Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 1/4/12

You may wonder why this preview is going up 5 days in advance of the big heavyweight bout. We’re at the point where every bowl game except the big one, the one that really matters, has been played.  Yes, the Cotton Bowl between Arkansas and Kansas State should be a fun one to watch. Much closer to being a true BCS bowl than tonight’s Orange Bowl between the so-called “best teams” from the ACC and Big East.

When talking ACC and especially Big East football, “airquotes” are often required. The ACC is 2-12 all-time in BCS bowls and the Big East simply needs to be stripped of their AQ. There’s no other way- West Virginia this year and UConn last year tell us that BE football is simply not allowed to have nice things.

And yes, there’s a couple other bowls left I didn’t mention that that you haven’t heard of, featuring teams that NO ONE cares about and NO ONE will watch.

So if the Cotton Bowl is a dud…well, let’s just get to the rematch, and this one is for all the Mardi Gras beads.

#1 LSU Analysis: They are simply DBU or CBU right now. They lose Patrick Peterson to the NFL and their pass defense somehow gets stronger. Morris Claiborne or the Honey Badger Tyrann Mathieu? Pick your poison.

They had a very tumultous off-season, yet the team came together and here they are, the only undefeated team left. Making absolute mincemeat of Georgia 42-10 in the SEC Championship game.

Les Miles does it with defense and a balanced attack on offense. They have a ground-oriented assault with a Alfred Blue, Michael Ford and Spencer Ware sharing the workload.

#2 Alabama Analysis: The 45-38 Rose Bowl or 67-56 Alamo Bowl this is not! Don’t mistake what happened in the first meeting for two bad offenses. These two scoring units put up big points on EVERYBODY; except for each other. It was simply two great defenses.

Bama bounced back nicely from that emotional defeat. (Except for this guy, he seemed to take it very hard. Or maybe he was crying because his team lost and the fact that the really hot girl at the game with him had just friend-zoned him; who knows?)

Since the game of the century, the Tide beat Mississippi State 24-7, Georgia Southern 45-21 and Auburn 42-14.

Trent Richardson’s NFL draft stock could be even higher than predecessor Mark Ingram, who won the Heisman. Many runners have influenced Richardson, including Reggie Bush and the Vikings Adrian Peterson.Richardson is frequently compared to Emmitt Smith, but his physique and running style are more similar to Earl Campbell. He’s also drawn comparisons to Michael Turner the Burner and O.J. Simpson (on the field, not off of it, of course). Richardson has 17 TDs already, and is just 11 yards away from a 1,000 yard season. Watch this ridiculous 76-yard TD run. To learn more about Richardson go here

Prediction: (Record 42-19) Alabama 14, LSU 10

So you don’t want a rematch? DON’T CARE!!! I greatly enjoyed the first game between these two. It was a fun, exciting game. My beef wasn’t that it was too low-scoring, my problem was it got decided by special teams. That’s a big advantage the NFL has on college football. For the most part, every pro team can play ST. In college, too many games are decided by these ancillary, periphery bit players.

Ask Stanford about their placekicker in the Fiesta Bowl Monday night. Ask Illinois about the kickoff coverage, kickoff return, punt coverage and punt return teams in the final game for Joe Paterno. Ask Alabama about Nov 5th, when their kicker showed up to the game with no feet.
Why am I still on the Bama bandwagon? If they couldn’t handle the Tigers at home, what makes me think they’ll fare better at the Louisiana Superdome, LSU’s home away from home? Maybe being a de facto away team will toughen them?

Maybe they learned from their mistakes and will come correct this time? Or it’s just I think they have more talent than LSU. Since the summer, I’ve thought they were the best team in college football, and I’ not changing my mind now. Despite what happened in Tuscaloosa.

There will be close to 20 future NFL guys playing at some point in this game, but I think the Crimson Tide athletes are better.

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