The BCS Championship Game finally — finally — takes place this Monday night in the City That Care Forgot. Non-SEC fans may forget to care about this all-SEC affair as No. 1-ranked LSU faces No. 2-ranked Alabama, again, this time for the crystal ball trophy.
Yes, the SEC will win a sixth straight national title and a team from the SEC West, the strongest division in college football, will capture its third straight championship and fourth title in the past five years.
We are in the golden age of SEC football. But many are envious of the SEC’s dominance. Not everyone is fired up about a national championship rematch of “The Game of the Century.”
If you put an LSU fan, a Bama fan, and a non-SEC fan in the same room and asked them to rationally and thoughtfully discuss this game, how would the conversation turn out?
I did just that the other day. I found Boudreaux from Baton Rouge, Bear from Birmingham, and Billy from Boise and sat down with them to talk about the big game in the Big Easy. Here’s how it went:
Boudreaux: They sell beer in the Superdome, right? Bear: We beat LSU on November 5. Billy: I don’t care about this game.
Boudreaux: How much do Superdome beers cost? Bear: We are better than LSU. Billy: I don’t care about this game.
Boudreaux: What smart aleck sign should I make to get on TV? Bear: LSU was so lucky on November 5. Billy: I don’t care about this game.
Boudreaux: Honey Badger don’t care. Honey Badger takes what he wants. Bear: Nick Saban will never leave Tuscaloosa. Billy: The first LSU/Bama game was boorrrrrring and I will not watch this one.
Boudreaux: Oysters are in season! Bear: We will beat LSU again on Monday. Book it. Billy: Did you see those high-scoring Rose Bowl and Fiesta Bowl games? That was real football.
Boudreaux: I’ll hit the Camellia Grill for a chili-and-cheese omelet in the morning, Acme Oyster House for a po’boy for lunch, then have some jambalaya in the Dome for dinner. Bear: LSU’s special teams really aren’t better than ours. Billy: Boise State got shafted again this year.
Boudreaux: LSU has swagger and the Mad Hatter. We got this. Bear: Even if we lose again I know we’re better than LSU. Billy: It’s a Monday night in January after the holidays. OK, I’ll watch the game, but only to see if these teams are as good as my favorite Pac-12 teams.
What our friends Boudreaux, Bear, and Billy didn’t tell you is that LSU has improved since beating Alabama in Tuscaloosa on Nov. 5. Jordan Jefferson provides the Tigers with a dual-threat not found in Jarrett Lee, who started the prior Alabama game. LSU freshman running back Kenny Hilliard has emerged as a go-to ball carrier, giving the Tigers essentially a brand new running back since the contest in Tuscaloosa. Tyrann Mathieu, a.k.a the Honey Badger, was not a factor in the first game. Expect that to change. The game is in the Superdome, LSU’s home away from home, and even with a 50/50 split among Tide and Tiger fans, that’s a much friendlier environment than that which greeted LSU in T-town.
Then there’s the intangible/psychological factor associated with LSU’s win over Bama earlier this year. LSU knows it can beat Alabama. Alabama hopes it can beat LSU. Sure, Bama has the revenge factor and genuinely feels like LSU stole that first game, but now it’s supposed to go into LSU’s backyard and knock off the Tigers?
I’m going with Boudreaux from Baton Rouge on this one. LSU wins another close game, something like 20-10, and Billy from Boise and the rest of those poor non-SEC fans are left to dream about the day — far into the future — when their teams compete for national championships.