Tonight LSU won the AP national championship.
Barring, that is, a complete blowout by Alabama over a month from now. And trust me, after seeing this LSU team play in person against Oregon, Tennessee, Alabama, and now Georgia, there is no way any team on the planet is blowing out LSU. (Yes, that includes the Green Bay Packers). When all the games are finished tonight there will be a unanimous champion, the only undefeated team in the land will be the LSU Tigers. And nothing that can happen from this point will change the fact that LSU has the best national championship resume of any team in the country.
LSU could lose to Alabama and a 13-1 LSU team with a division and SEC title would still be better than a 12-1 Alabama team with a head-to-head split and a bowl win.
LSU has three top ten BCS wins, the rest of the BCS top ten has just two. LSU has road or neutral site wins over Oregon, West Virginia, Alabama, and Georgia. LSU also has a home win over Arkansas. Those five LSU wins are better than any five wins by any other team in the country. Hell, Alabama’s best win is Arkansas. After that the wins fall off in a hurry. Penn State? Auburn? Florida?
Is that really the resume of a national champion? Especially if you don’t win your division or your conference?
Look, I’m not begrudging Alabama a spot in the BCS title game, I’m just saying that there’s a massive space between the best team in the country and the second best team in the country. We’ve played 13 games to create that space. Why should a 14th LSU game change anything?
With a 42-10 throttling of Georgia in front of a Georgia Dome crowd filled to the brim with three-quarters red-clad Bulldog supporters, the LSU Tigers erased all doubt — they are the best team in college football and there isn’t a close second.
That’s even if Alabama wins the “BCS title game.”
About the time Tyrann Mathieu fielded the ball with his team down ten points, it became clear that nothing could stop this LSU team. Not a first half without first downs. Not Mark Richt running three trick plays in the first half of the first quarter, not the fervent cries of the entire state of Georgia, not a damn thing in the world. Nothing stops a champion, and make no mistake, LSU is a champion.
Fielding the punt, Mathieu jogged to the left for just an instant, then cut back across the field. In the crowd rising above the field Georgia girls twirled nervously on their heels, men in red pants trembled across the state, not since Sherman sought salt water had so many in the peach state feared so greatly.
Because deep down all of those people knew that the Honey Badger was just about to take exactly what he wanted.
End zone lines?
Honey Badger don’t give a sh– about end zone lines. He tosses the ball to the official before he even crosses the goal line. Later the Honey Badger said, “I could see the referee lookign at me kind of strange. I’ll be sure next time to make sure I cross the goal line.”
That’s if he wants to.
Even the ref was afraid to flag the Honey Badger.
In the immediate moments after he scored, the Honey Badger had done the impossible, made 60,000 Georgia fans so quiet you could hear a pin drop in their cheering sections.
Pound for pound, gram for gram, ounce for ounce, whatever measurement tool you want to use, Tyrann Mathieu is the best player in college football. He deserves a trip to New York. If only for the video footage of he and Les Miles riding together in a Central Park hansom cab while Miles chews on New York City turf.
But in the meantime, LSU should be confident of at least one national title for its trophy case, the one doled out by AP voters.
LSU has already beaten Alabama at Alabama. If Alabama wins a neutral site game, big deal, the Crimson Tide’s overall resume pales in comparison to LSU’s. How can you give a unanimous national title to a team that didn’t win its own division or conference title over the team that did. It’s nonsensical, illogical. While Nick Saban, Trent Richardson and company were chilling on their couches in Tuscaloosa, Tyrann Mathieu was taking what he wanted on the football field, an SEC title, and an AP national title.
All year long the BCS screams at us — Every. Game. Counts.
It’s a stupid and inane mantra, but it’s one that values the regular season. This isn’t the NCAA tournament, this isn’t the NFL playoffs, college football is unique. We reward the totality of the season, every game counts. You can’t slack off in September, and you can’t slack off in October, and you can’t lose a home game in November. Because if the national title is decided in January, what was the point of that November game in Tuscaloosa? You know, the game of the century that LSU won on the road?
The entire season governs the college football championship, not an end of season tournament. That’s why the BCS title game is superfluous this year. Every single breathing person who isn’t wearing crimson-colored glasses — and even some Bama fans will admit it — knows that LSU is the best team in the country.
The Tigers have just spent 13 games proving they’re the best.
When LSU takes the field on January 9th, they can complete their unanimous title by winning one more contest, but for most of us it’s already clear that they’re the champion.
If every game counts, well then, LSU is the only team in the land that has won every game its played.
Against the best competition in the country, mind you.
That’s why the LSU Tigers are your 2011 AP National Champions.
We don’t need them to play another game to prove that. In addition to ripping out the beating heart of Bulldog fans everywhere and holding it up above his head, Honey Badger already took the AP title tonight.
LSU is 13 and eaux.