The LSU-Alabama game in two weeks is going to easily be the most hyped game of the year, and one of the most hyped regular season games of the BCS era. #1 and #2 don't play each other in a virtual elimination game all that often.
And make no mistake, this is an elimination game. I'm sure the losing team will have its partisans advocating for a national title rematch, so let me make my position clear before we know the winner and the loser: The loser of this game should not be in the national title game if the winner of this game is invited.
The only reason we put up with this ridiculous BCS system is the Every Game Counts line - and if there is a rematch, then clearly every game does not count. There is simply no way the BCS is going to expose themselves to that kind of embarrassment. There will be no rematch.
*Seriously, this sitiation would be fascinating. Let's say LSU beats Alabama, both teams win out, and then LSU loses to Georgia in the title game. Now, we'd have the unfortunate situation that neither LSU nor Alabama is the conference champion. Additionally, Alabama's one loss is "better" than LSU's one loss. You could make a solid case for Alabama to go to the title game ahead of LSU if this happens, if you can get around the dodgy head-to-head issue. But just spitballing, I'd think Alabama would be ahead in the computers (if we reverse the scenario, it may be easier to argue for LSU given the Oregon win and the fact LSU's loss to Alabama would be on the road). This is what I like to call as the Worst Case Scenario.
So, let's hype the hell out of this game without regret. This game is every bit as huge as you think it is. Alabama and LSU look like the two best teams in the country, and neither has any real obvious weakness. Both teams have gone out and pretty much beaten every team on their schedule to a bloody pulp.
LSU is a great team. Alabama is a great team. There's no need to spin this. This is one of the biggest games of Les Miles' tenure. I could not be more excited if, for nothing else, a game that's not decided before the start of the fourth quarter.
As LSU fans, we're not used to this. We're used to last second heroics and heart attack induicng escapes. I have already planned to name my first ulcer "2007". Crazy, bizarre, but incredibly exciting games have been the norm under Les Miles, starting with his very first game (remember Arizona St?). This blowout thing is taking some getting used to. I don't trust it.
However, we are used to big games. Les Miles has excelled in games in which the spotlight has shone the brightest. Well, the spotlight will never be brighter for a regular season game. The acknowledged two best teams in the nation are going to play in prime time with the winner likely going to the national title game and the loser likely spending the rest of the year playing "what if".
Let's make sure it's Alabama playing what if while we're partying in New Orleans.This game defies hyperbole. It really is that big. Unfortunately, we still have to wait two weeks for it. We might have to spend this time actually getting re-acquainted with our families.
Delusional Optimism no longer seems so delusional, eh?