BCS Championship: Alabama or LSU?


Okay, my blog is a bit off topic today. Still, I would be less than genuine if I did not say that this game is really dominating my thoughts today. Anyone who knows me understands my love and passion for Alabama football. So thanks for allowing me a bit of fun.

The Game

The game of topic is the BCS Championship, commonly known as the national championship for college football. The finalists are Alabama and LSU. This game is unique for at least a couple of reasons. First, the game is a rematch, something that has never taken place in the BCS Championship. In November LSU defeated Alabama 9-6 in overtime. It was a classic game by, in my humble opinion, two classy teams. Through a series of stunning upsets and somewhat controversial poll voting, Alabama was able to move back into the number two slot at year’s end.

A second unique feature of this game is that both finalists represent the same conference, the Southeastern Conference. Never before has the BCS Championship included two teams from the same conference. Even more, both Alabama and LSU are in the same division, the SEC West, of the same conference.

A Worthy Opponent: LSU

I am very competitive. That means that I love my Bama team and often have disdain for other teams. But LSU is a school, like the Nebraska Cornhuskers, that I have always liked and appreciated. They have a great tradition and run a first class program.

If LSU wins, they will be the first school to have three BCS championships (they won in 2003 and 2007), a clear indicator of the strength of their football program. As a side note, college football reorganized to form the BCS in the 1998 season so that the national champion would be determined by a championship game. Tennessee–also from the SEC–won the first BCS championship, defeating Florida State 23-16.

LSU has always been a first class football team. They transitioned into the powerhouse they are today under the coaching leadership of Nick Saban, who is, of course, the current head coach at Alabama. Saban coached LSU from 2000 to 2004 before leaving for a brief stint in the NFL as the head coach of the Miami Dolphins.

But LSU lost no momentum when Saban left. Under the leadership of the shrewd and sometimes quirky Les Miles, LSU continues to be a football powerhouse as Miles has led LSU to two BCS championship games in his seven years at the helm in Baton Rouge.

Yes, I deeply hope Bama wins the rematch. But I do have great admiration for LSU. Such sentiments are not typically mine. In most cases, my negative passion against the opponent almost matches my positive passion for the Crimson Tide.

A Brief Overview of the Series

Alabama and LSU first played each other in 1895. They have been playing each other annually since 1964. Bama leads the series 45-25-5 (I almost forgot that college teams could tie in the past. I like the overtime rules of today.). Bama has the largest margin of victory, a 47-3 rout in 1922. The Crimson Tide also has the longest winning streak in the series’ history–11 games from 1971 to 1981.

But those statistics represent the past. Currently LSU has a two-game winning streak against Bama. And lest we forget, LSU is number one and Bama is number two–at least for now. We’ll know the final rankings late tonight.

My Deep Bama Bias

By all familial standards, I should be an Auburn fan. I grew up 40 miles from Auburn. My mother was a business school graduate of Auburn, when it was unheard of for a female to be in business school. Auburn talked to my dad about playing for them as a 165 pound offensive lineman! But dad decided to answer the call for his country and instead fought in World War II. Indeed, almost all the Rainers went to Auburn if they went to college.

So what happened to me?

I guess my allegiance to Bama was just foreordained from the foundations of the earth. I loved the winning attitude of Bear Bryant. He came to Bama when I was three years old and was still coaching there when I attended and graduated from the University of Alabama.

Bryant once said if he retired that he would "probably croak in a week" and said, "I imagine I’d go straight to the graveyard." Four weeks after coaching his final game, Bear Bryant died of a heart attack on January 26, 1983. I had just begun my first seminary class on the day he died.

Alabama is seeking to win its 14th national championship, and its second in three years. The school is tied with Notre Dame in poll-era and BCS national championships. Bama has been to more bowls (58) than any other team and has won more conference championships (26) than any other team.

Alabama, like LSU, went through some tough times before the arrival of Nick Saban, who restored both programs to new heights. Indeed, after Bear Bryant died in 1983, Bama won only one national championship (1992-93 season under coach Gene Stallings) until Saban arrived.

Who Will Win Tonight?

Of course, I’m picking Bama. But let’s have some fun. You pick the winner and the score, and I’ll give a $50 LifeWay gift card to the closest pick. For a tiebreaker, state how many rushing yards Trent Richardson will have. I know. He’s a Bama player, but my bias has been clearly stated. Feel free to make any comments as well.

It should be a great game.

Roll Tide. 


  1. Jonathan Smith says

    Bama 24
    LSU 13
    Trent will have 112 rushing yards. (Rushing yards, not total yards, right?)

  2. Keith Jones says

    A few years ago, Les Miles, doing one of his ‘quirky’ things, talked UGA out of the BCS championship game (and his own LSU team in) by carping on ‘they didn’t win their conference championship’–So I hope Alabama wins 50-3…but my prediction is Alabama, 9-8, 67 rushing yards for TR

  3. Tony Wolfe says

    17-10. LSU
    Bama’s TR – 76 yrds.
    Tiger’s T. Matthieu – 1 interception or forced fumble, 1 punt-return TD, and 2 McCarron sacks.
    Tiger-Town USA – 1 enormous bowl of Elephant Gumbo.

  4. Pat McDanal says

    ROLL TIDE!! My father-in-law, A. J. McDanal, was Bear Bryant’s roommate in college – and of course he also played football for Bama (championship teamer)!
    ALABAMA 17 – LSU 14 Trent – 160 rushing yards!

  5. Bobby Daniel says

    Since I’m not longer one of your students…I can disagree with you now without fear, lol! Geaux Tigers! Tiger born and Tiger raised…LSU wins 24-16

  6. Kyle Abel says

    LSU 23-20.
    I think Trent Richardson will rush for 117 yards.
    I imagine one of the defenses will score a TD (INT or fumble return for TD).

  7. Chuck Bryce says

    LSU 34 Bama 30
    Postscript: In a fit of despair T Ranier trades Ed Stetzer to Thomas Nelson for Andy Andrews and a book draft to be named later.

  8. Barry Joslin says

    LSU 21
    Bama 10
    Richardson out with an injury after 65 yards.
    Ha ha – no I hope he remains uninjured. Richardson will have 145 yards.

  9. cb scott says

    Dear Marty,
    I hope wild dogs attack and eat you alive. Until that happens, I trust you are in well health and all you undertake to do does prosper.
    Your friend with undying loyalty,

  10. Mark Kahler says

    “LSU is a school, like the Nebraska Cornhuskers, that I have always liked and appreciated. They have a great tradition and run a first class program.”
    Wow! I wasn’t expecting that random but greatly appreciated reference to my beloved Cornhuskers in the midst of an all-SEC national championship discussion. Blessings upon you and your entire household, Dr. Rainer!
    Alabama 20, LSU 17
    Richardson 94 yards

  11. Adam says

    I’ll bite. My guess is Tigers blow out Tide by 20+ . Special teams swagger! Im gonna say 41-14 LSU. I was in AL for tge Tide’s last tiltle but this time Im calling Bayou blitz!

  12. cb Scott says

    OK. I have been hedging on how many yards Richardson will get. Lacy will play much more tonight than before. He is well from his injury. Therefore, Richardson will get 85-95 yards rushing.
    BTW, Foster will not miss a field goal.

  13. cb Scott says

    We are the National Champions!
    We have won 14 National Championships!
    We are the SABANATION!

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