The No. 1 LSU Tigers won a gritty defensive battle Saturday evening, defeating the No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide 9-6 in overtime in Tuscaloosa. Both teams had some opportunities to get some bigger scores, but both defenses absolutely locked down the opposition.
Alabama lost the toss in overtime and started on offense. A quick three and out with a five-yard penalty and a five-yard sack forced the Tide to attempt a 52-yard field goal. Cade Foster missed, setting up LSU for what would prove to be an easy score. The Tigers rushed for 3 yards followed by 15 yards to set up first and goal at the seven yard line. LSU centered the ball and attempted a 25-yard field goal on 3rd and goal. Drew Alleman's kick was true and LSU retained their number one ranking.
LSU is now in the driver's seat for one half of the BCS national title game. They still have to beat No. 7 Arkansas at home and the SEC East winner in the conference title game, so this is no gimme. Nonetheless, they have established themselves as the best team in the country right now.
Alabama's loss leaves the BCS in a tricky situation. This was an incredibly close loss to the best team in the country. It was a home loss, but this was not some random team in the SEC. The question becomes how far the Crimson Tide drop in the Week 11 BCS Rankings. Oklahoma State escaped with a wild 52-45 victory over a ranked Kansas State team. Is it enough to get them past Alabama? It should be, but the voters can be tough to figure out. The computer ratings will also be hard to determine given that this was No. 1 vs. No. 2 and improves Alabama's strength of schedule.
For Stanford and Boise State, they are left waiting to see how much work they have left in front of them. If I had to make a prediction right now, I think Oklahoma State climbs to No. 2 and Alabama drops only one spot to No. 3. The Crimson Tide remain in the thick of the national title race, even though they likely won't win their conference. We could indeed see a rematch of this game in a couple months.