ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 03: Tyrann Mathieu #7 of the LSU Tigers celebrates after earning the MVP trophy in their 42-10 win over the Georgia Bulldogs during the 2011 SEC Championship Game at Georgia Dome on December 3, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Though the 2012 BCS National Championship Game may pair teams that look the same to the untrained eye, LSU and Alabama deploy their defense-first death marches via entirely different approaches. So which one to root for?
The Rootability Index helps you, the uninvested neutral viewer, who to root for in bowl games. You have no choice but to take sides tonight, dear reader, as this is the last hurrah for the 2011-12 college football season, the BCS Title Game.
ROOTABILITY FACTORS. Do you have thoughts about the BCS, or how a playoff would fix all this? Does the exclusion of teams like Oklahoma State from the 2011 championship selection process anger you? Do you have a solution for all this, one that would fix all of the evils of college football and lead us all to a new land of festive gridiron happiness?
You do! That's great, because WOOOOOO ESS-EEE-SEEE. This restaurant does not care what you have back in Ohio, or California, or Utah, or whatever other sensible, well-run place you come from in the country. You have two flavors to choose from here: SEC West team one, or SEC West team two. Please file all complaints about this menu to our caring management via a comment card.*
*There is no management, and there are no comment cards.
The two flavors tonight do cover a wide range of playing styles and philosophies. Alabama likes to run the ball first with their freakishly gifted running backs and bruising offensive line, and then keep the game short, nasty, and brutish with a disciplined and unforgiving defense. In contrast, LSU likes to do that exact same thing, but play special teams, too. These teams are remarkably similar, and you should probably ignore the first sentence of this paragraph completely.
The styles of play being comparable, one is left with style. I don't mean to imply that you are Communist, but does the Red Army Anthem move you in ways you don't want to admit to friends? Is a small part of you turned on by a little healthy fascism in your life? Alabama demands your allegiance, then. No other team comes as close to conflating the iconography of Father Stalin's Workers' Fun Camp than Alabama, and no other fan base goes as close to the point of confusing religious worship with football fandom as Alabama's. (See the Coca-Cola bottles at Bear Bryant's grave, and then try to doubt the iconography at work here.)
You should also root for Alabama if any of the following things apply to you.
- If you are a man with a combover even though you are not bald. (See: Bama Bangs.)
- If you have an Australian fetish, plus-size division (See: monster Aussie defensive tackle Jesse Williams.)
- If your strength coach "capped you at a 600-pound squat." (See: you are probably related to fiendish iron-pusher and Bama running back Trent Richardson.)
- If you refuse to give a kicker a scholarship on principle, and then lose football games as a result of this decision.
- If you have ever had a subordinate working for you under orders to "not let anyone talk to you or look at you directly." (See: Nick Saban's Dolphins tenure.)
- If you have ever screamed profanities at a five-year-old for dropping a fly ball in a friendly game of backyard Wiffle Ball because "CHAMPIONS ARE CHAMPIONS EVERYWHERE, SON."
The festive violence of LSU football, meanwhile, makes them the colorful Visigoth to Alabama's grim Roman centurions. Their marketing department is better than yours, and that is why your team does not have awesome, school-sponsored victory videos coupled with an official Twitter feed that is openly taunting Alabama fans today.
LSU fans bring with them the spirits of Louisana. We primarily mean "alcohol distilled from marshgrass and pesticide" when we say this, but we also mean the festive, carnival-style fatalism of the LSU fanbase. They do not know whether they are showing up to a celebration or a funeral, but the reaction to either will be the same: music, some friendly fistfights, cursing, overly indulgent eating, and a ripping hangover either way. The LSU fanbase may or may not be right for you. Do not ask your doctor about taking LSU, because he or she won't let you.
The following people must by default root for LSU:
- If you have ever caught an alligator with your bare hands after 6 p.m. for recreational purposes.
- If you have an Aussie fetish, but also like good special teams. (See: LSU punter Brad Wing.)
- If you like trick plays that work.
- If you have ever split twos at a game of casino blackjack, and then won that hand.
- If you have ever attempted to bribe the umpire in a recreational kickball game.
- If you have ever buttered your cheese, or cheesed your butter.
- If you grow a beard for hunting season even if you have never hunted an animal in your life.
- If you have ever thought, "I like pork, but I wonder what would happen if you stuffed it with pork and then added some pork with pork seasoning?"
- If you have ever ended a party by saying, "I think we need to go home, the airboat's broken and the governor seems too drunk to get home safely."
If these apply to you, your choice has already been made.
LEAN: LSU. Better food, the Les Clap, and the promise of a party no matter the outcome proves too much to resist.