2012 BCS National Championship Preview
The BCS Championship game is no stranger to controversy, and this
year is no different. LSU certainly deserves to be here. They went
undefeated with one of the hardest schedules in the nation, plus won the
SEC Championship game. The controversy comes on the other sideline,
where Alabama, a team that did not win a conference championship and a
team that already lost to their title game opponent, will be residing.
No matter what you may think of the system, there is some or little
argument that LSU and Alabama have proved themselves to be two of the
best, if not the best, teams in the nation at the end of a wild 2011
season. And these two longtime rivals get a rare rematch for a national
title. While the first meeting was in Tuscaloosa, this one will be in
New Orleans the Tigers’ adopted home.
This should make for a very interesting end to an entertaining bowl season, and a college-football campaign overall.
LSU has won the last seven meetings between these two storied
programs, including the 9-6 win in Tuscaloosa and a 24-21 win in Baton
Rouge a year ago.
The latest BCS Championship odds show Alabama favored by 1 points, while the over/under is posted at 41 points.
The Crimson Tide had an incredible season. They even bounced back
well after their loss to LSU, winning their last three regular season
games by a combined score of 111-42. This squad is headlined by a
defense that allowed less than 10 points in seven of their twelve games.
Alabama enters the title game with a perfect 5-0 road record.
The Tide is ranked tops in the nation in scoring defense (9 points
per game) and allows 191 yards per game (116 passing, 75 rushing) while
recording 26 sacks and forced 18 turnovers four of which were returned
for touchdowns (DeMarcus Milliner, DeQuan Menzie and Courtney Upshaw,
Dont’a Hightower leads this unit with 81 tackles, while Upshaw leads
the squad with 8.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. Milliner has three
interceptions and Dre Kirkpatrick has two forced fumbles.
Offensively, Alabama ranks 16th nationally in scoring (36 ppg) while compiling 433 yards per game (220 rushing, 213 passing).
Trent Richardson anchors the running game with 1,583 yards and 20 TDs
on 6.0 yards per carry, while Eddy Lacy adds 631 yards and seven TDs on
7.5 ypc. A.J. McCarron has completed 67 percent of his passes for 2,400
yards and 16 touchdowns with five interceptions, while the offensive
line allowed 15 sacks. Marquis Maze is the top pass-catcher with 56
receptions (29 more than anyone else) for 627 yards and a TD.
The Tigers finished the regular season as the only unbeaten team in
college football, and their difficult schedule made the feat all the
more impressive. They defeated Alabama, of course, and won their last
four games by a combined 177-39.
LSU is second nationally in scoring defense (10 ppg), ranking only
behind Alabama, and allows 252 yards per game (167 passing, 85 rushing)
while compiling 37 sacks and forcing 30 turnovers six of which were
returned for TDs (Morris Claiborne and Ron Brooks, three interceptions;
Tyrann Mathieu and Kevin Minter, three fumbles).
Mathieu paces the defense with 70 tackles, six forced fumbles and
five recoveries, while Sam Montgomery has recorded nine sacks and
Barkevious Mingo added eight. Claiborne is one of the top pickoff
artists in the nation with six interceptions.
The Tigers rank 12th in the country offensively (38 ppg) while
recording 375 yards of offense per game (215 rushing, 160 passing).
Michael Ford and Spencer Ware lead the rushing attack with a combined
1,455 yards and 15 TDs on 4.7 yards per carry. Jordan Jefferson has
completed 60 percent of his passes for 684 yards and six TDs with just
one interception, while the offensive line has allowed 14 sacks. Reuben
Randle is the top receiving target with 50 catches for 904 yards and