McMurphy's Law: Don't rule out a 'Bama-LSU title rematch

by | College Football Insider

Nick Saban has the Crimson Tide up to No. 2 in the AP poll after rolling over Florida. (US Presswire)  
Nick Saban has the Crimson Tide up to No. 2 in the AP poll after rolling over Florida. (US Presswire)  

Fifteen years ago -- you know when Hank Williams Jr. was best known for singing country tunes instead of being a babbling loon -- I wrote something radical and controversial.

It was nothing close to the level of what Williams said Monday, but for folks in the state of Florida it was almost as baffling.

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On Nov. 27, 1996, I wrote:

"Forget Saturday's Florida at Florida State contest. How about a rematch in the Sugar Bowl? Although a long shot, a UF-FSU showdown for the national title in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 2 could happen based on only three things."

I then laid out a doomsday scenario how the then No. 1-ranked Gators and No. 2-ranked Seminoles could meet 33 days later in a rematch for the national title. They would have to play a close game and Texas would have to upset Nebraska in the Big 12 championship game for the rematch to have a chance.

I was ridiculed -- more than usual anyway -- mocked and dismissed as some sort of crazy lunatic. Well, Florida State edged Florida 24-21 and Texas shocked Nebraska and the Gators and Seminoles met again with Florida winning the national title.

Fifteen years later, I've got some more crazy talk: I think it's a very real possibility that No. 1-ranked LSU and No. 2 Alabama could play for a second time for the BCS title game in New Orleans.

Do I want to see a rematch of LSU and Alabama? Not necessarily. But the odds against the Tigers and Crimson Tide playing a rematch are not nearly as great as they were for UF-FSU in 1996. There was only the conference championship games remaining after UF-FSU played in 1996, so not much chance for Florida to climb back up the standings.

However, after LSU and Alabama play on Nov. 5 game in Tuscaloosa, Ala., there are still four weeks left in regular season. That is more than enough time for the Nov. 5 loser to make it up to No. 2 in the BCS standings.

If the LSU-Alabama game is well-played and isn't lopsided, the loser probably won't drop lower than fifth or sixth in the BCS rankings. That would give it a chance to reach No. 2 before the final BCS standings on Dec. 4. I realize there are currently 13 other undefeated teams right now, but that number will be reduced greatly as the season plays out. It always does.

The biggest threats from keeping an Alabama-LSU rematch from happening are in the Big 12, Pac-12, Big Ten and Boise State.

Without a Big 12 championship game, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas would all have to beat each other. In the Pac-12, the Oregon-Stanford winner on Nov. 12 would have to lose in the Pac-12 championship game. In the Big Ten, someone would have to knock off Wisconsin at some point. An undefeated champion from the Big 12, Pac-12 or Big Ten will not rank lower than a one-loss Alabama or LSU.

Another factor is Boise State. If the Broncos finish unbeaten -- as expected -- they will have defeated one team (Georgia) that was ranked the week they played. Would the coaches and Harris polls and the BCS computers rank a one-loss Alabama/LSU over an undefeated -- and untested -- Boise State? I think so.

Is it possible that none of the Big 12, Pac-12 and Big Ten champions finish unbeaten? Absolutely. Is it likely that we'll see an Alabama-LSU rematch in New Orleans? Probably not. But, don't rule it out, crazier things have happened.

BCS Bowl Projections

BCS Title: LSU vs. Oklahoma. While I suggested it's possible for a LSU-Alabama rematch in the BCS title game, I realize it's also unlikely. Oklahoma and the LSU-Alabama winner appear on a collision course. This weekend, Oklahoma gets its first test since Florida State when the Sooners battle Texas in Dallas.

Fiesta: Oklahoma State vs. Boise State. With TCU losing a second game, Boise State's only remaining hurdle to an undefeated season doesn't seem as tough anymore. After another late meltdown by Texas A&M, the Cowboys look to be at least the second-best team in the Big 12 -- although Texas might have something to say about that next week when the Cowboys visit Austin.

Sugar: Alabama vs. Notre Dame: With the SEC West champion headed to the BCS title game, the SEC West runner-up lands here. And don't look now but Notre Dame (3-2) is back in the BCS bowl picture. The Irish will be favored in their next six games and if they avoid any upsets, they would be 9-2 entering the regular season finale at Stanford. Bowl execs just love Notre Dame and a 10-2 or 9-3 Notre Dame would find its way in a BCS bowl. Rose: Stanford vs. Wisconsin. Imagine undefeated Stanford and Wisconsin meeting in Pasadena and having no shot at the national title? That's a real possibility as long as the Alabama/LSU winner and Oklahoma wins out.

Orange: Clemson vs. West Virginia. The Tigers have established themselves as the ACC's best after thumping Virginia Tech. West Virginia also should take the Big East crown, although Pittsburgh and Cincinnati might -- emphasize might -- challenge the Mountaineers.

Heisman Forecast

How my Heisman Trophy ballot would look if it were due today:

1. Russell Wilson, Wisconsin. Wilson might go down as one of the greatest free agent acquisitions in all of sports. The N.C. State transfer has 13 touchdown passes and only one interception, while ranking second in passing efficiency (216.89 rating). More importantly, he has made the Badgers a national title contender.

2. Andrew Luck, Stanford. So Luck can pass and catch. Luck's one-handed, 13-yard grab against UCLA created as much, if not more, buzz as his evening throwing the ball (23 of 27, 227 yards, three touchdowns). Luck has 11 touchdown passes and one interception.

3. Robert Griffin III, Baylor. Griffin still leads the nation in passing efficiency (230.33), but his Heisman hopes took a hit with last week's loss at Kansas State. Griffin still has unbelievable numbers: 18 touchdown passes, only 20 incompletions while completing 82 percent of his passes. But the reality is Griffin will have to lead Baylor to at least 10 wins to keep up with Wilson, Luck or hard-charging Trent Richardson of Alabama.

Tweets of the Week

Some of the best college football-related tweets in the past week pulled from Twitter.

"I feel bad for Nebraska. Couldn't win in the Big 12, then go to the Big 10 and can't win. Maybe Conference USA would be a better fit." -- Oklahoma senior LB Travis Lewis after the Cornhuskers loss at Wisconsin.

"This week is special for me. Been eating gator all my life. So it's time to put in serious work. 3 D's: Desire Devotion Dedication #RollTide." -- Alabama sophomore punter Cody Mandell before the Crimson Tide's 38-10 victory at Florida.

"Going to sleep but not before I watch Tony Chokemo's game highlights again!" -- Oklahoma sophomore QB Drew Allen after Tony Romo's three interception game against Detroit.

"Personally, I want to leave the big east. cause the next eval period won't be so kind for the conference I think. #nobcs." -- Cincinnati freshman LB Soloman Tentman on the Big East's future.

"Anybody who booed #jj9 today needs to stop watching #LSU games and stop cheering for the tigers, we don't need you and don't want you." -- LSU senior offensive lineman T-Bob Hebert after LSU's fans booed QB Jordan Jefferson against Kentucky.

"My professor talks like a duck with hot sauce on her tongue...I really REALLY need more English speaking teachers." -- Maryland junior defensive lineman A.J. Francis

It's crazy how people s*** on u wen u dont get 2 or 3 sacks a game. It's cool I'm just gonna keep working they will come!" -- West Virginia senior DE Bruce Irvin.

"I did something tonight I've wanted to do my whole life; go to the swamp and DOMINATE… I love it… #ROLLTIDEROLL everybody." -- Alabama junior long snapper Carson Tinker after the Crimson Tide's victory at Florida.


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