LSU, Alabama on collision course

Louisiana State University running back Richard Murphy (C) runs for a first down against University...

Louisiana State University running back Richard Murphy (C) runs for a first down against University of Alabama during their NCAA football game in Baton Rouge, Louisiana November 6, 2010. LSU won the game 24-21. (REUTERS/Sean Gardner)

TODD SAELHOF, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:33 PM ET

The buzz is back where it belongs.

LSU and Alabama together again at No. 1 and No. 2 of the U.S. college football charts — right where they should be at the top of the rankings and on a collision course to meet in the national title game Jan. 9.

Yes, everything seems right again in the ratings world.

The two best SEC teams are the top-two ranked teams in the nation — and really, they’ve been the two best teams all year long.

But maybe there’s more to this title talk than just LSU-’Bama?

Perhaps the real buzz is a fly in the ointment that threatens to bust up a highly anticipated LSU-’Bama rematch in the BCS National Championship Bowl.

Arkansas, anyone?

Really, the No. 3 Razorbacks represent the lone hurdle left in what would be a highly anticipated rematch between the Tigers and the Crimson Tide for national bragging rights.

Even though LSU earned the victory when they played ’Bama in the Game of the Century earlier this month, a rematch in the BCS Bowl would determine the 2012 U.S. college champion. That 9-6 Nov. 5 overtime win by the Tigers was by no means convincing nor dominating, meaning the two clubs would go into the title tilt on even ground save for the edge in rankings by LSU, which wouldn’t mean diddly by kickoff.

Of course, none of it would mean much if Arkansas manages to pull off the upset Friday in Baton Rouge. And at No. 3 in the standings, it’s not like they don’t have the horses … er … hogs.

The Razorbacks are playing fantastic football and will have plenty of motivation when they line up against the Tigers.

Too bad, this U.S. Thanksgiving baby wasn’t being played in Little Rock, where Arkansas has been lights out.

But just because it’s a road game for the Razorbacks, don’t go thinking this tilt’s going to be a turkey.

It’s yet another SEC showdown with so much on the line. Shout out to the schedule makers on this U.S. Thanksgiving.

First down

Alabama gets archrival Auburn this Saturday in the annual Iron Bowl to round out the regular season, so there’s no waltzing their way to that final No. 2 rating if you’re the Crimson Tide. Meanwhile, even if LSU survives Arkansas, it gets ever-improving Georgia in the SEC Championship Game Dec. 3. Nothing easy about QB Aaron Murray and the Bulldogs these days … Is it just me or does everyone recall the Oregon Ducks coming up lame every time they take to the primetime TV stage? Here’s what I’ve got in my memory banks — loss to Auburn in last year’s national championship tilt, loss to LSU in Week 1 in Dallas and loss last Saturday to USC in a bid to move into the top 3 of the BSC Standings — all on national broadcasts. The most recent drop saw Oregon’s Football Bowl Subdivision-best string of 21 consecutive home wins snapped by USC, who knocked off the No. 4 Ducks 38-35 in Eugene, Ore … Houston QB Case Keenum set another record last Saturday, throwing for a FBS career-best 1,427 completions. The previous high was owned by Texas Tech’s Graham Harrell — 1,427 set in 2008 … Poor Florida. Twice, they lose Urban Meyer for health/family reasons. Now, it looks like the sideline boss with a superb 104-23 NCAA record will return to coach Ohio State. Life, apparently, is tough in The Swamp.

Fourth & goal

How about the onslaught of Week 12 upsets that has given a new face to the upper echelon of the BSC Standings? With Nos. 2 (Oklahoma State), 4 (Oregon), 5 (Oklahoma) and 7 (Clemson) all getting knocked off, it’s a whole new ball game in the top seven (Virginia Tech at No. 5? Really?). Heck, Andrew Luck and Stanford are lucky to still be in the hunt at No. 6 after barely escaping a 31-28 game against so-so California. It was a wacky week that sets up what’s one final push for most clubs this U.S. Thanksgiving weekend. … My record is 27-20-1 after going 2-2 last week.


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