An hour after rushing for a career-best 203 yards in Saturday's 42-14 dismantling of Auburn at Jordan-Hare Stadium, Alabama tailback Trent Richardson was asked on ESPN Radio about a potential rematch with LSU in the BCS championship game.
"You're not going to get a better ball game than that," Richardson said. "You've got two teams who will throw everything they can at each other, will try to punch each other in the mouth early and then will play a full game. That would be a fight to the finish."
Because nobody else has been able to punch LSU and Alabama this season, the likelihood of the Tigers and Crimson Tide playing a second time is more of a certainty. The two Southeastern Conference West Division rivals remained a convincing 1-2 in the BCS standings revealed Sunday night.
Alabama, which lost to LSU 9-6 in overtime at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Nov. 5, concluded its regular season Saturday with an 11th victory by 16 points or more.
"It's hard to see what could happen to bump Alabama out," ESPN analyst Brad Edwards said Sunday night.
The Tide won just their third Iron Bowl in the past decade but improved to 3-2 against the Tigers under Nick Saban. Saturday marked the second series rout Alabama has produced under Saban, nearly matching the 36-0 whitewash in 2008 at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Though Alabama likely will compete for a national title without playing for a conference crown, Saban said after the Auburn game that his players have made a tremendous commitment and would be very deserving. His players, to nobody's surprise, agreed that a second date with LSU should be in order.
"If you're a team in our situation, who wouldn't think they deserve to play in the national championship?" quarterback AJ McCarron said. "As a team, we think we deserve it, and hopefully we get the nod to do so."
Said cornerback Dee Milliner: "I think everyone knows that we are the two best teams."
An LSU-Alabama pairing would mark the first time two teams from the same conference would play for the BCS title. Current ACC members Florida State and Virginia Tech vied for the 1999 championship, but that was when the Hokies were in the Big East.
Ohio State and Michigan nearly met twice in 2006, but Florida slipped past the Wolverines in the final BCS standings and then clobbered the Buckeyes for the national title.
"I had a problem with an LSU-Alabama rematch after they played, but that was before everybody else started losing," ESPN analyst Mel Kiper said Saturday night. "That was before Stanford lost by 23 points at home to Oregon and before Oklahoma State lost as a 27-point favorite at Iowa State. It's what we're left with.
"LSU and Alabama have proven to be the two best teams in college football, and it would be an injustice if they didn't play for the national championship."
Richardson promised a second LSU-Alabama game would produce more points -- though not many -- and it sounds as if the Tigers have been expecting the rematch as well.
"I've already had some buddies at LSU call me and say, 'See you in New Orleans,'" Richardson said. "I can't wait to possibly meet them there again."
David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...