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LSU- Alabama & The Rematch Option

Thom Abraham

I have continually maintained that I am not a big “Rematch” guy when it comes to the National Championship Game. After LSU’s overtime victory over Alabama Saturday night, the scenario that the voters are going to be left with is this:

    1. Did anything other than “who has the better kicker” get decided in Tuscaloosa?
    2. In a game that features so much great defense, the college overtime system is decidedly unfair, in as much as it does what the teams were unable to do the entire game – get into the Red Zone.

In the case of Alabama, who kept the Bengal Tiger Offense at bay all night, the system put the ball on the 25 yard line, basically assuring LSU of an opportunity to kick a field goal. Of course, Alabama had that same opportunity, but they had already established they had no one on the team, nor in a fraternity house, who could make a kick.

The reason I don’t like a playoff is in this contrived BCS system, the proponents continually tell us that the beauty lies in the fact that the ENTIRE SEASON becomes a playoff.  Well, you can’t have it both ways!

Do I think those are the 2 best teams in the country?  No question!  Would they meet again if a playoff were in place?  Probably…but without out one, I don’t think you can just tell LSU, now do it again!

In reality, with the Tide only falling to 3rd in the BCS, it could happen.  In the end, Alabama made way too many mistakes to win that game, and seemed on the brink of breaking it open several times…but no one ever came up with a play to finish a drive.  And if Daniel Moore would like to take some money from the Bayou faithful, he ought to be doing a painting of Reed’s play against Williams and call it “The Theft”.

The final nail in Alabama’s temporary coffin was when Jim McElwain decided to put the overtime in the hands of AJ McCarron instead of Trent Richardson. That was a panic move that may have cost the Tide a shot at #14.

Thom Abraham hosts a daily sportstalk radio program that is syndicated from Nashville, TN to Huntsville, AL to Bowling Green, KY.  His website is

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Dooley Panics, Bama Covers Huge Spread

Thom Abraham

Well, Alabama did end up covering the spread by the dreaded hook… the half point. But the story of the game was Tennessee coming out in the first half and selling the farm to stop the run, which they did, and taking chances to hang in the game, which they did; going for it on fourth down on the first drive, the fake punt, all brilliant, gutsy calls.

The result was the 6-6 tie at the half, and getting the ball to start the third quarter… but a 3-and-out gave the ball to Alabama and the Tide’s adjustments were apparent.

UT said, beat us with AJ McCarron, not Trent Richardson; so the Tide obliged.  McCarron took Alabama right down the field, throwing the ball, and scored without having to call a second down play.

When Tennessee came up with 3rd-and-inches at their own 39 on the following drive, Derek Dooley’s decision to go for it again felt more like desperation.

I think he panicked.

Punt the ball, and make Alabama go the length of the field again.  When the Vols came up short, it set off that oh so familiar feeding frenzy.  The Tide defense was jacked up, the crowd was jacked up and it was only a matter of moments before the band was jacked up.  20-7.

Game over.

Now I’m not saying the ending would have been different.  Just that it wouldn’t have been over so quickly. And the longer you stay in it, the better chance of something crazy happening.  Dooley panicked, and in doing so, ended his own misery.

Thom Abraham hosts a daily sportstalk radio program that is syndicated from Nashville, TN to Huntsville, AL to Bowling Green, KY.  His website is

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Tennessee-Vandy Could Be Bowl Play-In Game; No Florida Teams In Polls

 Thom Abraham

There was so much hope going into the weekend for Tennessee, and now the situation appears bleak. Tyler Bray is basically done for the season, putting the Vols  two most dynamic players, Bray and Justin Hunter, on ice just five weeks in. Now it’s Matt Simms’ team and he’s gotta be, like, REALLY?  “I turn it over to you for the soft part of the schedule last season, and all the non-conference stuff this year and you hand it back to me for LSU, Alabama and South Carolina?”  And by the way, who is the 3rd guy because if LSU doesn’t take him out next week, Bama likely will the following week. The Tide have sent three QBs to the training room in just the past two weeks.

The fact is, it’s not like UT got run out of the building by Georgia. They lost by eight points and were victim to several self-inflicted wounds, including not being able to execute some of the simplest of Special Teams…you don’t have to be dominant, you just can’t be screwing up…missing FGs and extra points, a weak onside kick effort.

And then there’s the running game…the second consecutive SEC game that the Vols finished with negative yards rushing?  And it got worse!  -9 against Florida, then -20 against Georgia. By the time they get done with LSU and Alabama, they could be in negative TRIPLE DIGITS!

You’ve got to love Derrick Dooley though; he did not sugar coat anything and was very blunt evaluating his team.  During the game, Dooley was pretty conservative, maybe too conservative, for his own good. He would be well served to take a couple of more chances, and could have clearly run another play before the end of the half to take a shot downfield.

So the question now is, can this team win the six games needed to play one in December?  The Vandy game now becomes, potentially, a bowl play-in game. Forget about the next three and the trip to Arkansas.  They will beat MTSU and Kentucky.  That’s five. So the Vols have to beat Vandy, and are fortunate the “6 wins over D-1” teams rule is no longer in play!

So where were you December 6th, 1982?  I had been married two years, was 22 years old, and 10 days away from welcoming my second child, Kristin, into the world…about 20% of homes had Cable TV, there were no cell phones…no laptops, no PDA’s, the CD player was invented, a new Multi-color National paper called The USA Today debuted, and no Florida school was in the Top 25…no Miami, no Florida St., no Gators…no Bulls, Knights, Panthers or Owls either…As for the Gators, you have to go back 40 years to find the last time they took back to back beats like they just did the past two weeks…Just facts…

Thom Abraham hosts a daily sportstalk radio program that is syndicated from Nashville, TN to Huntsville, AL to Bowling Green, KY.  His website is


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