Sunday, September 16, 2012

Alabama-LSU Rematch ... in Miami

Are you ready for the Alabama-LSU rematch?

No, we don't mean the Nov. 3 showdown at Death Valley. We're talking about the one after that, as in Alabama-LSU IV, coming to you in Miami on Jan. 7, 2013.

This notion is hardly outrageous after USC's stunning fall at Stanford on Saturday. The Trojans, coming off a two-year postseason ban and a chic pick for No. 1 by a bunch of idiots (including this one) in preseason polls, looked mighty pedestrian in a game that was physically dominated by the Cardinal. As a result, Alabama and LSU are back as 1-2 in every poll, as well as in the latest simulated BCS standings.

To be sure, there are other pretenders to the throne, with the season barely three weeks old. And Lane Kiffin's Trojans, if they can reclaim their manhood at the lost-and-found window in Palo Alto, aren't necessarily out of the national championship chase. But the reality is that an Alabama-LSU Rematch II is a distinct possibility at this point.

A big part of the reason is that the SEC is extremely top heavy this season, and by top we mean only Alabama and LSU. Though there are five SEC teams currently in the top 11 of the simulated BCS standings, Georgia, South Carolina and Florida are all flawed teams not quite in the same class as the SEC West powerhouses. To find the next team in the standings you'd have to go all the way down to No. 24 Mississippi State.

The other factor is the schedule. Neither Alabama nor LSU will face Georgia in the regular season. In fact, the Tide do not play any of the aforementioned three SEC East contenders. On the other hand, teams from other conferences with a shot at the BCS title game all still have to run through a gauntlet to remain undefeated.


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