2011-2012
College Football Season
BCS Championship
Preview


Bowl Index

BCS CHAMPIONSHIP
BCS Title Game History
LSU Louisiana State (13-0)
Schedule/Results / Bowl History
Alabama Alabama (11-1)
Schedule/Results / Bowl History
Location: New Orleans, LA
Date: Monday, January 9
Time: 8:30 pm EST
TV: ESPN

Game Preview

Courtesy BCS and CollegeFootballPoll.com
January 6, 2012

Finally, the BCS title game arrives on Monday night from New Orleans with SEC West rivals LSU (13-0) and Alabama (11-1) competing for the Waterford Crystal football.

By default, the SEC will win a sixth consecutive BCS title.

Alabama head coach Nick Saban goes for his second national title with Alabama (2009 season) and his third overall (LSU, 2003 season). LSU's Les Miles tries to win his second national championship (LSU, 2007 season). Florida won the 2006 and 2008 season titles and Auburn won in 2010.

The schools met earlier this year in Tuscaloosa with LSU winning a 9-6 game in which the only scoring came from five field goals. Alabama missed field goals on each of its first three drives. LSU QB's Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee combined to throw for 91 yards while the Tide's A.J. McCarron was 16-of-28 for 199 yards and RB Trent Richardson ran for 89 yards on 23 carries.

If 'Bama wins, they become national champions by going 1-1 vs. LSU. But if the Tigers go 1-1 against the Crimson Tide, they are not the champions. It would be the first time that has happened since the pre-BCS days of Florida-Florida State in the 1996 season in a game played at the same venue. Florida State defeated Florida 24-21 in their regular-season meeting only to get rolled by the Gators 52-20 in the rematch.

"We are very excited to have the opportunity to host two Southeastern Conference teams for the Allstate BCS National Championship," said Sugar Bowl President Lance Africk. "Our long and storied history with the SEC makes it appropriate that this historic match-up will be right here in New Orleans. We're very much looking forward to welcoming these tremendous fan bases back to our city and to show them the hospitality for which our bowl is famous."

The SEC's relationship with the bowl dates back to the original Sugar Bowl Classic in 1935 and the city has also hosted 22 National Champions in the Sugar Bowl's 78-year history.

LSU, the No. 1 team in the final BCS Standings, is the only undefeated team in the nation with a perfect 13-0 record that which includes victories over BCS No. 5 Oregon and BCS No. 6 Arkansas in addition to Alabama.

LSU will be making its third appearance in the BCS National Championship - the other two were also in New Orleans as the Tigers defeated Oklahoma, 21-14, in the 2003 season Sugar Bowl and then upended Ohio State, 38-24, in the 2007 season BCS National Championship game.

Both teams are also very familiar with the Sugar Bowl as they have each made 13 appearances (the most of any schools) - the Tigers have a 6-7 all-time record in the Sugar Bowl, while the Crimson Tide has registered an 8-5 record in its Sugar Bowl appearances.

""This has been another great season for college football, from the first weekend right through today's announcements, and we're excited that the top two teams for this year's championship game are two storied programs that have great tradition with us at the Sugar Bowl," said Paul Hoolahan, chief executive officer of the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

Both teams come into the National Championship game with outstanding defenses.

Alabama is rated No. 1 in the nation allowing just 191.25 yards and 8.83 points per game. LSU is second in the nation, allowing 252.08 yards and 10.54 points per game.

LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu, the "Honey Badger", won the Chuck Bednarik Award for top defensive player and finished fifth in Heisman Trophy voting. His defensive backfield partner, Morris Claiborne, won the Jim Thorpe Award for top defensive back.

Meanwhile, the Outland Trophy for best interior lineman went to Alabama offensive tackle Barrett Jones. Running back Trent Richardson won the Doak Walker Award for top running back and received the third-most votes for the Heisman Trophy.

LSU's Les Miles won the Home Depot Coach Of the Year and the Frank Broyles Award for top assistant coach went to his defensive coordinator, John Chavis.

The CollegeFootballPoll.com All-America team includes Alabama's Richardson and Jones, along with linebackers Dont'a Hightower and Courtney Upshaw. They were joined by LSU's Mathieu and Claiborne.

LSU's Miles tied with Kansas State's Bill Snyder in fan voting at CollegeFootballPoll.com for top head coach.

Offensively, the Crimson Tide's Richardson rushed for 1,583 yards and 20 touchdowns. However, the Tigers counter with one of the most productive offensive backfields in the country with four standout running backs who combined to rush for 2,314 yards and 30 touchdowns.

Miles is in his seventh year in Baton Rouge, having posted a 75-17 (.815) record. This will be his seventh bowl appearance, having posted wins in five of those games, including the 2006 season Sugar Bowl over Notre Dame. He spent four years as the head coach at Oklahoma State prior to taking the LSU position.

Saban has the unique challenge of going against one of his former schools in this year's championship game. In his five years in Tuscaloosa, the 60-year old Saban has posted a 54-12 (.818) record. He has directed the Crimson Tide to bowl appearances in all five of his seasons. A West Virginia product, Saban graduated from Kent State University and was the head coach at LSU from 2000-04. He has also served as the head coach with Michigan State, Toledo and the Miami Dolphins.

The Allstate BCS National Championship on Monday, Jan. 9, 2012 in New Orleans at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The game is scheduled to kick off at 7:30 p.m. (CT) and will be televised by ESPN.

The Congrove Computer Rankings' preseason projections put Alabama in this game against Oklahoma and had Oklahoma winning the national title. Alabama was ranked 2nd and LSU 6th. It now has LSU ranked 1st, Oklahoma State ranked 2nd and Alabama 3rd. It now favors LSU by 4.16 points to win the big game.