BCS CHAMPIONSHIP BREAKDOWN

CSTV's football analysts take an in-depth look at the BCS Bowl matchups

Trev Alberts Brian Jones Roland Williams

Prediction
I think Ohio State is going to win the game. They're motivated and I think Ohio State is good enough to take advantage of turnovers and penalties. They're more fundamentally sound. They won't be the most gifted, but they'll be the most motivated and sound team. They're a better coached team and in the end Ohio State is going to win. I've stated it a 100 times and I'll say it a million; we often overlook motivation. It's not going to be a high scoring game, more like a battle and LSU will turn it over a couple of times. In the end, Ohio State brings some vindication to the Big Ten. Jim Tressel should be the highest paid coach in the country and will be after this game.

Special Teams/Coaching
From a pure speed perspective, LSU has the advantage. LSU also has the advantage with athleticism. From a coaching prospective it's hands down Jim Tressel. You can't take away from Les Miles what he's done. He's a bit of a of gambler. And the Tigers can beat themselves. Ohio State is always prepared to play. Rarely do you see them beating themselves. They learned something from the Florida loss so the coaching edge goes to Ohio State and Jim Tressel.

Ohio State O vs. LSU D
Ohio State has an underrated QB in Todd Boeckman. He can get confused and force balls. It'll be interesting to see how many different looks Bo Pelini can throw at him. Pelini does a great job hiding Cover 2 and Cover 3. We get all excited about the best defense and how they must have the best defensive packages. But the best defense don't do all that much. They just do what they do really well. Every guy on LSU understands their job. They may have a number of different fronts and looks, but the coverages are fairly simplistic. Beanie Wells is really important, but the Buckeyes two tight ends could be huge. When you play a defense like LSU that's really aggressive and gets to the football it's not easy. Ohio State needs some misdirection. Use some two tight end sets. Get the ball out quick. Initial read and react is crucial.

LSU O vs. Ohio State D
It'll be interesting to see who Les Miles chooses to go with at QB. It's unusual when you have a guy like Ryan Perrilloux. You'd like to think he'll get into the game. But how do you use both him and Matt Flynn? Can you create confusion, but not disrupt flow? I think it's really an interesting matchup with Early Doucet and Brandon LaFell on the outside. We remember the speed Florida had last year? How can LSU isolate Trindon Holiday in space and their other speed guys? They want to get them man-to-man with a linebacker. I think Jacob Hester is really important in the game. He brings that element of consistency. LSU also brings an element of fakes and fourth down conversions. Important LSU early is able to convert throwing third down situations. Make Flynn prove he can be accurate and complete pressure throws under duress. This will be one of the better pass rushing defenses he's seen all year. Ohio State needs its stars to make plays. James Laurinaitis needs to be on top of his game. I don't see this offense being as problematic as Florida's last year. I think Ohio State matches-up fairly well with LSU.

Prediction
Ohio State wins this ball game, hands down. They have a chip on their shoulder over what happened last year. They'll practice their asses off for Ryan Perrilloux because they know he can give them fits. And they'll do the same for the other guys - Matt Flynn and Jacob Hester. They know they can handle those guys up front.

Special Teams/Coaching
I'm going to give it to Jim Tressel, of course. This guy wins the national title in his second year, pulling a Bob Stoops. He's an excellent head coach who always has his team prepared to win and play for a title. You can't win it all the time, but you at least want to be in the running. This is not to take anything away from Les Miles, but it's Jim Tressel hands down.>

Ohio State O vs. LSU D
Here is the interesting thing about the LSU offense. They're three yards and a cloud of dust. They're like a conventional Big Ten offense that just wants to run you over. They have the big boy in the backfield in Jacob Hester who runs straight ahead and straight over you. The X factor is going to be Ryan Perrilloux. Who was the one quarterback who gave Ohio State fits? Illinois' Juice Williams, a dual threat QB. Perrilloux doesn't run a ton when he's in there, but that threat is there. I think you have to see more action from him in this ball game. If they run that ball straight ahead like they always do that's what Ohio State plays and loves to do. LSU has got good receivers, like Early Doucet and Brandon LaFell. You also have Trindon Holiday. Those guys are talented enough where if you put Perrilloux in there he can give the Ohio State defense fits. But it's a phenomenal defense led by James Laurinaitis and Vernon Gholston. Man, in my second life I want to look like Gholston. That's a man already.

LSU O vs. Ohio State D
Chris Beanie Wells, running downhill. I love it. You know we had that whole SpyGate thing going on the NFL, but everyone knows what the other teams are going to do. You know what Ohio State is going to do, they're going to line it up and they're going to hit your ass in the mouth. Ain't no sugar coating it. Two plays, iso to the weak side and Beanie Wells is able to cut back because of the big boys up front were able to get off of blocks. Wells is running downhill and he has the vision to make cutbacks, find the seams, and he's off to the races. It's hat on the hat football. That's what Ohio State does. It may not be pretty, but they want to out-physical you. I thought they got away from that last year against Florida. Do what you do best and dance with who brung you and that's Beanie Wells. Todd Boeckman is not the greatest quarterback, but he's solid. You just don't want him to have to win the game for you. But he's going up against a defense with Glenn Dorsey, who's a beast, and then you've got those linebackers, like Ali Highsmith, running all over the place. Pretty good secondary. It's going to be a great test and those Tigers are used to playing physically football being in the SEC.

Prediction
I think LSU wins the ball game. I think they are the more talented team and all year were the best team in the nation. I still can't get the idea of them trouncing Virginia Tech out of my head. However, I will say this, if the game is close coming down the wire I really like Ohio State's chances.

Special Teams/Coaching
The intangibles belong to Ohio State in a big time way. Jim Tressel is one of the best coaches in college football and Les Miles, certainly is not. I think Les is actually the biggest weakness for the Tigers. If you watched them on a regular basis Miles made some crazy decisions. And not good, pushing the envelope kind of crazy...I'm talking stupid crazy. He got away with them, so people still think he is a good coach, but him making a huge error would not shock me.

Ohio State O vs. LSU D
I think this is an area where the time off will help LSU. Glenn Dorsey gets an opportunity to get healthy and if he is he should be the best player on the field. I really like Ali Highsmith, but I'm not completely sold on Beanie Wells. Ohio State's offensive line does a heck of a job, but they haven't faced a guy like Dorsey all year.

LSU O vs. Ohio State D
I think this is an area where the teams are pretty evenly matched. If Ohio State's offense can maintain possession, then it will give the defense a chance to stay fresh and limit the speed advantage for LSU. Obviously, this is an interesting matchup between Jacob Hester vs Jim Laurinatis. I still think James Laurinaitis is a bit on the small side, so if Ohio State is out on the field a long time, Jacob Hester will start to wear them down. I'm also not a huge believer in Matt Flynn, for whatever that's worth.