LSU-Alabama is everything you want in a college football game.
It is the two best teams. But, more than that, it is two teams seemingly playing the game at a different level. That's where this is more than just "1-vs-2," which historically has left plenty of room for the idea that No. 3 or 4 or 5 might be in the discussion.
In this case, there is no debate: These are the two best teams, and they will play each other for the presumptive right to play for (and, again, presumably) win the national title.
(This deciding-it-on-the-field stuff matters a lot, no matter how you feel about the BCS. You want a playoff? This is it. It is laughable that the loser of this game will drop in the rankings behind Oklahoma State -- and probably Boise and Stanford -- when the loser of this game is still the second-best team in the country.)
That parenthetical said, I am virulently against a rematch in any form this season -- say, in the national-title game. I don't care if it is the greatest game ever played and we all are begging for four more quarters. What makes this game so amazing is not just that it pits the best two teams, but that it is definitive. If the loser gets a rematch, this game is essentially meaningless -- more meaningless than any game that will be played in college football this season, actually.
The talent. The subplots. The stakes. This game has it all, and I cannot wait. I don't think it's understating to call it -- at least in pre-game theory -- the best match-up of the year, and that includes the Super Bowl, Heat vs. Anyone in the NBA Playoffs, whatever. Now, the game itself might or might not live up to that expectation -- but the expectation is there. By virtue of college football's system, the magnitude of the outcome alone ensures the game has about as much gravity as any championship elimination game has had this year.
Prediction: Alabama, decisively.
And be sure to check out the Alabama-LSU stream on Quickish. It is loaded with awesome stuff.
*Other CFB this weekend: Oklahoma State is going to throttle Kansas State... Expect Stanford and Boise State to put up big style points, too... If not for LSU-Bama, then Arkansas-South Carolina would be a damn good game of the week... Upset Special: Iowa over Michigan (would Texas Tech over Texas in Austin count?)
*NFL: Steelers-Ravens is the Game of the Week, but -- to the point above -- it is largely inconsequential who wins, because both teams seem to have a bead on the playoffs. I mean, the winner gets an edge for a Wild Card bye and home-field advantage, and that's not nothin'. But let's be honest: The game everyone is going to be paying attention to is the Broncos vs. the Raiders, because Tim Tebow remains the most talked-about topic in football, even if that drives everyone a bit crazy. (Fans and haters, alike.)
*NBA Lockout: This whole "decertification" thing feels like a badly executed feint. The union might as well cave now and save what is left of the season.
*MLB Hot Stove: There are few things I want to see more in 2012 than 49-year-old Jamie Moyer pitch in the Major Leagues again.
*Happy 9th anniversary to Around the Horn. I point to my career 0-4 record proudly.
Have a great weekend. Quickish is rocking the whole time.