This offseason we will count down various topics from Monday through Friday, bringing you the top five of the important and definitely some not so important issues in college football. It's the Doc Five, every week until we will thankfully have actual games to discuss.
TOP FIVE NATIONAL CHAMPION RUNNER-UPS
NO. 3, 2011 LSU
For a few weeks during the 2011 season, a lot of people thought the de facto national title game was in Tuscaloosa, Al. on November 5. Both LSU and Alabama entered the game undefeated and the Tigers took down the Crimson Tide 9-6 in overtime in what could be the last, great SEC defensive struggle we'll see for a while.
The Tigers were now in the driver's seat for a berth in the SEC Championship Game and the BCS Championship Game. After easily dispatching Georgia 42-10, the Tigers were headed to the BCS Championship game as the No. 1 team in the country.
The No. 2 team in the land? Alabama, who got to the title game by winning out and leapfrogging Oklahoma State after the Cowboys lost to Iowa State on November 10.
We had a rematch and our first inter-conference BCS Championship and it did not go well for LSU, who lost 21-0. While the defense played well again, not allowing an Alabama touchdown until Trent Richardson's fourth quarter score, the offense was absolutely stifled. QB Jordan Jefferson threw for 53 yards. LSU ran for 39. The Tigers didn't get to midfield until the fourth quarter and had seven possessions that netted less than 10 yards apiece.
The title game was an aberration compared to the rest of the season. LSU's defense was, along with Alabama's, one of the best in the SEC and the country. Tiger opponents scored 10 points or less eight times.
The defense helped its offense lead the SEC in scoring and average nearly 39 points per game in conference play.
And just think how much more LSU could have scored with dynamic quarterback play. Jefferson took over for Jordan Lee as the starter after Lee threw two picks in seven passes in the first Alabama game. Combined, they threw for 2,043 yards., 20 touchdowns and five interceptions. Production good enough to help LSU have an undefeated regular season and a place on this list, but not exceptional enough to not wonder what could have been.
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