How About Bama Vs. FSU In BCS?
To be sure, Alabama has plenty of work to do to make it to the BCS National Championship Game, beginning with Saturday's game against 10th-ranked LSU. But with Oregon having lost to Stanford Thursday night, and the belief that at least three teams (not including Bama) will be undefeated, if the Tide can make it to Pasadena, it seems it won't be against the Ducks.
We automatically put Coach Nick Saban's Alabama team into the conversation because Bama has won three of the last four BCS titles and because the Crimson Tide is 8-0 and ranked number one.
The Tide hosts LSU at 7 p.m. CST Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium with CBS televising the game. Bama is 5-0 in Southeastern Conference games. LSU is 7-2 overall, 3-2 in the SEC, with both its losses by three points in road games (to Georgia and Ole Miss).
Although Auburn has had an excellent year and Bama's trip to Jordan-Hare Stadium to end the regular season on Nov. 30 is highly anticipated by both sides, the Tide should be a substantial favorite in all remaining games. After LSU, Alabama will play at Mississippi State, host Chattanooga, and finish at Auburn. There does not appear to be an SEC team in the East that would prevent an undefeated Alabama from making it to the BCS title game.
And it's good to know that Oregon won't be waiting at the Rose Bowl for Bama. No offense, but in the big scheme of things you don't want your record to show that you won the national championship by beating the Ducks. Alabama's record of national championship victories in bowl games is against the likes of Nebraska, Notre Dame, Texas, Miami, and LSU.
Alabama vs. Ohio State would certainly match bluebloods.
But as of today, the most intriguing possibility would be Alabama vs. Florida State.
Start with the head coaches. FSU is coached by Jimbo Fisher. Saban tried to hire Fisher when Saban took the Alabama job, but Fisher elected to go to Tallahassee, where he was head-coach-in-waiting...and the waiting didn't take long as the man who built the Seminoles, Bobby Bowden (of Birmingham) was unceremoniously dumped.
Fisher, like Saban, is a native of West Virginia. He finished his playing career at Samford University. And he became part of the increasingly broad Saban coaching tree when he joined the LSU staff.
His official biography says, "He has carefully crafted his vision by borrowing from two men - Nick Saban and Bowden - he worked under. Their influence, though very different, can be seen sprinkled throughout Fisher's own blueprint for success."
One thing Fisher seems to have learned from Saban is to have good assistant coaches who can recruit. To that end he hired Jeremy Pruitt away from Alabama this year. Pruitt had coached safeties at Bama and is defensive coordinator at FSU. The Seminoles also added Sal Sunseri after the Derek Dooley staff was released at Tennessee. Sunseri had been a linebackers coach at Alabama, and, of course, his son, Vinnie, is an Alabama star player (though sidelined with a knee injury for the remainder of this year).
Finally, an Alabama staff playing against FSU would have to wonder, "How did we let Jameis Winston get away." The redshirt freshman quarterback for the Seminoles is the main reason to expect Florida State to finish undefeated. If that happens, FSU will be in Pasadena.
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