Fans Debate: LSU vs Alabama
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Question 1: Why will LSU win?
SpiffyGuitarMan: Because they have proven themselves to be the better team throughout the season, including winning at Bryant-Denny Stadium earlier this year. LSU has navigated one of the most difficult seasons of any national title contender in recent years, and they have emerged unscathed. A rematch against the Tide in the Tigers’ backyard is a recipe for a repeat result.
The Top Fan: LSU will win behind the craziness that will be the New Orleans Superdome. Yes, Bama will have plenty of support there also, but the Tigers will be in more of a comfort zone, in my opinion. On the field, I see the two teams as extremely even, but I like LSU's freak athletes on D and think they will be just slightly more ready to go.
Question 2: Why will Alabama win?
SpiffyGuitarMan: Because they learned from their mistakes. The first time the Tide played the Tigers, they got away from their strengths. They had Richardson running downhill, and opted for a trick play that was intercepted. In overtime, a solid offensive performance did not gain a yard. Too many times they played for a field goal, and failed more often than not. That won’t be the case on January 9th.
The Top Fan: In Game One, LSU caught all of the breaks as Bama missed three FGs. In Game Two, it is possible that the breaks go Alabama's way. Then again, we are talking about Les Miles here...
Question 3: Which team is better dressed?
SpiffyGuitarMan: It’s one of the hallmark uniforms in all of college football. How can you expect me to say anyone other than the Tide? Yellow and Purple together? Please.
The Top Fan: If an alien from the far reaches of our galaxy showed up for the Title Game, it would recognize Alabama's uniforms. And while I am not particularly fond of Crimson as a color, there is something to be said for untouched tradition. Alabama.
Question 4: What player on LSU scares Bama?
SpiffyGuitarMan: Jordan Jefferson. Sure, the Honey Badger and Russell Sheppard are game changers in their own way, but Jefferson was the wild card for LSU in Tuscaloosa, and will likely be again, unless the Tide can find an answer for the option attack.
The Top Fan: You have to go with Tyrone Matheiu. The defensive and return specialist has been wrecking opponents by the handful in 2011, and would love to cap off his career with a national title.
Question 5: What player on Alabama scares LSU?
SpiffyGuitarMan: AJ McCarron. Everyone knows how good Trent Richardson and Marquis Maze are, but McCarron was the unknown. Well, with a full season under his belt, the first year starter should be better equipped to provide a better passing attack. It won’t be eye-popping, but Alabama will need solid play at quarterback to prevail.
The Top Fan: I, too, have to go with McCarron. He is the player that can have a big impact on the LSU defense. If he is sharp and protects the ball, Bama will get into scoring position a few times. He has the potential for a big game, and it wouldn't surprise me if he made some big plays in this one.
Question 6: Thoughts on Miles:
SpiffyGuitarMan: This time last year, Les Miles was on the wrong end of a lot of hot seat discussions. He was known more for his fondness of grass than his coaching acumen. This year, he has silenced the critics by thwarting every possible distraction (suspension of his best players, daunting early road schedule, Tuscaloosa, etc) to have his team undefeated and in a position to have the best season in school history. He sure has come a long way from 2007, when people wanted him gone as rumors started flying that Michigan was gonna snatch him up after the SEC Championship game.
The Top Fan: This guy is a trip. There is no doubt his team plays with good luck on their side. Like they say: "better to be lucky than good." But outside of that "luck," Miles has gone out and recruited talent that is unreal. He gets credit for bringing in top recruits and then just letting them play ball.
Question 7: Thoughts on Saban:
SpiffyGuitarMan: A coach who is literally at the top of his profession. He’s the only head coach to win BCS championships at different schools, and has rebuilt Alabama into the power their fans have always believed them to be. Now finding himself in the unusual position of playing the same coach for the second time in a season (and trying to vanquish a two game losing streak) and if he loses three in a row to the Mad Hatter, doubts he still has his mojo may begin to creep in as soon as January 10th.
The Top Fan: Nick Saban wouldnt know how to look happy if he swapped faces with Bozo the Clown. He is one of the meanest SOBs in the game, and he demands perfection from his players and coaches. His hair is another whole sub-question if we want to go there...
Question 8: Which team has a cooler mascot?
SpiffyGuitarMan: A Bama fan, I am, but Mike the Tiger is one of the coolest mascots in the country. As much as I love my Tide, a guy in an elephant suit just doesn’t have the same pizzazz.
The Top Fan: I have to go with Mike the Tiger. He is a cool looking beast. If Alabama ever countered with a real, live elephant to pace the sidelines - complete with 5-foot long tusks - I would switch to them. But until that happens, you have to go with Mike the Tiger.
Question 9: Is this game bigger than the first meeting back in November?
SpiffyGuitarMan: Silly question – of course it is. It’s the national championship. LSU wins and they complete the best season in school history. Bama wins and they would have their best four year run since the Bear roamed the sidelines. The latter could also spark a backlash of AP voters who still want to give LSU the national championship. This rematch is the culmination of six years of SEC dominance, and could be the last in the streak.
The Top Fan: Well, yes, due to the fact that a crystal football will be handed to the winner at the end of the game. But if you rewind back to that first game, it was built up as big as the Super Bowl it seemed like. And if those two teams wouldnt have played such a close game then, we probably wouldnt be seeing the matchup we are seeing Monday night.
Question 10: Final Prediction
SpiffyGuitarMan: LSU 13, Alabama 10. I really want to think Alabama pulls this one out, and Lord knows I’ll be pulling hard for my Tide. But as an objective observer (difficult, I know), I see one glaring difference between these two otherwise evenly-matched teams – special teams. The defenses are equally great, and the offenses are equally efficient. When it comes to the close games like this one is sure to be, the difference is usually a special teams play. A clutch field goal, kick return, or coffin corner punt could be the icing on the cake for the winning team, and LSU has far and away the better special teams unit.
The Top Fan: Spiffy! You were supposed to argue why Bama would win, haha!! But hey, your honesty is totally respected my friend....I think LSU wins, too, but with more scoring in the game. I think the hyped D's will be on display, but the O's finally break through for a few points in this one. I will go with LSU, 23-17.
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