12:55 p.m. Ah, Saturday. It’s a beautifully sunny, crisp day here in Long Beach, California. 61 degrees and clear right now. I was planning to see a movie today, but that didn’t happen. So I’ve spent it reading some academic stuff, writing fantasy football notes and watching Breeders’ Cup racing. It’s been a nice day.
But I’ve heard there’s, like, an important football game on tonight. Did you know about this?
It’s kind of funny because I’ve been watching ESPN for every hour of every day since Monday, forgoing sleep to watch the 3 a.m. repeat of a repeat of SportsCenter, and I haven’t been exposed to much regarding this LSU at Alabama game. The ESPN family of networks has been very subtle in its
pre-week pregame coverage. Because if there’s one thing ESPN doesn’t do, it’s give a single regular-season sporting event too much airtime and suffocate its audience with continuous interviews, analysis and predictions.
But this game seems to carry some weighty significance, so I figure I’d once again ramble on while it’s being played out. Join me, won’t you?
4:40 p.m. OK, so who’s ready for some football?
Seriously, who’s ready? You couldn’t possibly be even more ready after this week. LSU and Alabama have been nailed into your our brains. Remember those state capitols you learned back in sixth or seventh grade? Well, not anymore you don’t. All of that information has been taken up by Trent Richardson and Tyrann Mathieu.
4:45 p.m. You already know the keys to the game and what everyone is watching for:
- Which offense will be able to control the line of scrimmage more?
- Can Trent Richardson have success against LSU’s nine-man box?
- Which QB, A.J. McCarron or Jarrett Lee, will manage the game better (a.k.a. be less stupid than the other QB)? Because they will HAVE to make some.
- Can Alabama’s wideouts beat LSU’s outstanding DBs?
- How much does home-field advantage matter?
- What crazy shit will Les Miles do tonight?
- Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers.
My pick: Alabama wins, 20-17.
But I’ll take LSU with the points.
4:51 p.m. I’m not here to do a lot of analysis, but I will point out a few things:
This is the 45th No. 1 vs. No. 2 game in college football history, and just the second since 1997. The last came in 2006 when No. 1 Ohio State defeated No. 2 Michigan, 42-39. I don’t remember, but I’m sure that was billed as “The Game of the Century” too.
LSU has committed three turnovers this season. THREE! And none since Septemeber!
Neither Alabama or LSU has trailed after any quarter this season. Obviously, that’s going to change tonight. But a lot is going to change tonight, including the BCS rankings and my opinion on both of these teams. Because I jump to conclusions with little regard.
4:56 p.m. I think we’re going to see a fairly boring first half as the defenses take over. It’ll probably be something like 6-3, Alabama. And then the offenses will start to make this game actually worth watching and worth (some of) the hype.
4:57 p.m. Our local CBS station here in Southern California just ended its news broadcast by telling us to stay tuned for “the LSU Tigers and the Alabama Crimson.”
Yeah. Roll, Crimson, roll. That’s what they always say.
5:00 p.m. While checking some stats for this game, I happened upon this:
TOTAL DEFENSE IN THE FBS:
2. MICHIGAN STATE
Does this mean that my UCF Knights have a better defense than the Crimson Tide?
Yes. Yes, it does.
5:03 p.m. The time for talk has ended. Game time is here.
Now if only the band would get off the God damn field!
5:07 p.m. Drinking game option for tonight: A shot for every hearty laugh that Verne Lundquist let’s fly tonight. The man loves the comedy styles of Gary Danielson.
5:09 p.m. And both teams come on to the field. Couldn’t have done this 10 minutes ago, could they? Nooooooooooooooo.
5:10 p.m. Nick Saban tells Tracy Wolfson that his team needs to “see ball, hit ball.”
Nick Saban is ready to win the World Series.
5:11 p.m. Alabama wins the toss and takes the ball first. Nick Saban looking for a home run return, I’m sure.
5:13 p.m. Man, how awesome must that tailgate have been today? People who have been looking forward to this game for weeks won’t remember one second of it. I’m sure five percent of the crowd has already blacked out.
5:14 p.m. AND WE’RE OFF!
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