Feels great the second time around, too!

Clearly, the SEC Speed thing was overblown. Best I can tell, no one saw it coming (with the exception of SMQ and possibly Pete Fiutak at CFN): the SEC isn't a bunch of Nancy Boys who can only outrun other teams to victory; LSU, at least, can win - and has won - by simply being more physical. We pointed it here three days ago, to wit:

And perhaps there's nothing that really does set the conference apart, but for all the discussion about how fast the SEC is, lost in it all is the simple fact that if it came down to a knock-down, drag-out trench-war battle between LSU and any other team in the country - Ohio State included - we wouldn't come across too shabby ourselves. I'm not saying other conferences aren't powerful, but one gets the distinct feeling from listening to all this discussion that not a single person expects LSU to win if the speed issue were neutralized. Everyone goes out of his way to concede that Ohio State is plenty fast themselves, and everyone seems to be picking LSU anyway (be it for the alleged talent discrepancy or home field advantage), but in doing so NO ONE is taking any care to say "Hey, if LSU got punched in the mouth by Ohio State, could it get up and simply overpower its opponent? Could it win the game simply because it can win the battle in the trenches?"

That aspect has been completely swept under the rug, as far as I can tell, and I'm guessing if we DO win the title on Monday night, the following morning's headlines will be talking about the massive void in discussing the sheer strength of the LSU Tigers (and yes, I've seen Vern Gholston's biceps...again, this isn't a relative discussion). It isn't all about speed in the SEC - just ask Glenn Dorsey and Jacob Hester, who don't earn their living OUT-running you, just OVER-running you.

Well, yeah. That's pretty much what we did. Took an early punch, got up and rolled off 31 unanswered without a single big-yardage play. Let's examine some post-game analysis from the media. Mid game from CFN's Pete Fiutak:

LSU converts another third and short on the ground. The Tiger offensive line is more physical than the OSU defensive front.

Later, also from Fiutak (with admittedly a couple comments in between about our getting handled at times):

It's not like the Tigers are doing anything fancy; they're just blowing the Buckeyes off the ball and getting three yards a crack.

Post game from ESPN's Mark Schlabach:

Would Ohio State be able to handle LSU's speed better than it did against Florida in last season's BCS Championship Game? The Buckeyes struggled with LSU's strength and power more than its speed on Monday night. Defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey and ends Tyson Jackson and Kirston Pittman had their way against Ohio State's offensive line and pressured Boeckman relentlessly.

And so on.

So congratulations, Les Miles. You're 34-6 in three years, with an SEC Title and a National Title - whether or not it required some divine intervention - and three rather dominating bowl performances in a row. We're glad you stayed.

Meanwhile, LSU is by far and away the first place team in the final AP Poll. 60 1st place votes to Georgia's 3, USC's 1, and Kansas' 1.

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