How do you preview a national title where there are no winners?
I've been asking myself that question for several weeks. And by "several weeks," I mean several seconds, because I really didn’t come up with that stupid question until just now. But in all seriousness, how could this game and its existence be any worse? It couldn’t. Well, it could – Tebow could be all-time QB for both teams, which is something I still haven’t fully ruled out. But I’d like to think that option is not on the table, though.
Before we continue, let’s review all of the pointless win-loss scenarios that could play out tonight, just to waste some more time.
(After the jump)
LSU wins big: Affirms what we knew already – LSU is the best team in the land. Why was this game played?
Good job, Alabama. You lost to LSU twice but still made a BCS bowl. You are the Virginia Tech of a new generation. I like this analogy because that makes LSU the new Climpson.
LSU wins small: Affirms what we knew already – LSU is the best team in the land, and Alabama is the only team close to their level. Was the win still pointless? Yes. Was the game boring? Probably. Do we all hate everything? Duh.
Alabama wins small: Does it matter? LSU still beat them (at Alabama), and LSU still has more wins over the end-of-the-season Top 25 than the next best two teams combined. Not to harshly trivialize, but it’s almost unarguable that LSU is some kind of national champion before they even step on the field tonight. Alabama winning small doesn’t even budge the argument. And that's where it's a little easier to sympathize with Roll Damn Tide.
Alabama wins big: Who even knows, then? All the stuff about LSU still having the best season is probably true, only now we have this weird, glaring inconsistency of ‘Bama beating LSU on a neutral field. If you want odd chaos, this is probably the choice for you.
Now, I’m big on rooting interests, hating the SEC, and hate for everything in general. That’s why my national title previews are historically themes like "The SEC must die! SEC sux! Root against the SEC for no reason! Why am I alive?" But this year, what can I even do with that agenda? I think I’m pulling for LSU. Why? Because they’re supposed to be the best. If they win tonight, they are, without a shred of a doubt, in the conversation for the greatest college football team of all-time. And that’s without an elite QB. It’s so completely staggering how their season fell into place like this. When LSU faced Alabama the first time, I think it’s almost unarguable the Tigers got outplayed. One three field goal and three-point victory later, suddenly historic greatness is on the table. But hey, that be sports. Still, if Scenario #4 plays out -- with 'Bama winning huge -- that argument is obviously dead on arrival.
For those of you boycotting the game, I understand. A small part of me thought about that, but I can’t do it. The first meeting between these two was just too good. I know, I know, offense was nowhere to be found. While I’m spread till the death, I don’t mind watching these boulders try to push each other off the hilltop. It really is somewhat riveting. Also, I can all but guarantee more points than the last contest. Who knows, maybe there will be a – super gasp! – touchdown scored in the game.
For those of you mad about Okie State being snubbed, I feel you. I do. But despite the massive controversy, Alabama not winning its conference or division, and Alabama losing to LSU earlier this year, even my anti-SEC mega-biased mind tells me these are the best two teams in the country. For that I apologize, but my sorry doesn't make it any less true. Is it fair? Eh, probably not. But these are the most talented teams. Think: a Packers-Saints Super Bowl. Weird, but slightly fitting.
In the end, I know it’s about 83% likely this season’s final outcome will leave fans with a bitter taste. All we can hope for is the least bitter taste possible. So that’s why it’s LSU, and that’s why it can’t be Alabama. Even though Trent Richardson balls so damn hard. As The Hold Steady says, we’ve gotta stay positive. So let’s do our damndest.
(Though anyone interested in tweeting something like "This game bleauxs" tonight certainly will have my complete approval).
Bobby Loesch is the assistant editor of Tremendous Upside Potential and a weekly contributor to SBN Chicago. He can be reached at bobbyloesch [at] gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @bobbystompy.