Alabama, LSU: All is forgiven

jgiglio@newsobserver.comNovember 5, 2012 

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Alabama-LSU: After you collaborated on the cure for insomnia in the BCS title game, you owed us a classic, Tide and Tigers. The SEC bullies delivered on the biggest stage with LSU finally emerging from its season-long slumber, but it wasn’t enough to outlast the Crimson Tide. Great theater, great game.

Oregon: Coach Chip Kelly gets all the credit and burner De’Anthony Thomas get all the ink, which leaves little for running back Kenjon Barner, who did heavy lifting in the Ducks’ 62-51 win over Southern Cal. Barner broke the school record with 321 rushing yards and he scored five touchdowns in the Ducks’ most important win of the season.

Down

N.C. State: Every player and coach is entitled to mistakes and every team has an off day, but you can’t keep making the same mistakes again and again and expect different results.

Even Einstein would be nonplussed by a team that beats Florida State but loses at home by 27 to Virginia.

Virginia Tech: The Hokies can’t really block or tackle, which is quite a combination, but the real problem is pride.

The current players don’t have enough of it, or a sense of tradition that the program has established in the past decade. With the Seminoles coming to town, it will only get worse before it gets better.

Two-minute drill

•  We need more coaches like LSU’s Les Miles. Yeah, the Mad Hatter called a fake field goal early in LSU’s 21-17 loss to Alabama, when everyone on the Tide’s defense knew it was coming. And, yeah, there was another dubious decision to go for it on fourth-and-short, when a field goal would have sufficed, but that’s not Miles’ style.

He got to where he is by taking risks, and you can’t change who you are (no matter what they say in Rocky IV). And few people own their mistakes the way Miles does.

“I wish I had a couple of my calls back,” Miles said after the game. “That’s the way it goes.”

•  Veteran college football analyst Tony Barnhart has forgotten more about college football than I’ll ever know, but I don’t agree with his AJ McCarron-for-Heisman comments.

The Heisman Trophy is not limited to the best player on the best team, and as good as the Tide’s quarterback was on the game-winning drive, he’s not even one of the 10 best players on Alabama’s roster.

McCarron, who hasn’t thrown an interception this season, was 14-of-27 for 165 yards against LSU. The 28-yard touchdown pass for the win to running back T.J. Yeldon with 51 seconds left was a screen pass. All-SEC? Sure, but there are others more worthy for the Heisman than McCarron.

•  Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein, on the other hand, is the leader in the Heisman race. He strengthened his case with 245 passing yards and his 50th career rushing touchdown in a 44-30 win over Oklahoma State.

Why his coach, noted mediaphobe Bill Snyder, feels the need to play reindeer games with Klein’s apparent arm injury is beyond rationale.

“Obviously he was injured or we wouldn’t have taken him out,” Snyder after the game.

Thanks for the update, coach.

•  How bad is it in the Big Ten Leaders division? Indiana, 2-3 in conference play, controls its own fate for a Rose Bowl bid. The Hoosiers, who beat Iowa on Saturday, would win the division and reach the conference championship with closing wins over Wisconsin (3-2 in the Big Ten), Penn State (4-1) and Purdue (0-5).

Under normal circumstances, the Nittany Lions and Ohio State (6-0) would control the division, but neither is eligible for the postseason. Given that it’s November and Indiana, with one Rose Bowl appearance ever, controls its fate, this qualifies as anything but normal.

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