Mike Herndon - Press-Register
NCAA president Mark Emmert has voiced support for a four-team playoff for college football and even Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany has said he’s open to the idea of abandoning the BCS. This week, Arizona State president Michael Crow pitched an eight-team playoff to the Arizona Republic, saying, “In the Pac-12, we are not strong supporters of the present model.” Funny how one conference winning six straight national titles can force even the most stubborn rats to abandon the sinking BCS ship.
Alabama gets top-ranked class, Auburn eyes late additions, South Alabama lands one of program’s best classes
MOBILE, Alabama – Three weeks after hoisting the crystal football as the No. 1 college football team in the country, Alabama was No. 1 again Wednesday on National Signing Day. Alabama’s class of 26 signees was ranked No. 1 in the nation by Rivals, ESPN and 24/7 Sports and a close second to Texas by Scout.com. Auburn brought in a class of 20 signees ranked between 11th and 17th by the recruiting services, with coach Gene Chizik holding out hope for a couple of late marquee additions. The Crimson Tide’s class included three five-star prospects – Daphne running back T.J. Yeldon, Geismar (La.) safety Landon Collins and Arnold (Fla.) receiver Eddie Williams – and it added two coveted defensive line prospects to the class on Wednesday in Dalvin Tomlinson and Korren Kirven.
A day after the Tigers crossed midfield just once in their 21-0 BCS title-game loss to Alabama, hosts and callers dissected their game plan, their motivation, their execution and Miles’ decision not to switch quarterbacks. But even in the rational-thought-is-optional world of talk radio, they kept coming back to one conclusion: The main reason LSU lost was the play of Alabama. “Regardless of who plays quarterback,” WWL’s Deke Bellavia said Tuesday, “I don’t think it would have mattered.”
Thomas (5-11, 175) is a four-star prospect according to Rivals.com, which ranks him as the No. 19 all-purpose athlete prospect in the country. He was projected as a defensive back in Tuscaloosa but his coach says he wants to remain at quarterback, where he led his high school team to the 6A state championship this season. “Justin wants to play quarterback and he’s looking at some other places,” Prattville coach Jamey Dubose told TideSports.com. “Alabama was very honest with him and up-front. I think it’s a good thing. There was not hidden agendas by anybody. They were wanting him to play defensive back, and he was wanting to play quarterback.”
Ingram, who won the Heisman Trophy and led the Tide to a national title in 2009, and Harper, who starred at Alabama from 2002-05, were each asked about the BCS rematch during post-game interviews after the Saints’ 31-17 win over Detroit. “Rematch, right here in NOLA!” Ingram beamed. “I’ll be on the sidelines with them.”
For all the arguments used to defend the BCS, it looks like one is about to go out the window: The whole season is playoff. If this season ends with an LSU-Alabama rematch, as is now expected, the season itself is not a playoff. If it was, the Crimson Tide would be eliminated. If No. 1 LSU and No. 2 Alabama meet in a rematch on Jan 9 in the BCS championship game, it will be as though the Tigers’ 9-6 overtime win over Alabama had never been played.
MOBILE, Alabama – It seems likely, barring any major upsets, that the SEC will get two teams in BCS bowls for the fifth straight year. The question that must be answered over the next three weeks is: Which two? And will they both be playing in the Superdome on Jan. 9? There is no prohibition on teams from the same conference, that have played before or that did not win their conferences or divisions, from playing in the BCS championship game.
Two more undefeated teams went down on Saturday, further clearing up the picture at the top of the poll as we inch closer to the end of the regular season. Stanford and Boise State dropped to 7th and 11th, resepectively, leading No. 1 LSU, No. 2 Oklahoma State and No. 10 Houston – whose schedule is severely lacking – as the only remaining unbeatens in the FBS. LSU became the AP’s first unanimous regular-season No. 1 choice since 2008.
LSU kicker Drew Alleman’s game-winning overtime field goal had barely passed through the goalposts in Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday night when somewhere, probably everywhere, in Alabama the magic word was spoken. Rematch. In truth, many had been thinking about a “Game of the Century, Part II” before Part I had even been played. LSU defensive end Sam Montgomery was asked about the possibility of a rematch immediately after the game and said he’d be all for it.
Will Muschamp will be busy Saturday trying to help his Florida Gators beat Vanderbilt. But if he had the chance to watch the biggest game of the year in the SEC, Saturday’s LSU-Alabama showdown in Tuscaloosa, his focus wouldn’t be on superstars such as Tide running back Trent Richardson or LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu.
It’s only Wednesday, and this Saturday’s No. 1 vs. No. 2 showdown between LSU and Alabama has been dissected like a box full of frogs in a biology lab. But after you pull apart the guts of this season’s biggest game – which for two teams as physical as these will be the play in the trenches – you get to what may be the heart of either team’s chances to emerge unbeaten: a quarterback facing a critical situation.
OXFORD, Mississippi – Ole Miss is six games into the season and hasn’t done many convincing impersonations of an actual defense. But Trent Richardson should start thinking about what he might say in his Heisman Trophy acceptance speech. Richardson’s performance in Alabama’s 52-7 demolition of the Rebels Saturday night was Heisman-worthy. His 183 yards and four touchdowns were both career highs, and those numbers came in less than three quarters.
There were several top-25 matchups last week, which resulted in a lot of movement in this week’s ballot. Nebraska, Virginia Tech, Texas A&M and Florida all moved down after losing to other ranked teams, and South Carolina and Baylor also dropped down the list following losses. Auburn and Kansas State joined the poll this week after beating the Gamecocks and Bears, respectively. Wisconsin moved up to No. 4 after a big win over Nebraska and Clemson and Michigan vaulted into my top 10. The Tigers posted their third straight impressive win, beating Virginia Tech, while the Wolverines blasted Minnesota 58-0.
Alabama’s Trent Richardson is next with 441 yards and eight scores. Florida’s Chris Rainey is fourth (411 yards, 2 TDs), while LSU’s tandem of Spencer Ware and Michael Ford have combined for 618 yards and nine scores.
LSU’s 47-21 win at West Virginia compelled many AP voters to bump the Tigers up to No. 1 on their ballots, but I wasn’t as impressed with LSU’s win as I was with Alabama’s 38-14 victory over Arkansas.
LSU gave up 533 yards and was up by only six points when Mo Claiborne’s 99-yard kickoff return allowed the Tigers to pull away. Alabama gave up only 226 yards to an Arkansas offense than is comparable to that of West Virginia.