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Alabama-LSU buildup is a classic case of hype

Chris Dufresne takes time out (he gets three per half) each Friday during the season to answer questions on college football.

November 04, 2011|Chris Dufresne
  • LSU fans arrive at a Tuscaloosa, Ala., train station on Friday as they prepare for Saturday's Southeastern Conference showdown between the Tigers and Alabama.
LSU fans arrive at a Tuscaloosa, Ala., train station on Friday as they prepare… (Michelle Lepianka Carter…)

Unbuckling the mailbag:

Question: Isn't everyone getting ahead of themselves? What if the winner of the Alabama-Louisiana State game wins by a couple of touchdowns or even more?

John Schow


Answer: Exactly. How can people be talking title-game rematch before kickoff? What if it ends up 30-0 or 3-0?

If you want to watch the game objectively, though, I suggest turning down the volume on the CBS broadcast because I have yet to hear a Southeastern Conference game on CBS that wasn't considered a "classic."

Q: As a proud Alabama alum and SEC supporter, I am first a college football fan in that context. You are absolutely correct regarding a rematch.

Play the game, let it count, move on. It's a sound policy.

Tim Bagwell

Gardendale, Ala.

A: You make way too much sense to be a proud Alabama alum. Where is the blind, unabashed homer-ism and lack of objectivity?

What kind of SEC fan are you? Be careful or you might be stripped of your tailgate and bumper-sticker privileges.

Q: Yes, this is Ali-Frazier and/or rematch. I realize Pete Carroll's Trojans whipped the pants off Arkansas twice. But this is not your father's SEC West. Wait until you see these two teams play. Then, tell us if the loser, possibly at 13-1, isn't eligible for the prize.

Charles Gaudin

A: You forgot one more set of SEC West pants Carroll's Trojans whipped twice — Auburn (2002, 2003)

And if the loser of LSU-Alabama ends up at 13-1, I'm calling the NCAA because they would have played way too many games.

Q: Re LSU-Alabama: In college football's regular season, when was the last time No. 1 and No. 2 met as late as November?

Dave Perkin

Redondo Beach

A: It was November of 2006, when No. 1 Ohio State hosted No. 2 Michigan in Columbus. What a scene. Bo Schembechler, the former Michigan coach, died on the Friday before the game. I was driving through downtown Columbus on High Street when I heard the news on the radio.

A mock band, "Dead Schembechlers," was scheduled to play that night at the Newport Music Hall.

I stopped outside the theater and the manager came out with a ladder and started taking the letters off the marquee.

The band canceled its gig and the marquee was changed to "God Bless Bo."

Ohio State beat Michigan, 42-39.

Let's see LSU-Alabama top that.

Q: Is there a quarterback in the SEC this weekend who will be playing in the NFL? Maybe Tyler Wilson?

Anyone else … doubt it.

Tyler Holmes

A: Good point. The SEC holds the title of nation's best conference without a truly great quarterback this year.

And remember, injuries to star running backs have hurt Arkansas and South Carolina.

The SEC is dominating with linemen, linebackers and defensive backs.

In contrast, look at the quarterbacks in the Pac-12: Andrew Luck, Matt Barkley, Nick Foles, Brock Osweiler, Keith Price, Darron Thomas.

Any one of those guys would be starting at Alabama or LSU.

What about the Big 12? That league has Landry Jones, Brandon Weeden, Robert Griffin III, Ryan Tannehill, Seth Doege and James Franklin.

Q: You think Stanford will win the Bowl Championship Series?


A: Substitute "could" for "will." Stanford certainly has a chance if it wins out and Oklahoma State loses to Oklahoma.

Q: If Oklahoma beats Oklahoma State and Oregon beats Stanford, then who plays the Alabama/LSU winner in the championship game?

Undefeated Boise State instead of one-loss Oklahoma or Oregon?

Jake Long

A: Yikes! I would advocate Boise State but could hear arguments from Oklahoma, Oregon and the Alabama/LSU loser.

The computers, one third of the BCS formula, would favor any of the one-loss teams over Boise State.

It would be up to the coaches and Harris voters to decide whether undefeated Boise State deserved a crack at the SEC champion.

Oklahoma would have the biggest blemish — that home loss to Texas Tech. Oregon's only loss would have been to LSU.

My thinking is Oregon got its shot last year. Give Boise State one last chance as the non-AQ underdog before it joins a major conference and no longer has to apologize for a weak schedule it had nothing to do with.

To me, Boise State has proven itself over time. It would have earned the right, on merit, to play on college's biggest stage in a flawed system that leaves us these difficult choices.

Q: This week you have Michigan (6-1) ranked 22nd below six schools with 6-2 records. As Pete Carroll once said, "What's your deal?"

Martin J. Frank

A: Get in line next to whiners who ripped me for not ranking Mississippi State (4-4) in my preseason top 25, not appreciating Kansas State enough before the Wildcats got blown out by Oklahoma and not anointing Wisconsin national champion before the Badgers played a true road game.

Write to me in four weeks, after Michigan plays at Iowa, at Illinois and then home games against Nebraska and Ohio State.

My guess is Michigan will have a tough time at Iowa on Saturday.

We have a deal?

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