To be honest, I've barely watched any college football this year. While the NFL has a little bit of a foothold in Canada, college football is an afterthought...So why not do a live blog? Here goes, game of the century, take two.
11:31- Another LSU drive fails, Alabama takes over, and Alabama runs out the clock. Let's never hype up a game ever again- both of these "Game of the Century"'s were awful. Yes, both the defenses are immensely talented units, and Alabama was fantastic in executing and shutting down LSU. But there was no excitement- only two turnovers forced, a sack fumble with the game pretty much out of reach and a baffling mistake by Jefferson for a pick. The rest of it was ruthless efficiency by the defense and poor, poor offense by LSU. It's impressive, but not exciting, and not compelling. LSU's offense was bafflingly bad, hardly befitting a number one team. Alabama's offense was methodical and able to get into field goal range. That made the difference in this game. There wasn't one play that decided it- it was a slow drip, a bloodletting, and LSU slowly died. A game without flash or panache. An entirely soulless National Championship. Roll Tide, Roll.
11:20- Holy crap! A touchdown! (of course the kicker misses the extra point). Richardson makes a great play, busting out to the outside and then turning on the jets to take it to the endzone, which was once foreign territory to these teams. That's the undeniable kill shot as Alabama goes up 21-0. LSU is pretty much playing for pride and to not be shut out, at this point.
11:13- LSU is forced to go for it on 4th and long and they are stripped of the ball by the suffocating Tide defense. At this point, Alabama's got this game in the bag. But should LSU be number two? Sure, they had a great season, but they've ruined it with this showing. Oklahoma State is going to get a lot of votes for #2 and for a split national championship. Still, the BCS continues, money making machine that it is. The Plus One is the only system they might bring in, and even that seems far off. Maybe a game as poor as this one will spur some change, but it's doubtful.
11: 08- LSU crossed the 50! LSU crossed the 50! Oh my God! With a touchdown, this is a game....
11:04- LSU defense does what they need to do, forcing a punt. Now let's see if LSU can triumphantly cross over the 50 yardline. Honey Badger's return gets two bad puns from Brent Musberger.
10:59- I didn't even watch that last possession, just listened; and I didn't really need to, because it was almost a foregone conclusion that LSU would have to punt. The defense is so good, too good, so that watching is unnecessary. The BCS needs a plus one so we could see this defense against a capable offense with a real quarterback.
10:50- Another field goal puts Alabama up 15-0 as we approach the 4th quarter. LSU needs to score on this drive, pronto. Alabama's defense has been amazing- less than 100 yards given up, total. Alabama has shown they deserved to be here; it's LSU that's crapped the bed. Oklahoma State-Alabama would be a great game. As much as this defense is amazing, it's not fun to watch. Any contrarian who tries to say otherwise is just trying to seem like a 'better' football fan, sorry to say.
10:47- So close to a touchdown, but there's a dropped pass for Alabama, after getting the ball back from yet another three and out. Getting near the end zone must have been weird for the receiver, so I can see why he dropped it.
10:41- Alabama's kicker misses another kick, giving LSU another shot. But it's never a good sign when your quarterback gets booed coming onto the field, and you haven't gotten past midfield all day. LSU did a worse job recruiting their quarterbacks than Alabama did, and that's saying something.
10:34- What in the hell was that pitch by Jordan Jefferson? Lee needs to be in this game, yesterday. Alabama gets another shot to go up 15 or 19, both seemingly insurmountable at this point.
10:31- Alabama had a chance to put the game out of reach, but they falter, with AJ McCarron missing on another deep throw, although he was on the run and in an awkward throwing position. Still, this punt keeps LSU in it. LSU needs to score; they can't just keep hoping to hang around, waiting for someone like Mathieu to make a play- they need to go out, execute, and score, as soon as possible.
10:23- An initially promising LSU drive gets them as far as the 50 yard line, and a punt. A penalty on the punt return gives Alabama better field position. A touchdown in this case would be a dagger; another field goal puts the Tide right at the threshold at putting this game out of reach. LSU could (and I stress, could) muster two touchdowns (and a two point conversion), if they start executing more consistently; three touchdowns, at this point, would be miraculous.
10: 15- Coming out of the half, Alabama marches down the field to... a stall within the red zone! Another field goal makes it 12-0 Alabama. LSU has to do something on this drive, anything to give them some momentum in this game- it's slipping away, especially as Alabama's offense continues to be able to move down the field.
9:48- Halftime! 9-0! I'm going to keep reading Henrik Ibsen's The Wild Duck. University life is wonderful. LSU is going to have to make some huge adjustments to win this game. A touchdown by Alabama would put it away. Any touchdown that's scored will change this game. We're just waiting, waiting for one score to alter this game for either team. Still, big half for Alabama.
9:44- The way Brent Musberger says "Honey Badger" is hilarious. He said it half seductively. "The Honey....BADger." Calm down. Alabama maneuvers themselves into field goal range. Alabama scores more in the first half of this game than the last game of the century, and a 9-0 lead is huge- LSU would have to manage to score at least a touchdown and a field goal while keeping the Alabama offense at bay in order to win this game.
9:40- Once again, the LSU offense stalls. Jordan Jefferson is a fantastic athlete, but not a quarterback that can beat Alabama- as are most college quarterbacks. McCarron brings back the Alabama offense to see if they can get some points before halftime; a field goal, perhaps?
9:31- An impressive drive by Alabama, but they once again stall in the red zone- the LSU defense is just too good. As long as we're settling for field goals, this game is going to stay close. They way they've been playing doesn't reflect the score- Alabama has been miles better so far. 6-0 Alabama.
9:21- LSU can't capitalize on the blocked field goal. So far, LSU has no answer to the Alabama defense. They might need the Honey Badger to go off to get in this game.
9:16- The fake field goal was all for naught, as Alabama stalls in three plays, and then their field goal is BLOCKED. A missed kick? In this game? Wow!
9:10- Alabama is taking my "save Trent Richardson" advice a little too much to heart. And then, on the field goal attempt, FAKE!!!! Alabama gets the 1st down by the nose of the football, but it's under review. Still, you gotta love a fake field goal. One of my favorite plays in football.
9:08- McCarron overthrows a wide open receiver deep. Yikes.
9:03- Watching AJ McCarron, I feel like Nick Saban doesn't try so hard when recruiting for quarterback. Sure, he's good, but he doesn't seem "Alabama" good- a prestige program should have a prestige quarterback, but instead they have prestige running backs and defense. Anyway, Norwood makes a big catch on an underthrown McCarron throw to put the Crimson Tide on the 38 yard line to start the second quarterback. Ballsy move by Alabama to commit so heavily to the pass- perhaps saving Richardson for the second half to wear down LSU's defense?
8:57- Alabama's lost their best receiver and punt returner, which is a bad omen. Lucky for them, their defense is still ridiculously good. I wish I could trade the Bills defense for this one.
8:50- Alabama stalls in the red zone. Their kicker actually manages to make it, giving us a 3-0 start to the game. A field goal. Who woulda thunk it? I don't know if the officials are going to do if someone actually crosses the goal line in this game.
8:42- Whenever they say "big boy football," I nearly lose it. Reminds me of this clip:
Which my friend Paul does so wonderfully. Anyway, that was a huge return for Alabama. Field goal time, at least.
8:41- Alabama gains valuable field position, but fear the honey badger too much to punt it to him. Field position is going to be Kirk Herbstreit's buzzword, I can tell.
8:37- Full disclosure, I'm rooting for Alabama because: I made a ten dollar bet on the game last night, I love the phrase "roll tide," and I'd love a three point Alabama win to cause BCS PANDEMONIUM.
8:32- Ha! Just kidding. Three and out. After the first edition of this game, most derided it as an overhyped snoozefest with no offense. There was a group of football purist contrarians who said they loved the game. Are you kidding me? Great defense is only exciting for so long; I need a breakthrough, a sustained moment of offensive brilliance against a great defense to have a compelling game.
8:31- Kickoff goes to LSU. Will we see the first touchdown between these two teams?