Sunday, November 06, 2011

Thoughts on the Game of the Century

First things first - that was not a classic game. Now, don't get me wrong - I enjoy a defensive struggle as much as anyone, but to qualify for the "classic" moniker, a game has to have some classic moments - positive moments. Think of the two games that CBS used to illustrate "great games of the century" - Texas-Arkansas 1969, and Nebraska-Oklahoma 1971. Those were truly classic games, enlivened on both sides of the ball by great play. In the former, you had James Street's still amazing scramble which ended up as a touchdown, plus a play later on that they didn't show, the amazing long pass on 4th down that led to the Longhorns' winning TD. And in the latter, of course you had the amazing punt return by Johnny Rodgers, but you also had both teams picking themselves up off the canvas on numerous occasions.

Last night you had all the requisite elements for a classic, but in the end there's no escaping the fact that Alabama lost the game because of some truly horrendous field-goal kicking. I'll bet Nick Saban will think about making that a higher priority when he's looking at prospects next year. And frankly, the decision to go for the FG in overtime was a bad one. A long pass probably would have failed, but it was a certainty that a long field goal would fail.

Having said that, there's little doubt that those were the two best teams in the nation we were watching last night, although I don't think either one is invincible (well, we know one isn't, already). LSU deserves to be a heavy favorite to bring home the crystal, and Oklahoma State sure isn't gonna stop 'em, but I do think that a great game from Stanford would result in a potential classic. Ask me again after next week, when the Cardinal play that offensive machine from up north. If they win that game easily, we could end up with a true classic come January (sorry OSU fans - after what happened last night I just can't see the Cowboys as a true contender).

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