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2012 BCS National Championship: Crimson Tide vs. Tigers Odds

National Championship Picks – Alabama vs LSU

College football’s Holy Grail will feature a re-match of the two best teams in the nation; all the BCS whining and quibbling aside, that ought to be the aim of this match-up. Oklahoma State fans and SEC haters might disagree with me, but if you watched Alabama and LSU extensively this season, you know it is the truth.

Allstate BCS National Championship Game
Alabama Crimson Tide (11-1) vs. LSU Tigers (13-0)
Monday, Jan. 9, 2012, 8:30 pm EST
Superdome, New Orleans LA
Betting Lines from Sportsbook.com
MoneyLine: Alabama -105, LSU -118
Spread: Alabama +1, LSU -1
Over/Under: 39.5

Sure, it’ll be a rematch of two rivals from the same division in the SEC. The Ali-Frazier like comparisons of these two plodding heavyweights cannot be ignored. It is amusing, because these two offenses can open it up against inferior opponents, but the two otherworldly defensive units translate into a real battle in the trenches when the teams play head-to-head.

In the first edition of this game on Nov. 5, the Tigers needed overtime to best the Tide in Tuscaloosa. It was a battle of defensive strength and kickers as the final was 9-6, while Alabama missed several field goals and QB A.J. McCarron threw an interception in the red zone. Many people – not just Alabama homers – will argue that Alabama lost that game rather than LSU winning, and they’d be right.

Still, the LSU Tigers have been dominant from the word “go” in 2011. Except for the nail-biter in ’Bama, no other team has come close to LSU this season; the Tigers use ample offense and a nearly NFL-ready defense to embarrass opponents. It doesn’t hurt, either, that when a team travels to Baton Rouge to play LSU on its turf, they are playing in probably the most intimidating venue in college football, if not sports. Tiger Stadium has earned its moniker of “Death Valley.”

Alabama is clearly going to have revenge on its mind. The only setback with the Tide is that their offense is too one-dimensional. McCarron is unspectacular and is not as reliable as his predecessor, Greg McElroy. The Tide feature a fantastic running game thanks to Heisman finalist Trent Richardson and backup RB Eddie Lacy, the scheme is made more effective with a mauling offensive line. Yet if Alabama needs to come from behind or if the running game starts to get stifled, the offense is not diverse enough to adapt. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

Even still, after all the raving about the LSU defense, who was the one team ranked higher than the Tigers in points against? You guessed it. Saying the Crimson Tide are a good football team is a wild understatement.

Louisiana State is a sexy pick because its QB duo of Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee is more effective than Alabama’s McCarron, the running game is nearly as good and the Tigers will almost be playing a home game in N’awlins. The Tigers are clearly as good a team as we’ve seen in the NCAA for quite some time and an opponent must capitalize on the tiniest mistake the Tigers might make, as there won’t be very many of them.

This game has all the pre-conditions for another instant classic and although college football fans that aren’t from the SEC region are prone to dump on the selection process, you have to admit that Alabama is probably more prone to give LSU a closer game than Oklahoma State.

I am a firm believer in the mantra “the wolf climbing the hill is hungrier than the wolf on top.” Accordingly, I think Alabama will win this rematch and will close out the 2011 season as National Champion.

Game Prediction: Alabama 21, LSU 15
Over/Under Prediction: 36

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