So while I realize that the entire college football world is talking about what I’m going to call the national championship semi-final, I would be remiss as a wannabe sports writer not to throw my two cents in as well. Truly, I have been looking forward to this game for weeks – basically since the moment it became apparent that these two teams were going to beat the crap out of pretty much every team they played. I’m a closet Tide fan anyway, (and no, not just recently), so I follow them behind the scenes of my front page Gamecock obsession. LSU stays on the radar as well, if for no other reason than because of the conference affiliation.
Honestly, I just can’t decide what I think about the outcome of this game. LSU’s Les Miles is some kind of mad genius with, forgive my language, balls of steel. Nick Saban of Alabama is widely considered to be the Dark Lord of football, turning players into special forces operatives. Both teams have amazing, deep talent all over both sides of the ball. Both teams are undefeated.
Here are some stats that may help those of you who like me, are really on the fence about who you think emerge the victor.
Under Les Miles, LSU is 18-1 in night games played on the road. Under Saban, BAMA is 26-1 at home.
Ranked Opponents faced:
Average ranks for opponents total offense:
Average ranks for opponents total defense:
Sacks and Turnovers forced:
Offensive balance (passing yards / rushing yards):
Thanks to Saturday Down South’s Robert Hopkins for the summary! http://www.saturdaydownsouth.com/blogs/calling-baton-rouge/
Honestly, I don’t really think that there is any predicting this game. All I know is that it is going to be AWESOME. My pick is Bama but I’m really going on emotion because I just can’t decide.
Check out this video, also from Saturday Down South – goosebumpy! http://www.saturdaydownsouth.com/2011/are-you-ready/
I’m so stoked about this one that I keep forgetting about the other game I’m supposed to watching, USC v Arkansas…and y’all, I’ve had it up to the proverbial here with everyone discounting the Gamecocks. Yes, Arkansas has an outstanding offense. Yes, South Carolina is hampered by injuries and will definitely miss Marcus Lattimore’s run game much more so than last week against Tennessee. But everyone seems to forget that the Gamecock defense is one of the best in the nation. I’ll repeat: The best. In the. Nation. Gilmore, Ingram, Allen – these guys are good and so is the rest of the defense as well. I’m confident they will not be sitting around wringing their hands before this game.
Stats don’t lie y’all, so deciding that Carolina has lost this game before they even get there is absurd. Yes, the offense is re-learning how to do pretty much everything – run without Marcus, throw with Connor, return with Sanders etc, but that doesn’t mean they can’t win. I agree that the Gamecock defense is going to have to lean on the Hog offense with everything they’ve got because if Arkansas pulls out ahead far enough, I don’t know that the Carolina offense can catch up. But I feel still strongly that this is going to be a game.
Clemson is off this weekend, and I couldn’t be happier about that because I just do not have the energy for them on top of Bama/LSU and USC/Ark. Oh and last week when I said that The Citadel was boring me so badly I couldn’t even come up with anything to say about them? I think they must have heard me somehow because they actually played an exciting game against VMI that included THREE blocked punts, which is awesome no matter who you are. The Dogs go to Georgia Southern this weekend, and I really hope the momentum is with them and that the second half of their season goes better than the first.
Alrighty then y’all – I hope you enjoy football this weekend as much as I plan to ’cause it’s going to be EPIC!!! And as always, have a very happy and safe Gameday!