Happy Monday, everyone. The Tide made enough errors to allow LSU to break the eight game streak in the series, and are now back in the unenviable position of hoping for a rematch.
Some of the takes:
-- All the momentum was Alabama’s early in the fourth quarter after Harris’ one-yard touchdown run made it 33-27. The stadium again shook when they played Dixieland Delight in the timeout after that touchdown. LSU had gone scoreless in three straight possessions in the second half and it looked like Alabama was on the verge of doing it again. The difference? Joe Burrow. He converted three third downs on that drive that ended in a touchdown.
The Heisman Trophy (2). Joe Burrow ran away with the thing against the Crimson Tide. He was brilliant yet again, throwing for 393 yards and three touchdowns and running for another 64 yards. Meanwhile, his closest competitors were all having their issues: Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa had two crippling turnovers; Oklahoma QB Jalen Hurts threw an interception against Iowa State that could have been game-losing and season-wrecking for the Sooners, if a receiver held onto a two-point pass that hit him in the stomach; Ohio State defensive end Chase Young is currently indisposed due to an NCAA eligibility issue.
During that postgame celebration, video showed Tigers players Thaddeus Moss, Grant Delpit, Marcel Brooks and Cameron Lewis going over to the Bama recruits and making a case for LSU. Right there from the field.
Oklahoma: The Sooners already have a loss at Kansas State, so for them to make the playoff, they need to run the table. A 12-1 Oklahoma would have wins over Texas and Baylor, likely twice (the second in the Big 12 title game). Oklahoma has also been relatively dominant over its schedule, save for Saturday’s slim victory over Iowa State. I do not think Alabama gets selected over Oklahoma at 12-1, so the Tide need help here.
See, few people may be banging this drum, but let’s talk about the 2011 season, shall we? By the end of the season, Alabama had faced only two teams that were ranked in the last ballot: Arkansas and LSU. The Tide whipped Arkansas thoroughly as it did all of its other opponents and took #1 LSU to the wire. Meanwhile, Oklahoma State had a conference championship and wins over three ranked teams, but they had a loss to an unranked squad and struggled a couple of times. The computer polls liked Oklahoma State a shade better but the human polls liked Alabama, and the Tide got to play in the national title game. There was even a second one-loss conference champion in Stanford that season.
So, to recap, a one loss Alabama squad was correctly deemed better than not one, but two one-loss conference champions, and were seeded accordingly.
This is where the whole “best” vs “most deserving” argument comes in. Look at Oklahoma for example. On Saturday, Iowa State went for two with just a few seconds in regulation to try and steal one on the road. Unfortunately for them, they threw an incomplete pass and didn’t get a flag on what looked like a pretty obvious pass interference in the end zone. Still, this is the key question: does the result of a single play at the end of a game make Oklahoma a better team, or should they be viewed as Iowa State’s equal on that day?
Also, those who argue for resumé voting always want to count the accomplishments greater than the failures, which I will never understand. The whole point of consistent dominance is never losing, or even coming close to losing, to teams who shouldn’t share the field with you talent-wise. Imagine applying for a job and having ideal education, work experience, and references, but a disqualifying felony conviction. Yeah, that bad loss counts.
In any case, Oklahoma on Saturday showed itself to be roughly equal to the FPI #16 in Iowa State, and has a loss to #30 Kansas State. If Alabama continues to play the way they have all season and the committee chooses to take Oklahoma over a squad that lost by one score to #1 for its only blemish, and is solidly top three according to the opponent adjusted metrics, then they will no longer be able to claim that it’s about the “four best.” Whether the rest of the country wants to hear it or not, two of the best four teams in America reside in the SEC West this season. If Oklahoma gets in, it will be because they had the good fortune of not having to face either of them. Same for an Oregon squad that lost to Auburn and barely escaped the Washington-Washington State gauntlet. You want a blowout in a semifinal, invite that team.
I give the committee a little more credit than Jerry does, but we shall see. The first step is dominating the rest of the slate.
Moving on, Alabama is heavily favored to beat State.
In Saturday’s SEC game in Starkville, @AlabamaFTBL opens as a 21-point favorite over Mississippi State per @TwitVI— Cecil Hurt (@CecilHurt) November 10, 2019
Sounds about right to me. Let’s go for 40.
It was a fine day for a couple of Tide greats in the NFL. Derrick Henry was a battering ram, gaining 188 yards on 23 carries and two touchdowns. Does this bring back any memories?
Feed that man. @KingHenry_2 #KCvsTEN pic.twitter.com/lSP2l9Dnwx— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) November 10, 2019
What a beast. Minkah Fitzpatrick had himself another day. He has been lauded as a key difference maker since being traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Minkah Fitzpatrick with his second TD this season. Investment paying off for Pittsburgh— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) November 10, 2019
Minkah Fitzpatrick has an interception pic.twitter.com/TBokD2Wrgs— Alabama DieHards (@AlabamaDieHards) November 11, 2019
The Steelers are 4-1 in the last five despite starting Mason Rudolph at QB, thanks to a defense that has allowed a skinny 13 points a game over that span.
That’s about it for today. Have a great week.