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LSU, Bama want no part of postseason points-fest
Question of the Day
The league has come to define itself on the less glamorous side of the ball, and at places such as Alabama and LSU the players understand that as soon as they arrive on campus.
“When you grow up watching LSU, LaRon Landry, Chad Jones and those guys, they set the bar really high so you just aspire to be like them,” Louisiana-native Eric Reid said of the great safeties that preceded him at LSU.
Gary Danielson, the former NFL quarterback who has been the lead analyst for CBS’s SEC coverage during the conference’s run of dominance, said it’s not coaching, schemes or even an emphasis on defense that separates the deep South’s football powers. It simply comes down to SEC teams having better athletes to stock those defenses.
“There’s nothing (Alabama coach) Nick Saban is doing that Michigan or Iowa State or Arizona State style-wise isn’t doing,” Danielson said. “They just don’t have the parts.”
Danielson said the evolution of the spread offenses and the passing game in college football have made it impossible to hide a weak link or two on defense, and the top SEC defenses have fewer weak links _ especially in the secondary.
“With the spread passing attacks, you need a third corner to survive,” he said. “There are more third corners in this league than there are in any other league.”
No better example of that will be on display Monday night in the Superdome.
LSU became the first team to have two cornerbacks selected to the AP All-America team. While Tyrann Mathieu was a Heisman Trophy finalist, Morris Claiborne won the Thorpe Award as the nation’s best defensive back. Behind them Tharold Simon and Ron Brooks could start almost anywhere in the country.
Except for maybe at Alabama, where Dre Kirkpatrick was a second-team All-American, senior DeQuan Menzi is an NFL prospect and sophomore Dee Milliner has potential to be as good as either of them.
Danielson said LSU’s and Alabama’s units are on par with the other national title defenses from the SEC _ though he admits that the numbers Alabama and LSU have put up, they have allowed a combined 19.3 points per game this season, have been skewed by some unusually poor SEC offenses.
“Even the SEC defensive coordinators said this is as down a league as they’ve ever seen,” he said.
Still, LSU and Alabama have shown they can bring down the best. Arkansas had the top-ranked offense in the SEC this season averaging 445 yards per game. The Razorbacks gained 226 yards against Alabama and 254 against LSU.
Come to think of it, Alabama and LSU have had productive offenses in just about every game they’ve played this season _ except for that one on Nov. 5 in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
“You’ve got playmakers all over the place,” Brockers said. “You’ve got NFL potential all over the place also. It just shows how amazing these defenses are.”
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