What happened in Atlanta at the SEC Championship Game was kind of mind-boggling when you sit down and analyze it. LSU, the consensus number one team in the country, did not have a first down at halftime and just five rushing yards.
Before the game I thought Georgia had a chance against LSU and the Bulldogs might have made it a close game for longer if they hadn't dropped two touchdown passes early in the contest. However, the way the game went I don't see how Georgia could have won Saturday because of that dynamic LSU defense.
LSU feeds off big plays on defense led by Tyrann Mathieu, who may be the most dynamic player in college football. If he isn't he is number one, he is at least in the top three or four.
Mathieu, who is known as The Honey Badger, terrorized the Bulldogs at the Georgia Dome.
When Mathieu ran the Georgia punt back for a touchdown it changed that football game. Then he recovered a fumble on the first series of the third quarter and LSU took it in and scored. That struck the match and then LSU started pouring gasoline on the flame. Before long the Bulldogs were toast as the Tigers won in typical LSU fashion as they scored 42 unanswered points. It was a strange game.
A major reason why LSU is so good defensively is that the Tigers can get off the field on third down because the they are so successful at rushing the passer when the quarterback drops back to throw in obvious passing situations. LSU also does a great job of pressuring the quarterback on play-action passes.
I was a little bit surprised at the margin of the game, but things can get out of hand when one team runs a punt back for a touchdown and also intercepts a pass and runs it back for a touchdown. Another LSU touchdown was set up by a second long punt return by Mathieu.
I have always had a high regard for Oklahoma, but it looked like something was wrong with that team on Saturday night. I know they had lost some good players, but that should not have kept the rest of them from playing better or harder than they did on Saturday night at Stillwater.
Oklahoma State was on fire and you have to give Coach Gundy and his players all of the credit in the world for being ready to play at a level that gave them a chance to move into the national championship game. In the final BCS ratings Oklahoma State came close to passing Alabama, but had too much ground to make up.
What I would personally like to see, as a fan of college football, is to watch Alabama play Stanford and Oklahoma State play LSU, or Alabama play Oklahoma State and LSU play Stanford. After those games the winners could meet in a plus-one game to determine the national champion. This would have been a perfect year to do that.
Another interesting game on Saturday night was Wisconsin's victory over Michigan State. I thought Wisconsin won due to a bad call on the running into the punter penalty. The player the penalty was called on was pushed into the punter and there shouldn't have been a flag thrown. I felt like Michigan State got a real raw deal.
In the Conference USA Championship Game, Houston's was overpowered by Southern Miss. Houston did not look like a good football team at all. If you looked at the Cougars in the closeup shots you could see they are a puny looking football team. Their record was the result of a great quarterback and a weak schedule. Southern Miss was a lot more physical than Cougars so the best football team won even though Houston was favored.
Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III has put up impressive numbers this season for the Bears.
I watched the Texas at Baylor game and was impressed with Robert Griffin III. In my opinion he should win the Heisman Trophy because he is the best football player in America, period, and he has been all year.
Last year Cam Newton had a terrific season and helped Auburn win the national championship while also winning the Heisman. As good as he was, I don't believe he made as many big plays with his arm as Griffin has this season. Griffin has passed for 36 touchdowns with just six interceptions and has thrown for 3,998 yards with a 72 percent completion average. Those are Heisman Trophy numbers. The win over Texas was a great one for Baylor and ought to help Griffin take home college football's top individual award on Saturday.
(If you have a question or a subject you would like me to write about in future columns, you can email it to PatDye@autigers.com.)
Editor's Note: This is part of a series of columns that College Football Hall of Fame member Pat Dye is writing for AUTigers.com about the game he played and coached. An All-American player at Georgia and one of the top head coaches in SEC history at Auburn, he also served as a head coach at East Carolina and Wyoming. Dye participates in the Legends Poll, a Top 25 rating of the best teams in college football as determined by a panel of all-star former head coaches. Dye writes three columns for AUTigers.com--The Dye-Log, the Dye-Gest and Pat's Picks.