The "Game of the Century," No 1 LSU v. No 2 Alabama, was supposed to be the titanic struggle to determine which SEC behemoth would make the BCS Championship. The matchup was as advertised: the nation's best defenses utterly stifled one another and LSU eked out a tough 9-6 victory. Two weeks later, LSU remains a title favorite but, just last night, Oklahoma State was shockingly upset by Iowa State.
Oklahoma State's loss throws the entire BCS Championship mix into disarray. LSU, ranked No. 1 and still undefeated, should make the title game. But, there are 9-yes that's right 9-one loss teams in the country: Alabama, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Stanford, Arkansas, Clemson, Virginia Tech, and Boise State.
That mix of teams will be extremely difficult to untangle because, by and large, everyone has beaten everyone else or has a bad loss on their resume. Oklahoma State's loss to unranked Iowa State is damning and next week they play Oklahoma, which was itself shocked by Texas Tech earlier this year. The winner of that matchup could conceivably make the title game but those two losses are embarrassing and should prevent them from getting a championship shot. Stanford is also a compelling, complete team but its single loss came to Oregon so they aren't likely to get a title shot over the Ducks. Arkansas is likely to lose to LSU next week, which would kill their title hopes, and Clemson, Boise State, and Virginia Tech don't have the resume's to play for the title. So, that leaves only Oregon and Alabama, the two powerhouse schools that each has one loss this season to none other than LSU itself.
So, LSU is likely to play a team it has already beaten this season in the BCS Championship. But will it be Oregon, last year's runner up, victor over Stanford, and likely Pacific 12 Champion? Or will it be Alabama, title winner two years ago and behemoth of the SEC?
On the surface, Alabama looks like the better rematch for LSU. A preseason title favorite, the Crimson Tide narrowly lost to LSU 9-6. That game could have easily gone the other way while Oregon's 40-27 loss to the Tigers was much more one-sided. However, both LSU and Alabama are SEC teams and that unnerves some fans leery because many feel that no single conference is good enough to deserve to match two teams for the national title. Despite the SEC's relative dominance in recent years, only LSU and Alabama are truly elite teams this season. So, should Alabama get the title shot when its best victories have been over Penn State, Arkansas, and a rebuilding Florida while Oregon has beaten Stanford?
Ultimately, that answer is a matter of opinion. For my part, because this year's Pac 12 and Big Ten are both weak, I would like to see the LSU v. Alabama rematch. Little was decided in LSU's 9-6 OT squeaker and it would give the country a chance to crown a true champion. So, onward to the second "Game of the Century!"
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