LSU defeated Alabama 9-6 in overtime Saturday night in one of the most physical battles that college football has ever seen. Many celebrities and NFL scouts joined over 100,000 fans in Tuscaloosa to watch arguably the most-anticipated regular season game in history. After the matchup, reaction throughout the country was mixed. Many fans and football insiders were awed by the physicality and top talent on display. However, another segment of media and fans — especially those tired of the SEC being on top of the college game — were quick to criticize the low-scoring affair as boring and/or not impressive. Some fans would love a possible rematch down the road if LSU keeps winning, while others believe Alabama already had its chance.
Classic defensive battle or disappointing game?
Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)
LSU-Alabama was absolutely a classic defensive battle. If you need the score to be 38-35 to be excited, so be it. But you missed the most physical, hardest-hitting game of the college football year. You will not see another college contest with more NFL-caliber athletes competing. There are only two defenses in the nation that have allowed less than 100 points this season — Alabama and LSU. Neither coach wanted his offense to make a critical mistake, especially after early interceptions. The Tigers and Tide were able to play solid defense and pound each opponent into submission on their way to 8-0 records, but that formula is tough when you have the best two teams in the nation playing. Defenses this good do not let opponents score points; it’s just that simple. I see no reason for any aesthetic criticism of LSU’s overtime win, unless you only like high-scoring or just do not like the SEC. In those cases, there are always MAC and WAC games that need more fans. For hardcore football fans, this one was classic.
The Game of the Century, LSU at Alabama, lived up to every ounce of the hype as far as I'm concerned. But the Tigers' 9–6 overtime victory over the Tide was not for high-scoring 7-on-7 flag-football fans or the faint of heart. Les Miles and Nick Saban delivered an old school, classic heavyweight fight between Nos. 1 and 2. With both NFL talent-laden defenses holding strong, the oft-overlooked third side of the football — special teams — was the deciding factor. Bama had one FG blocked and missed three other deep attempts outright; LSU punter Brad Wing controlled field position all night, highlighted by a 73-yard momentum-shifting bomb in the fourth quarter. For purists, I don't think it gets much better than this year's LSU-Bama battle. The showdown in T-Town was everything I hoped it would be — a classic defensive standoff between the nation's top two teams.
Braden Gall (@AthlonBraden)
Can I say both? I think Alabama and LSU boast the two best defenses in the nation, but that was not a great football game. It was just really close and really physical. Bad penalties, bad special teams, bad quarterback play and one particularly atrocious instant replay review were just as much to be blamed for 12 total regulation points as the elite defenses. And the anti-climactic finish due to one bad sack by AJ McCarron and one quality option run by Michael Ford simply doesn't sit well with this college football fan who had no rooting interest. You want to know what an instant classic between two championship caliber teams with elite level talent on both sides of the ball looks like? Well, I sure hope you watched this epic Sunday night tilt.
Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven)
I thought this game was a classic defensive battle. Yes, neither offense was particularly impressive, but the two defenses deserve all of the credit it has been given this year. It was really a game of wills or playing on the edge, just to see who would blink first or make the big mistake. In a game like we saw on Saturday night, one mistake was going to have a significant impact on how the game turned out. For all of the people complaining it was a disappointment, I’m not really sure what they expected going into the game. No one expected to see an offensive shootout, and the defenses have been hyped as two of the best in college football. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Sure, both teams could have executed better on offense. However, I thought it was a good game between two rock solid defenses and was not surprised that it ended with 9-6 in overtime.