Bama (Natl Champ)
Alabama Crimson Tide (National Championship)
L, 23-26

1) When was the SEC Championship Game over? Many will say it could have been the Jordan Jefferson touchdown pass to Kenny Hilliard to go up 28-10 in the third quarter. I think it was the Malcolm Mitchell drop in the first. Even though I was still excited about the way we played in the second quarter, the doubt started to creep in once Mitchell dropped an easy touchdown pass. At that point, I realized we wanted this game a little too much but simply not ready for a big game against a huge opponent like LSU. I also realized we had just run out of chances to score on LSU. They weren't going to play like that the rest of the game and two dropped TD passes meant Bobo was pulling out everything he could early and often. But the many 3-and-outs afterwards showed he didn't have any more plays to fool this defense any longer. That's when they pinned their ears back!
2) Did Isaiah Crowell play his last game? I'm not ready to say that I'm giving up on an 18-year old kid who was asked to do way too much in his first year, but I think once he turned his back on Mark Richt after the personal foul, I thought the Crowell era may have ended on Saturday night. Simply put, he just seems too immature to work hard, take criticism, and put the team first. Some guys make bad decisions but you can see their heart is in the right place and they'll learn from it. Crowell, on the other hand, doesn't appear to be that guy. I hope he turns it around and proves me wrong but at this point, I don't think he wants "The Next Herschel" label he's been given and I wouldn't be surprised if he asks for a transfer. .
3) Why did we kick to the Honey Badger? I understand the first time we did it. We were playing well and confidence was high but once you saw his amazing punt return for a touchdown, Drew Butler should have been kicking coffin corners the rest of the game. We kicked it to Mathieu three times that I know of last night and he ended up changing the game and winning MVP. Let's rethink things next time...
4) Our defense backed it up! Zero first downs, 30 yards passing, no long scoring drives for the Tigers, and 238 total yards. Anyone who sees the 42-10 score will automatically assume our defense didn't back up their top 5 ranking. That's why the book is always better than the movie, right? The score looked bad and the highlights favored LSU, but spectators who watched most of the game saw a fast, strong defense that did everything they could to keep their team in the ball game. Deflected passes, blitzing sacks, tackles for losses, and a rattled Jordan Jefferson were all you could ask for in the first half. Let's return 9 starters and make another run next year!
5) How does UGA stack up in 2012? Georgia may return 16 starters but a few key players may go to the NFL. Boykin, Glenn, Ben Jones, Figgins, Bean, and Tyson are seniors but Rambo, Orson, and Jarvis may leave early. I hope they come back with an unfinished business type of attitude but Saturday night showed me that LSU may return 16 starters and 22 second stringers. They are loaded, Bama's loaded, and the bar may be too high to climb for the Dawgs. I'm optimistic they'll be better next year but we'll need continued unexpected surprises from younger players to give us the depth we need to compete with the SEC Elite. We're close, real close.