The final score was LSU 9, Alabama 6, and the polls show the Tigers as the No. 1 team in the nation.
But some of the members of the Scripps Legend Poll made it clear on Monday they aren't convinced the better team won Saturday night's No. 1 versus No. 2 showdown in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
"I think if they played the game 10 times, Alabama would win seven of them,'' said former Crimson Tide coach and Legends Poll voter Gene Stallings.
"The best team doesn't always win.''
Former Georgia coach Vince Dooley agrees with Stallings' sentiments.
"I still believe Alabama would win two out of three times,'' Dooley said. "I think Alabama is a little better. It was just a classic, between two of the best teams, just physical athletes, that I can remember at one time in a season.''
Former Ohio State coach John Cooper said much of the same.
"It was a great defensive game, two great teams, very conservative game plans,'' Cooper said. "I still think Alabama was the best team but didn't win that game. I think if they played five times, Alabama would win three of them.''
So for all of the talk of the Crimson Tide being better, why didn't Alabama win at home?
"It's the damn kicking game,'' former Auburn coach Pat Dye said. "The kicking game determines close games. Alabama missed four field goals, and they let them (punt) the ball 72 yards. The only mistake LSU had in the kicking game was the flagrant foul on the punt return.''
Cooper second-guessed the Tide's offensive playing calling leading up to long field goal attempts.
"I thought Alabama made a couple of mistakes, it was third-and-long, and they threw the ball; if they had run the ball and gained 5 yards or 8 yards...'' Cooper said, suggesting a more makable field goal attempt. "The first (field goal attempt) was a 50 yarder; it was third-and-20 the play before and they threw an incomplete pass.
"One mark of a good coaching job is you don't ask a kid to do something he can't do; if he can't kick a 50-yarder, why are you letting him try it?''
Dooley jumped in on the subject of forsaking the punt and field position strategy versus attempting the long field goal.
"If you're gonna play that way,'' Dooley said, "you gotta have a field goal kicker.''
Former Indiana coach Bill Mallory said much of the same.
"Where I had some question was on the field position when Alabama went for the field goals, not knocking on the young man, but that was a long distance for him,'' Mallory said. "I thought maybe they would punt and try to get better field position, at least not turn the ball over in that situation. Field position is so important in games like that. ''
Rematch?:Already, speculation is swirling that LSU and Alabama could meet again in the national championship game.
Dye, however, said he wouldn't agree with the Tide being moved ahead of a few of the remaining undefeated teams.
"I don't think Alabama deserves to play in the national championship game if Oklahoma State stays undefeated, or Stanford stays undefeated or Boise State stays undefeated. If that happens, (one of those teams) deserve a chance to play LSU."
Overrated? Former USC coach John Robinson had an interesting take on the LSU-Alabama game.
"Alabama came up short, they didn't play their best football game; I was disappointed,'' he said. "I kinda thought this was maybe one of the best teams of all time...they don't have a quarterback, they don't have many good wide receivers, and their kicking game was lousy.
"You measure teams on their great games,'' he said. "When you have a classic game, you have to play classic football, or else you have to step aside.''
"I'm sure Nick Saban isn't standing around saying, 'boys we played as hard as we could...,' Behind closed doors he's probably damned ape-(manure) about what's going on.''
Dye On Classic Vols: "The closest game I've ever seen was in 1956, when Tennessee beat Georgia Tech in Atlanta 6-0, and the next week they went to No. 1,'' Dye said. "Both teams quick-kicked five or six times apiece, neither one of them wanted the football. It was classic.''
UT entered that game ranked No. 3 and Georgia Tech was ranked No. 2.
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