Was Alabama-LSU the ‘Game of the Century?’


AP Photo/Dave Martin

Only the brainwashed SEC fan who believes there is absolutely no life outside their conference would want to watch Saturday night’s Alabama-LSU game again.

Don’t say you were surprised by last night’s low-scoring defensive struggle between the Tigers and Tide, but I guess we were expecting to see the quarterbacks have a few moments of brilliance. We were given a few flashy plays by ‘Bama running back Trent Richardson, but I think we can all agree that he didn’t have a “Heisman Moment” last night, and I’d still vote for Stanford QB Andrew Luck or Wisconsin QB Russell Wilson for the Heisman before Richardson, if the season ended today (and if I had a Heisman vote).

And I understand that we live in a world of hyperbole, where the casual fan won’t seem to grasp the enormity of a game between No. 1 and No. 2 — unless they see the two teams’ rankings and use common sense. Every time two top-ranked teams duel in the regular season, it’s called the “Game of the Century,” as if there’s never been a game played between No. 1 and No. 2 before.

But this wasn’t the Game of the Century. Heck, it wasn’t even the Game of the Night.

It started with the constant fawning over the SEC all week. Believe it or not, the viewing public knows that SEC Football is a big deal. Spending hours of pregame shows explaining that to us is annoying. “No, you just don’t get it unless you experience it.” Yes, we do … we’ve all been to a tailgate before. “It’s big-boy football.”

Aww, give yourselves a hug.

Then, we were subjected to the golden pipes of Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson during the game. It’s an accomplishment when these two men can correctly figure out which two teams are on the field, so asking them to do justice to a big game is asking for the impossible. CBS continues to ignore that issue, and it makes the games painful.

Then, there were the offenses. I get that great defenses can slow offenses, but it was a completely uninspired game from both teams on offense. Neither coaching staff was very inventive, and hiding behind the excuse of great defenses simply won’t cut it.

And here’s why — we saw a very similar game earlier in the season with more points and more offensive excitement: FSU vs. Oklahoma.

The Seminoles and Sooners both have defenses ranked in the top 25 (FSU is No. 8 and Oklahoma is No. 21; they’d be ranked far higher if they played in the SEC instead of the high-powered Big 12), and offenses that were expected to be slowed by those defenses. Despite the ‘Noles losing starting quarterback EJ Manuel in the game, the two battled to a 23-13 final score, and if you watched that game and then watched last night’s game, there’s no doubt which one was better. Even if you like the defensive struggle, FSU-Oklahoma was better, because it had plenty of defense, but the offenses worked harder to earn the points they scored.

The crazy thing was that LSU-Alabama wasn’t even the Game of the Night. I’m not suggesting that you should prefer a game with no defense like we saw in the Oklahoma State-Kansas State game, but there’s no debating that it was a more exciting game. When OSU-KSU was over, there wasn’t that feeling of looking around and asking your friends, “Is it finally over?” We had to do that when LSU finally made enough field goals to beat Alabama, and that doesn’t make for a Game of the Century.

Speaking of field goals, I’m pretty sure Alabama just missed another one.