What Happened: In a continuation of the world’s most boring matchup of top-ranked teams, the formerly number-one LSU Tigers were absolutely smeauxked (sorry, that’s the only one I’m throwing in) by the Alabama Crimson Tide, 21-0 in the BCS National Championship Game. The Tide defense put on an impressive display, swarming to the ball on nearly every play and shutting down an offense that had previously scored over 38 points per game. Mixed with some questionably conservative play-calling, the Tigers would only manage 92 yards of total offense. They failed to cross the 50-yard line until the final five minutes and rarely looked as if they wanted to come out of this game with a victory. Considering the fire LSU had played with all season, it was both shocking and disappointing to see the lackluster effort on the field through the final gun.
Who’s to Blame: We’ll start with Les Miles, for putting together a gameplan that brought football back to the 1920s. A flawed triple option that failed to work from the beginning yet was continually called anyway, coupled with intense pressure from Alabama’s defensive line, snuffed out any chance Tigers quarterback Jordan Jefferson would be effective. The beleaguered senior, who regained his starting spot during the Alabama game earlier this season, threw for just 53 yards on 17 passes. For those who watched the game live, Jefferson spent much of the second half laying on his back, petitioning for calls from the referees. Even more puzzling was the fact that Miles refused to put Jarrett Lee (who was an effective starter through the team’s first eight full games. While theories are still being tossed out as to why Lee wasn’t handed the ball once Jefferson deemed himself ineffective, I think it’s a matter that Miles must address to the LSU fanbase if he hopes to have a pleasant offseason.
It Was Over When: Miles failed to sub in Lee halfway through the third quarter. But Trent Richardson‘s touchdown with four-and-a-half minutes to play was the true nail in the coffin. LSU subsequently rolled over, sealing the least-compelling game we’ve seen in years.
Game Ball Goes To: Alabama kicker Jeremy Shelley, who went five-of-seven on field goals. The fact that the Tide’s kicker was allowed to miss two field goals and an extra point, yet the result was never in doubt anyway, tells you just how “thrilling” this one was. Additionally, credit is due to Alabama’s defense, which recorded the first shutout in BCS history. There’s also the possibility of a split national championship now (though far more unlikely than originally thought, due to ‘Bama’s utter dominance). So if that happens, we can issue another hearty congratulations to the Tide for tearing down the BCS, too.