There were plenty of skeptics about the possibility of a rematch in the BCS National Championship Game, even before the field goal-drenched slugfest in Tuscaloosa in November. And there were plenty of us who questioned whether Alabama could be a true national champion if they won the second game after losing the first one.
All of those questions were obliterated Monday night in New Orleans, dismantled by Alabama along with LSU's hopes of its first undefeated season in more than a half-century. In the end, it wasn't even close.
Alabama locked up the first shutout in BCS history. The Tide limited LSU to 92 yards, the second fewest yards ever allowed in a BCS championship game. (The fewest were the 82 Ohio State gained against Florida, in case you were wondering.) The LSU offense came into the game with a terrible game plan and executed it poorly, but Alabama's defense took it from there in one of the most impressive defensive performances in years.
Oh, and did we mention that Alabama actually scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter? A.J. McCarron was a calm and polished quarterback in the pocket, completing 23 of his 34 pass attempts for 234 yards, the most yards he threw for all season against SEC teams not named Vanderbilt and Tennessee. Trent Richardson had 96 yards on 20 rushes and was the one who scored that touchdown, cementing his place in Alabama history in what will almost certainly be his last game at Alabama.
So point to the scoreboard from November all you want. Challenge the idea of a rematch in the BCS National Championship Game all you want. But in the Alabama-LSU showdown that mattered most, Alabama was the team that played its best game of the year. And that's why they should wake up on Tuesday as the national champions, no matter what measurement or poll you use.