No. 1 Louisiana State Tigers (13-0, 8-0 SEC)
No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide (11-1, 7-1 SEC)
New Orleans, Louisiana
8:30 PM EST
Here we are. Again. It's a rematch of the "Game of the Century" for the national championship of college football. Four quarters weren't enough to separate this pair of defensive powerhouses in November and there is every indication that we'll be treated to another taut battle tonight. After an overtime session in the earlier matchup between these two SEC foes, the difference was a paltry three points. Of course, playing against the Tide and the Tigers, three points came seem like quite the offensive windfall.
After waiting for the BCS numbers to be crunched, Alabama discovered that it would get another shot at the LSU -- whether fans around the nation wanted to watch it or not. While some would love to see the high-octane offense of Oklahoma State attacking the stingy LSU defense, don't you dare tell any of the rabid folks down in the Big Easy that any game could possibly be more compelling than this one. Whereas most bowl games bring with them the novelty of an unusual pairing of unfamiliar foes, this game presents us with two teams, two coaches and two fan bases with a long, storied history of competition who would like nothing more than to win the national championship at the expense of a rival.
The Tigers and the Tide knew each others strengths and weaknesses before they were given more than a month to prepare for this game. What will they have prepared for tonight? What will it take to win? Can Trent Richardson find the end zone for Alabama? Will the Honey Badger come up with a game-changing play for the Tigers?
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While the Alabama defense was as dominating as they could possibly have been, I think it was Tide's approach to offense that set the tone here. Nick Saban and his coaching staff showed up tonight with varied formations and a game plan that instilled confidence in A.J. McCarron. They were planning on playing a different game then the last time these teams met.
LSU seemed to think it was going to be a do-over. They seemed caught off guard by the Bama offense and totally overwhelmed by the Tide's defense. Jordan Jefferson just didn't have it and Les Miles wasn't prepared to go to Lee.
|@ LevOnUSC : I'll know newspapers are REALLY in trouble the day a team wins a title and the players are carrying around iPads w/ "CHAMPS" headlines|
This man is Alabama. And he had seven tackles and a sack tonight.
Tide QB A.J. McCarron takes this prize, not surprisingly.
23-34 Passing, 234 Yards, 0 touchdowns, 0 interceptions.
|@ CBSSports : "Every recruiting class Nick Saban has had since coming to LSU in 2000 has experienced a national championship." Blog: http://t.co/tMTr9i5O|
Tide players rocking sharp championship caps and awaiting the presentation of the crystal football vy the various suits.
|@ ArashMarkazi : So you can lose "The Game of the Century" at home and still win the national title in a rematch. #TheSeasonIsThePlayoff|
After seeming thoroughly annoyed after he last won a title, Saban seems actually pleased and happy in postgame interview. That's almost as strange to see as that touchdown.
The field is full before clock hits zero. Les and Nick out there.
He runs this one down.
Tide running it down and taking their time. Brent getting sepia and reflecting on tragedies in Tuscaloosa this year.
He picks up four more yards, getting across equator. 2nd and six.
Ouch, punter ready to join LSU fans on Bourbon Street. This one was worse than first. Tide back on ball already near midfield.
Even Wing is losing it as he botches this one. But Alabama's first penalty of the night gets Wing another try. Big mistake Tide...
Hightower and Barron meet at the QB and Wing back out to punt.
Jefferson completes a pass for -2 yards to Ware. This Bama defense wants the shutout. Coming hot, breathing fire.
And Jefferson skipping stones out there right now in the face of this pressure. 2nd and 10.
Beckham gets just out to the 20 and Alabama special teams still playing angry as they mob him and pull him back.
|@ NotBillWalton : Like Kevin Costner's search for dry land in "Waterworld", an LSU-Alabama game discovered something I didn't think existed; a touchdown.|
The extra point is missed.Alabama 21
Finally, Richardson slips up the sideline for 34 yards and six points.
Richardson has a short gain on first down and then sits down in bounds. Nobody is going out.
With everyone rolling to the right, McCarron gets out to the left and gets up the sideline. He then, wisely, dives down IN BOUNDS.
That's a short gain on first down. And LSU takes a timeout. Because, you see, they're only two scores out with more than six minutes. Under normal circumstances that's quite close.
Jefferson drops and has it knocked away. TIDE RECOVERS!
Jefferson threw toward his man on the crossing pattern but he was being pulled down. Incomplete. And they're going for it. Gutsy.
Into shotgun formation, he throws short to Ware and that was never there. 3rd and 19.
That's another false start on Tigers and it's 2nd and 18.
Jefferson is just not threatening to keep on the option. Tide stays with pitch man and it's a three-yard loss.