The idea of Alabama-LSU playing and then having a BCS Championship rematch again in 2012 after this rare event happened in 2011 is absurd to many. While the chances are very slim, it’s not completely impossible even with one team already going into the Alabama-LSU regular season matchup with a loss. As long as both of these teams are in the top 5 of the BCS (Alabama is #1, LSU is #5), the rematch possibility remains a possibility.
First, the biggest thing that needs to happen is for a number of teams to lose. Specifically Notre Dame, Kansas State and Oregon. In some cases, It might require multiple losses for some of these teams.
If the right teams lose, the possibility of an Alabama-LSU rematch will remain on the table if the following things happen Saturday night:
1. LSU needs to win
For the rematch to stay alive, LSU has to win. First, LSU with two losses will almost kill the opportunity of a rematch. Secondly, if Alabama loses on the road in what is considered one of the toughest road environments in the country to the currently #5 ranked LSU team, they won’t fall but a few spots in the BCS rankings.
Meanwhile, It’s important that Alabama doesn’t beat themselves, but are simply beat by another outstanding football team. Best case scenario for a rematch is if Alabama rolls over every team on its schedule but loses a nail biter to LSU in Baton Rouge while still looking like a great football team.
2. The game needs to be exciting
A few factors work against voters voting in a way that might lead to a rematch. First, there’s a definite anti-SEC bias with some voters around the country. There’s nothing you can do about that. Another factor is the fact that many fans did not enjoy either game between LSU-Alabama last year. The 9-6 regular season matchup was a defensive slugfest, and the BCSCG was very one-sided and featured an LSU team that struggled to cross mid-field.
In order for a rematch to occur, this game needs to be excited to the mass fans. That means quality offense, quality defense and some big, exciting plays. Ideally, both teams look good moving the ball. Throw in an exciting punt return. End the game with one team failing to convert a 4th down against a stout defensive line. Something like LSU 24, Alabama 23 would do it.
3. LSU’s offense needs to look good
Alabama has looked like a championship team all season. Let’s be honest. LSU has not. LSU needs to look good on offense in order to convince voters that they are worthy of a championship birth. Specifically, LSU needs better quarterback play out of Zach Mettenberger. Mett doesn’t need to light it up, but he needs to complete passes and protect the ball. While the BCS brings objectivity into the equation, the reality is that the human polls still make up a huge chunk of the BCS rankings. Humans vote like humans.
The idea of an Alabama-LSU rematch is not on the lips of college football fans at the moment. There are too many undefeated teams, and LSU hasn’t looked the part yet. The reality though is that everything can change in a single Saturday. College football fans should expect the unexpected, and if things go as I’ve outlined here, the unexpected might not be that crazy.