Saturday, January 7, 2012

Primer for the BCS National Championship


from the SEC Digital Network

BCS National Championship Game Preview

LSU vs. ALABAMA
7:30 p.m. CT
January 9, 2012
New Orleans, La.
Mercedes-Benz Superdome (75,000)
SiriusXM: 84
LSU TIGERS
Overall: 13-0, 8-0 SEC
Head Coach: Les Miles (Michigan, '76)
Overall/Years: 103-38 (.730)/11th Season
LSU/Years: 75-17 (.815)/7th Season
In Bowl Games: 6-3 (.667)
In BCS National Championship Games: 1-0 (1.000)/2008-def. Ohio State, 38-24
National Rankings: BCS (1); Harris (1); USA Today (1); AP (1)
LSU in Bowl Games: 22-19-1 (.536)
LSU in BCS National Championship Games: 2-0 (1.000)/2008-def. Ohio State, 38-24; 2004-def. Oklahoma, 21-14, in Allstate Sugar Bowl
Formations: Offense - Multiple • Defense - 4-3
LIVE TV: ESPN
[Brent Musberger, play-by-play; Kirk Herbstreit, color analyst; Erin Andrews, sidelines; Tom Rinaldi, sidelines]
ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE
Overall: 11-1, 7-1 SEC
Head Coach: Nick Saban (Kent State, '73)
Overall/Years: 140-54-1 (.721)/16th Season
UA/Years: 49-12 (.803)/5th Season
In Bowl Games: 6-6 (.500)
In BCS National Championship Games: 2-0 (1.000)/2010-def. Texas, 38-21; 2004-def. Oklahoma, 21-14, in Allstate Sugar Bowl
National Rankings: BCS (2); Harris (2); USA Today (2); AP (2)
Alabama in Bowl Games: 33-21-3 (.605)
Alabama in BCS National Championship Games: 1-0 (1.000)/2010-def. Texas, 38-21
Formations: Offense - Pro-Style • Defense - 3-4


LSU KEY PLAYERS 

CB Tyrann Mathieu (5-9, 180, So., New Orleans, La.)
Recipient of Chuck Bednarik Award as nation’s top defensive player ... First-team All-America cornerback by AP, ESPN.com, Rivals, Walter Camp, CBS Sports.com, FWAA and SI.com ... First-team All- America return specialist by Rivals, CBS Sports.com and SI.com ... First-team All-SEC by the league’s coaches and AP ... 2nd in SEC and nation with 16.15 punt return average ... Leads SEC with six forced fumbles ... Has 70 total tackles this season (53 solos) and two interceptions. 

CB Morris Claiborne (6-0, 177, Jr., Shreveport, La.)
Recipient of Jim Thorpe Award as nation’s top defensive back ... First-team All-America by AP, ESPN.com, Rivals, Walter Camp, CBS Sports.com, AFCA, FWAA, PFW and SI.com ... First-team All-SEC by league’s coaches and AP ... 2nd in SEC and 9th in nation with six interceptions (173 yard, 1 TD) ... 9th in SEC with 12 pass deflections. 

DE Sam Montgomery (6-4, 245, So., Greenwood, S.C.)
First-team All-America by FWAA and PFW, second-team by SI.com and third-team by Rivals and AP ... First-team All-SEC by league’s coaches and AP ... 13 tackles for loss this season, 9th in SEC ... Sixth in SEC with 9 sacks (-55 yards). 

P Brad Wing (6-3, 175, Fr., Melbourne, Australia)
First-team All-America by AP, SI.com and CBS Sports.com ... First-team Freshman All-America by CBS Sports.com and Rivals ... First-team All-SEC by league’s coaches and AP ... First-team Freshman All-SEC by league’s coaches ... 3rd in SEC and 15th in nation with 44.14 punt average ... 23 of his 50 punts were inside the 20-yard line (46 percent). 

ALABAMA KEY PLAYERS

RB Trent Richardson (5-11, 224, Jr., Pensacola, Fla.)
Recipient of Doak Walker Award as nation’s top running back and finalist for Heisman Trophy ... First-team All-America by AP, ESPN.com, Rivals, Walter Camp, CBSSports.com, AFCA, FWAA, PFW and SI.com ... First-team All-SEC by league’s coaches and AP ... SEC Offensive Player of the Year by league’s coaches and AP ... Leads SEC and 7th in nation in all-purpose rushing (164.67 per game) ... First in SEC and fifth in nation in rushing with 1,583 yards ... 23 TDs scored this year is second all-time in SEC history ... 138 total points scored this season is tied for third in SEC history. 

OT Barrett Jones (6-5, 311, Jr., Germantown, Tenn.)
Recipient of Outland Trophy as nation’s top interior lineman ... First-team All-America by AP, ESPN.com, Walter Camp, CBS Sports.com, AFCA, FWAA, SI.com ... First-team Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-America ... Second-team All-America by Rivals ... First-team All-SEC by league’s coaches and AP and recipient of SEC Jacobs Blocking Trophy as league’s best blocker (vote by coaches). 

LB Courtney Upshaw (6-2, 265, Sr., Eufaula, Ala.)
Finalist for Lombardi and Butkus Awards ... First-team All-America by ESPN.com, CBS Sports.com, FWAA, PFW and SI.com ... Second-team All-America by AP, Rivals and Walter Camp ... First-team All- SEC by league’s coaches and AP ... 2nd in SEC with 17 tackles for losses and tied for 4th with 8.5 sacks. 

SAF Mark Barron (6-2, 218, Sr., Mobile, Ala.)
Finalist for Jim Thorpe Award ... First-team All-America by AP, ESPN.com, Rivals, Walter Camp, CBS Sports.com, AFCA, FWAA, PFW and SI.com ... First-team All-SEC by league’s coaches and AP ... Has 66 total tackles (42 solos) ... Has two interceptions and seven pass deflections this season. 

SERIES/GAME NOTES

Record: UA leads, 45-25-5 • Last: LSU, 9-6, OT (Nov. 5, 2011 at Tuscaloosa) 

GAME NOTES: The game is the first intra-conference matchup for the national championship in the BCS era ... The game assures the SEC of its sixth straight national championship and 8th overall in the BCS era ... LSU has won two BCS National Championships – 2004 and 2008 (both coming at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans) ... LSU won a 9-6 overtime thriller in Tuscaloosa earlier this season. This will be the first rematch for a National Championship since the 1996 season when Florida State defeated Florida, 24-21, in their regular-season meeting, followed by the Gators rolling to a 52-20 win in the 1997 Sugar Bowl to earn the national title ... Alabama won the BCS National Championship in 2010 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif ... Alabama and LSU are 1-2 in the best records in the SEC since 2007. The Crimson Tide are 49-12 (.8033) and the Tigers are 53-13 (.8030) ... Alabama has the most defensive shutouts in the SEC since 1992 (17) and LSU is second (16) ... Alabama and LSU are 1-2 in least offensive TDs allowed this season (Alabama-9 / LSU-13) ... Since 2000, the average winning margin in LSU-Alabama rivalry is 11.00 points per game. Seven of the 11 games have been decided by 9- points-or-less ... LSU and Alabama are 1-2 in SEC in points per offensive drive this season. LSU averages 2.75 points per drive (413 points/150 drives started) while Alabama averages 2.59 points per drive (373 points / 144 drives started) ... LSU and Alabama are also 1-2 in the SEC in drive efficiency. LSU scores on 48.0 percent of its offensive drives while Alabama scores on 46.5 percent of its drives. LSU scores touchdowns on 37.3 percent of its offensive drives while Alabama scores TDs on 34.0 percent of its drives ... Alabama leads SEC in defensive 3-and-outs, stopping opponents without a first down 50.3 percent of the time (72 of 143). LSU is seventh at 31.5 percent (51 of 162) ... LSU and Alabama are 1-2 in least amount of turnovers and least amount of opponents scoring off of its turnovers ... LSU and Alabama are 1-2 in fourth quarter scoring margin this season.