The BCS Championship 2012 game is finally here. Alabama faces LSU in a rematch of two highly-touted, equally gifted teams after a hard-fought, low-scoring 9-6 slugfest back on Nov. 5. LSU pulled out the victory in overtime on a Drew Alleman field goal, pretty much solidifying itself as the best team in the nation after that. However, Alabama, almost on the outside looking in if it wasn't for three straight victories after that loss, seeks to claim revenge and win its second title in three years under staunch head coach Nick Saban.
Of course, the Tigers, in pouncing fashion, will stay chomping at the bit under FBS Coach of the Year Les Miles, who leads a versatile team in all facets of the game. Quarterbacks Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson combined for 2,400 passing yards this season, running backs Michael Ford and Spencer Ware combined for over 1,450 rushing yards, defensive ends Sam Montgomery and Barkevious Mingo combined for 17 sacks and first-team All-American cornerbacks Morris Claiborne and Heisman Trophy finalist Tyrann Mathieu combined for eight interceptions.
However, Alabama, despite being ranked number two in the nation, has the number one overall defense, led by All-Americans Courtney Upshaw, who produced 8 1/2 sacks and 17 tackles for loss, and fellow linebacker Dont'a Hightower, who recorded a team-leading 81 tackles with three sacks and 9 1/2 for loss. And who can forget about running back and Doak Walker Award winner Trent Richardson, who ranked sixth in the nation with 1,583 rushing yards and fifth in the country with 20 rushing touchdowns.
The game is star-studded, but let's not be star-struck that we're seeing Alabama and LSU again. Yes, Oklahoma State was an offensive juggernaut and also deserved to play LSU, but it won handily against teams that were supposed to be beaten handily. Taking Alabama's defense, entire schedule and close game at LSU into account, the Tide seemed the slightly better fit for this game.
If you thought the first game was ugly, then consider this one to be graphic.
Re-visit this page at 8 p.m. when the live blog gets under way.
PREDICTION: As I said in my preview, this game will be another close one. Alabama, though, will win. It has the top defense, a better quarterback in McCarron and a Heisman finalist running back in Richardson. Revenge for the Tide is too sweet not to taste. Alabama 17, LSU 14.