Win ends calls for split titleBy Tony Tsoukalas | 01/11/2012 11:29am
Crimson and white confetti rained down on Alabama players. Head coach Nick Saban raised the crystal ball. Trent Richardson leapt into a sea of crimson-clad fans.
There was no doubt the Alabama Crimson Tide deserved the title of best team in the nation.
“I don’t see how you can have a split title,” offensive lineman Barrett Jones said after the game. “If you look at the yards disparity, I just feel like we dominated the game, and there should not be a split title.”
Alabama was named the AP champion for the eighth time in the history of the program, which ties the Tide with Notre Dame for most titles ever. Before the game, there were rumors that certain media members would vote for LSU no matter what since the Tigers had already beaten Alabama. The Tide, however, came away with 55 of 60 first place votes.
“Well, the only thing I can tell you is we think we had a great year,” LSU coach Les Miles said. “That this football team had as quality a run as there is in this country. Played eight nationally ranked teams. Played in six stadiums before the SEC championship game, which we won as well. I think this team accomplished a lot. I think that's for the voters to figure.”
Some said that Alabama did not deserve to play in the game, favoring an LSU-Oklahoma State matchup instead.
“The system, it is what it is,” safety Robert Lester said. “They put us here, and the system obviously was right, because we played and came out with the W.”
Lester said the players played with an extra focus in order to prove that the Tide deserved their spot in the title game.
“We were out to prove a point, and I feel like we did that today,” Lester said. “We beat ourselves in the first game, and we proved that.”
Even LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson said after the game that Alabama proved they were the better team with their performance Monday night.
"It feels like a nightmare, but it's a learning experience," Jefferson said. "I'm facing reality. LSU finished second today. We all have to take the situation and learn from it, but still, in all, we still had a great season. I had a pretty good career at LSU. This last game really was something we wanted to win, but we fell short."
While many doubted the Tide, claiming that LSU’s option attack would be the peril of what many thought was an inferior defense to LSU, Tide players proved up to the task and rose past expectations. “We proved to the world who the best team is,” defensive lineman Josh Chapman said. “I feel we have the best defense in the country, and we can prepare for anything.”