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LSU vs Alabama In BCS National Championship: Trent Richardson, Tyrann Mathieu, A.J. McCarron Among Key Players

The Huffington Post     First Posted: 01/09/12 05:40 PM ET   Updated: 01/09/12 05:40 PM ET

The taut 9-6 regular-season match up between Alabama and LSU could hardly have been closer. In fact, a few extra feet to the left or right on any of Alabama's four missed field goal attempts and perhaps it would be the Tide rolling into New Orleans undefeated.

As we learned in that defensive-minded tilt, when a game features squads with similar strengths and weaknesses, it tends to be remarkable individual plays -- or uncharacteristic individual gaffes -- that make the difference. Case in point: Had LSU safety Eric Reid not hustled back to tear away the ball from Alabama tight end Michael Williams at the Tiger 1-yard line in the fourth quarter then the Crimson Tide would likely have won this year's "Game of the Century" in regulation. But Reid did make the play, enabling LSU did get the ball back and ultimately secure the victory in overtime.

Ahead of tonight's BCS National Championship Game, we've dissected some of the likely candidates to make the one play that will define this game. The candidates range from Heisman finalists to back-up quarterbacks and a punter, but we feel each of them could ultimately have the final say on who wins college football's biggest prize.

Click Here To Participate In Our National Championship Predict The Winner Game
Browse the selection of game changers and vote on your choice. Think we overlooked a player who could have a big impact on the tonight's final result? Please state your case in the comments section.

Dont'a Hightower, Alabama
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One of the leaders of the stout Crimson Tide defense, you can bet Dont'a Hightower, a consensus All-American, is going to be hungry to make an impact in this game after being forced to take a medical redshirt during Alabama's run to the championship in 2009.
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