EAST: LSU-Bama rematch has to happen

Some will like it; some will loathe it. Some will say it’s unfair. Some will wait until next weekend to manufacture a supposedly more worthy scenario.

But LSU-Alabama II should and must happen in the BCS national championship game Jan. 9 in New Orleans.

They are the two best teams in the country, have been since September.

Sorry, Oklahoma State, Virginia Tech, Stanford, Houston, or anybody else who begs to differ. You’ve all had nice seasons, but you’re irrelevant to the BCS title hunt.

Yeah, Alabama won’t win its conference title and didn’t even win its division. You know why, of course. It’s because the only team in the country as good as the No. 2 Crimson Tide (if not better) - No. 1-ranked LSU - also plays in the SEC West.

Some will say it’s unfair that the Tigers - who won the SEC West and moved into the BCS drivers seat by beating Alabama 9-6 in overtime in Tuscaloosa on Nov. 5 - have to play in the SEC Championship Game against Georgia on Saturday while the Tide rests and waits for official word that it’ll get a second crack at LSU.

They will say it’s unfair that if Alabama were to win the rematch, both teams would be 1-1 head-to-head, but the Tide would win the BCS title and the Tigers would have nothing to show for their historic season.

Well, whoever pretended the BCS system was fair? It’s not, never has been, never will be. But it’s the system that determines the national championship matchup.

LSU-Alabama II has to happen.

No other team can match the résumé of either the Tigers or the Tide. LSU is undefeated and unquestionably No. 1 and deserving of a title berth regardless of what happens against Georgia. Bama didn’t lose to Iowa State, or Oregon or Clemson, and it doesn’t play in Conference USA.

The Tigers’ victory over the Tide was well earned, and it established that LSU was the best team in Tuscaloosa on Nov. 5. The Tigers are the best team in the country as of Nov. 27.

But a BCS title game between the two most-deserving teams in the country has to be played Jan. 9, and only LSU-Alabama can be an appropriate finale to this season.

If the Tigers were to win, they’d be arguably the most deserving national champion ever, and that’s the type of challenge this team has embraced all season.

So embrace LSU-Alabama II.

Tigers guard Will Blackwell was asked if it mattered to him if LSU had to play Alabama again.

“Probably not,” he answered matter-of-factly. “Of course, you never want to play a team that you’ve already played. It’s tough to beat the same team twice and everybody knows that, but it doesn’t matter who we play.

“We’re going to go out there and play our game and will ourselves to victory.”

This game has to happen.