by CollegeFootballPoll.com Staff
January 10, 2012
The SEC got its 6th consecutive national title by default as Alabama blanked fellow SEC West member LSU 21-0 in the BCS Championship Game in New Orleans on Monday night (January 9). LSU fell to 13-1 with the loss and Alabama completed the season 12-1 by avenging its only loss of the season, a 9-6 overtime home setback to the Tigers on November 5.
Just like the first go-around, this game was about defense and field goals. The difference is Alabama had all of both, and even scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter to put the game away. Jeremy Shelley made 5 field goals and missed 2, and Trent Richardson scored the only touchdown these teams could muster in 8 quarters of competition when he bounced an inside run to the left and ran untouched down the sideline for 34 yards with just 4:36 left to play in the game. Shelley clanked the PAT off the right upright.
The game-clinching run came just four plays after LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson had the ball knocked from his hands near mid-field, just a few plays after the Tigers had made their only foray of the night into Alabama territory. But after advancing to the 'Bama 32-yard line, a 3-yard loss on an option and a 5-yard penalty sent the Bayou Bengals backward.
The score doesn't tell the whole story of Alabama's domination. The Tide outgained LSU 383-91 and collected 21 first down's to LSU's 5. The Tide ran 69 plays while LSU had just 45 snaps. Alabama committed just one penalty the entire game and that was late in the fourth quarter on punt defense when the game was in-hand.
Head coach Nick Saban won his second national title with Alabama (2009 season) and third overall (LSU, 2003 season). He is the first head coach to win three national championships in the BCS era.
The state of Alabama captured its third consecutive title with Auburn winning last year's matchup with Oregon 22-19 and Alabama taking the 2009 season title with a 37-21 decision over Texas.
Make no mistake, this title is not free of controversy, though the dominating manner in which 'Bama won will help sweep of that controversy under the rug. Still, the Tide becomes national champions by going 1-1 vs. LSU while the Tigers are 1-1 against the Crimson Tide and are not the champions. It is the first time such a scenario has unfolded since the pre-BCS days of Florida-Florida State in the 1996 season. Alabama is also the first member of a conference to win the national championship - while not winning its own conference -since 1936.
Alabama improved its overall bowl record to 34-22-3 as it gave the SEC its 8th national title in the BCS's 14-year era. LSU became the first SEC team to lose in a BCS Championship game and saw its bowl record fall to 22-20-1.
55.3% of CollegeFootballPoll.com voters picked LSU to win and the Congrove Computer Rankings at CollegeFootballPoll.com forecasted a 4.16-point victory for the Tigers.