Crimson Tide Rolls To BCS Championship
By: Willie Bee
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Nick Saban and the Tide are bringing the BCS trophy back to Tuscaloosa.
If there was one lesson learned in this year's BCS Championship Game, it's never argue with a time-proven adage – defense wins championships.
That defense belonged to the Alabama Crimson Tide who wrapped up the college football season with a dominating performance over the LSU Tigers. Alabama's 21-0 victory Monday night at the Superdome in New Orleans goes into the history books as the first shutout in the BCS title game and gave the Tide their 14th national championship, and second in three seasons.
The rematch between the two Southeastern Conference powers wasn't much different from their first meeting in Tuscaloosa in early November...only this time 'Bama found a little more success in the place kicking department. Jeremy Shelley, who missed four of his six attempts in LSU's 9-6 overtime win on Nov. 5, booted five field goals in the title tilt to help stake the Crimson Tide to a 15-0 lead through the first three quarters.
It was far from a perfect evening for Alabama's junior kicker who had one field goal blocked, missed another on his own and then capped his evening by shanking his PAT attempt following the only touchdown scored between the two teams in nearly eight quarters of regulation plus a few minutes of an overtime.
As it turned out, Shelley really just needed to make one of his record seven field goal attempts on this night. The 'Bama defense was at its very best, which is saying something for one of the all-time great stop units in college gridiron history. LSU could only muster a grand total of 92 yards, 39 of those on 27 rushes, and the Tigers were kept on their side of the field until midway through the fourth quarter.
The win left no unbeaten teams on the college football landscape for the 2011 season. LSU saw its 14-game win streak snapped, a run that began in the 2011 Cotton Bowl, to finish 13-1 this campaign with a solid 10-4 record against the spread. Alabama was equally impressive vs. the college football odds with a 9-4 mark in going 12-1 on the season.
Monday's final score also closed the books on a bowl season that finished slightly in favor of the 'under' with 19 of the 35 postseason contests failing to reach the total. That stat might surprise many who were distracted by Baylor's thrilling 67-56 win over Washington in the Alamo Bowl or West Virginia's 70-33 runaway from Clemson in the Orange Bowl.
National Signing Day is generally the next big event for college football once a season has been put to bed, but that's not the case on the first day of this offseason. BCS powers will be meeting in New Orleans the day after the national championship to discuss possible changes to the Bowl Championship Series system.
Among the issues reportedly to be discussed are the elimination of automatic bids to BCS bowls as well as expanding the current championship part of the equation to four teams. Both ideas have proponents as well as detractors, and it's unclear how changes in conference alignments might affect any potential modifications to the now 14-year-old BCS.