- Associated Press - Sunday, December 4, 2011

Play it again, LSU and Alabama.

The Crimson Tide edged out Oklahoma State in the final round of voting Sunday and will play the top-ranked Tigers in the BCS national championship game on Jan. 9 in New Orleans.

Undefeated LSU is the only team to beat Alabama this season, and the head BCS official sees a do-over as a perfectly good title game.

“Absolutely, if they’re 1 and 2, and they are in all the polls released today,” executive director Bill Hancock said.

Still, it’s not exactly a game the public was clamoring for _ at least outside of Southeastern Conference territory. And it will do nothing to quiet the critics of the Bowl Championship Series or the calls for a college football playoff.

But like it or not, the system has ensured that the SEC _ home to both schools _ will run its streak of BCS championships to six in a row.

The Cowboys made a late surge by beating Oklahoma 44-10 on Saturday night, and closed the gap between themselves and Alabama in the polls. But it was not enough to avoid the first title game rematch in the 14-year history of the BCS.

The Tigers (13-0) beat the Tide 9-6 in overtime on Nov. 5 in Tuscaloosa.

“This could be a totally different type of game,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said. “There’s so many good players on both sides of the ball for both teams.

“There’s so much opportunity for this game to play out completely different and have a completely different flavor than the first game.”

Alabama (11-1) finished second in both the Harris and coaches’ polls by a wide enough margin to make up for the fact that Oklahoma State was ahead in the computer ratings.

The Cowboys (11-1), champions of the Big 12, will play in the Fiesta Bowl against Stanford from the Pac-12.

“We can’t control it,” Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden said. “But I know we had a heck of a year and we beat really good football teams in this conference and we’re conference champions, so we did everything that we could.”

The other BCS matchups are:

_ Michigan vs. Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl;

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