJ McCarron, who in his first year as starter, has done a damn good job.
Like McCarron, Mathieu is a sophomore who has managed to make his presence felt in a big way. Only 5-foot-9 and 175 pounds, Mathieu leads the LSU defense with 71 tackles, 11 forced fumbles and two interceptions. With two punts returned for touchdowns, I fully expect Alabama’s special teams to try its best to stop Mathieu, but as we’ve seen with Devin Hester in the NFL, sometimes teams fall victim to the Bears return man despite their attempts to not kick to him. In a game where little offense is anticipated, I think a special teams play could be the deciding factor.
The kicking game is what decided the first meeting between LSU and Alabama in Tuscaloosa, and it just might be the difference maker again in New Orleans. Alabama missed FOUR field goal attempts which clearly cost them the game back in November. No football team ever wants a game to come down to a field goal (just ask Andrew Luck and Stanford… yikes), but those guys are on the team for a reason. Sometimes that’s the way it is and hopefully, your guy has the leg (and the stones) to get it done.
As far as coaching is concerned, both Nick Saban and Les Miles are top-notch, championship-winning coaches, despite having two completely different styles and personalities. Both teams are in great hands when it comes to their respective head coaches.
While the LSU and Alabama players and coaches have said that they enjoyed the first meeting and thought it was great football because of the strong defense played by both teams, I would urge somebody, ANYBODY to score a touchdown in the rematch. I love defense as much as the next guy, but it wouldn’t hurt either team to find the endzone once or twice. The Superdome should be full of electricity, regardless of offensive production and with all of the marbles at stake, I can’t wait to watch LSU and Alabama go at it for the championship.
That said, can we please get a playoff in college football? Thanks!
Mad Tiger Mom: Football Recruit Gets Punked By Mother On National TV For Committing To Alabama Instead Of LSU
The claws came out at the Under Armour High School Football All-America game, airing live on ESPN Thursday night as one young man learned a hard lesson about parents in front of the entire nation.
Landon Collins, a safety from Dutchtown High School in Geismar, LA is ranked the No. 15 overall recruit in the country by Rivals.com, leaving him his choice of top schools. For Collins, it came down to Alabama and LSU (of course) as the Louisiana-native, surrounded by his family, decided to verbally commit to Alabama on live television.
Unfortunately for Collins, his mother was not happy about her son joining the Crimson Tide, and she sure wasn’t afraid to show it! If you haven’t done so already, watch the video posted above…
How funny was that!?!? I’m assuming Collins and his mother had discussed his decision before that moment on live TV (at least I would hope so), thus he already knew she wasn’t exactly supportive of his choice.
Going against a parent’s wishes, especially when it comes to a life-changing choice, can get pretty ugly, as Collins found out Thursday evening. Mama Collins was so mad that she couldn’t even hide her disappointment and put on a united family front for the cameras, instead, throwing her son right under the bus!
All of this begs the question, why did a kid from the state of Louisiana decide to leave home and a wildly successful program for the hated, out-of-state rival?
After watching that video, maybe Collins wants to get away from his mother for a while. Plus, Baton Rouge is only 25 miles from Collins’ home town, and for many kids, college might be the only opportunity they have to leave home and go out on their own.
My other guess, which is probably more realistic, is that Collins had more fun on his recruiting trip to Alabama. Think about this logically:
Where would you rather live, Tuscaloosa or Baton Rouge? Who would you rather deal with every day for the next four years, Nick Saban or Les Miles? What would you rather be, the Crimson Tide (whatever that means) or a Tiger?
LSU seems like a no-brainer here, so surely, the fine folks at Alabama found a way to leave a lasting impression on Collins.
When I was a sophomore at the University of Arizona, my friends and I attended a house party one Friday evening where one of my friends proceeded to drink a little too much. She ended up making out with a high school senior who was in town for his official recruiting visit, in front of about 100 party guests. If that wasn’t bad enough, under the influence of alcohol, the two ended up stumbling during the make out session and falling to the ground, which was absolutely hysterical. Thankfully, nobody was injured. This was a classic moment that we still talk about, and that young recruit committed to Arizona because he made out with a college girl on his trip! I kid you not.
Common sense would say that more important factors should dictate where you choose to spend your college/athletic career, but if you think back to when you were an 18-year-old, girls and partying were probably near the top of your list of priorities.
What force is strong enough to convince a teenager to leave the New Orleans area and willingly endure the wrath of his mother, all in one fell swoop? My gut tells me the tide was awfully strong in Tuscaloosa the weekend Landon Collins came to town. Sorry Mom!
The most entertaining part of the first half of the SEC Championship Game between Georgia and LSU didn’t involve wasn’t the Honey Badger’s non-touchdown touchdown, but instead, a yucky “cry-face” on live television.
The culprit? Ivon Rodriguez-Padilla, winner of the Dr. Pepper Tuition Throw challenge during halftime of a 10-7 game led by UGA at the Georgia Dome.
Rodriguez-Padilla threw for significantly more yards than LSU in the first half as she and Katelyn Watson battled for $100,000 towards college tuition by throwing footballs five yards into specially made Dr. Pepper cans placed in the endzone.
Padilla-Rodriguez, a freshman at the University of Nevada, Reno threw 13 balls into the cans in 30 seconds while Watson came up short with 10.
As soon as the buzzer sounded and Padilla-Rodriguez, from Las Vegas, realized she had won the competition, she burst into the crazy cry-face above and the waterworks were at flood level! It was AMAZING.
You would think that blubbering all over national TV would be embarrassing enough, but Rodriguez-Padilla outdid herself with her response to CBS reporter Tracy Wolfson’s question, asking her how much the money meant to her. Rodriguez-Padilla replied, while still sobbing, “this is so important to me [puts hand over mouth]… Dr Pepper is seriously the best thing that has ever happened to me!!!”
This moment was an all-time classic. I bet Saturday Night Live will spoof it. I think it rivals Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction. Yes Rodriguez-Padilla’s wild reaction was funny, sending my twitter timeline into a tizzy, but in reality, that young lady had every reason to cry tears of joy.
Between the black hole that is the U.S. economy and the way student loans are absolutely decimating peoples’ finances after college, winning this money probably IS the best thing that has ever happened to Rodriguez-Padilla. Without knowing what her financial situation is, the money must mean a lot as she took the opportunity seriously.
"Well I practiced just about every day at Mackay Stadium which is my university stadium with a bunch of stacked trash cans and I had our starting quarterback Cody Fajardo help me out," Rodriguez-Padilla told Wolfson before the contest started. "And i had a friend who is an aspiring engineer come up with my technique."
How cool is that? The Wolf Pack quarterback helped this girl train for the contest. Love it.
According to an article on the University of Nevada, Reno website, the 18-year-old feels that Wolf Pack athletics brings the school community together and helps to relieve stress among students. Rodriguez-Padilla said she was honored to have the chance to lessen her family’s financial burden by participating in the promotion.
On the school’s website, UNR student Tiffany Moore wrote that Rodriguez-Padilla hopes to use the money to, “pursue her majors in English and history, as well as her minor in the philosophy of law, ethics and politics. After graduation, she wants to attend law school and become a lawyer. ‘One day, I hope to become a federal judge and ultimately, a Supreme Court Justice,’ she said.”
Rodriguez-Padilla sounds like a very motivated young lady, and good for her for working hard for that money. Don’t feel too bad for the runner up as Watson took home $23k for finishing second.
I give Rodriguez-Padilla’s enthusiasm and overall awesomeness credit for turning the SEC Championship game around. That halftime spot really got the ball rolling and she might just be the Tigers’ new good luck charm. I think LSU should offer Rodriguez-Padilla a sideline pass for the BCS Championship game. If they did, one can only imagine what her reaction would be.
To watch how the Dr. Pepper Tuition Throw went down, click here for the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NfS7bVBCRLw