Is the south toast?
It has been seven years since a team from somewhere outside the SEC has hoisted the National Championship Trophy. And whether that changes this year will be in the hands of two west coast darlings of Oregon and USC and if they can take down last years national championship participants. But what makes this year even more exciting however is the fact that if two of the four national title favorites make it to the championship game from the same conference, it will be a little more supported.
But for some "if the season ended today" purposes, let's say that each conference can only send one representative to the title game. What would make each possible national title matchup so intriguing? Let's take a look.
LSU Tigers vs. Oregon Ducks
The highlight matchup of this game would without a doubt be Oregon's Heisman hopeful De'Anthony Thomas against the punishing defensive LSU line led by juniors Barkevious Mingo and San Montgomery. After an 18 touchdown 2011 campaign, all Thomas needs to do is touch the ball for the Ducks to be successful. If the Tigers defense, which has taken more than it's fair share of hits this offseason, can contain the run game, then it will be a much different contest.
Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Oregon Ducks
It's going to be air game versus ground game if these two meet for the title. Oregon's Thomas complemented by senior rusher Kenjon Barner could be the most dangerous combination in the country. But behind Alabama's offensively line (which is one of the best in the country) will be gunslinger AJ McCarron (who is one of the best in the country). After leading the Tide over the Tigers last winter, McCarron has proved that he can take control of any matchup.
LSU Tigers vs. USC Trojans
While this one would be just as exciting as the others, you've got to feel bad for LSU and it's depleted defense as it will try to take on an offense that will probably set more records than a juiced up Barry Bonds. Matt Barkley, Robert Woods and Marquise Lee, and now Silas Redd on the ground? It doesn't really seem fair.
Alabama Crimson Tide vs. USC Trojans
The contest that we will most likely see come January 7 will pit the best defense in the country against the best offense in the country. Indeed, the Alabama defense is younger than in years past. But with a pretty good returning core of a side that led the country in all four major defensive categories, Matty Trojan and his band of eligibles might certainly have their hands full. Expect a low scoring game from offenses that won't have a low scoring game all season, and a fourth quarter that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end.