Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel and Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde & Ross Dellenger discuss LSU's gutsy win over Alabama on Saturday, debating if this could be the end of the Crimson Tide's dominance in all of college football.
DAN WETZEL: All right, welcome to the pod, and welcome to my family.
I don't think-- I think that was a bad imitation of a bad imitation.
PAT FORDE: Yes, it was.
ROSS DELENGER: He can say it however he wants, Dan.
DAN WETZEL: You may not like him. You may hate stuff that happened at Notre Dame. You may think he's fake and the accent was terrible and he tries too hard, all of that. He wins football games, and he's been winning them since he was at Division II. And it was like, you think it will work. It's not a cultural fit.
Take a really good coach with lots of talent. Yeah, they're going to win. And he didn't really have lots of talent. He's got really good talent. But as I said last week, he's been dying to play Bama with something he thought he could beat them with. And 32-31, overtime, Jayden Daniels, incredible game. Kelly goes for 2 to win it. Says, if I got that shot, one play to beat Bama, I'm going with it.
They had a really good play setup, which I think is the underrated part of analytics. It's like, oh, the analytics say go for it. It's like, did they tell you to throw a fade route to the back corner?
That works when there's Randy Moss back there. But he hits Mason Taylor, freshman tight end. And, bang 2-point, win it. Ross Delenger, you were there. Are the ears still ringing?
ROSS DELENGER: They warned us that it would be loud, but I've never heard anything like this. And it was. It was just shaking. LSU's press box is fairly new. It's one of the newer ones. And it's not like the other-- a lot of the ones and older ones where it sways and it shakes. I've covered many a game there. I've never seen it shake. And it shook-- it shook in the fourth quarter last night.
It was crazy. It was an incredible, electric atmosphere. And just an amazing game, just a-- like a back-and-forth. It started out as this defensive struggle. And you felt like we were going back in time. It was 9-7 and 14-9. And then, all of a sudden in the fourth quarter, the quarterbacks took over. Two really good athletes just kind of took over the game.
And it was just a really exciting one. And then of course, the end. I think that a lot of people kind of gasped. Even-- I talked to him afterward. Even AD, Scott Woodward, just like, he said-- he said he thought, holy [BLEEP]. What are we doing going for 2? And then he said he thought about it. And he said, you know what? We got them on the ropes. We might as well knock them out.
And it was a play that Brian Kelly used at Notre Dame in 2014. Yeah, just an unbelievable, exciting game, classic game. One longtime booster came up to me after the game on the field and said-- and this is probably recency bias. But he said that's the gutsiest, biggest call in Tiger Stadium history, which is obviously a thing that could be debatable.
And I think what it does for the grand scheme of things, right, is even bigger. Yes, it was a classic. It was an unbelievable atmosphere. It was a great call. There's all these things about the game. But holy cow, LSU is in the driver's seat to win the SEC West and become-- potentially, it would take an upset against Georgia and Atlanta, to be the first two-loss team to make it the CFP, so wild.
PAT FORDE: Yeah, I mean, it was unbelievable. And it does to me-- yeah, it changes a lot of things big picture. I think everybody could see, everybody wanted to see that Brian Kelly had this thing going in the right direction and it was going to be good. And now this is like the validation. Oh, it's not only going to be good. It's going to be good faster than people maybe expected.
You're nine games in, and you're 7-2, and you've beaten Alabama. And yeah, you may win the West. And you're going to have a chance to play for an SEC Championship. So nobody looked at this LSU team, I don't think, in August and were saying those things.
Secondly, hey, I think we got to start doubting the direction of Alabama. I've done it before and been wrong, the inevitable beginning of the inevitable end of dominance. I think I said it in 2015 when they lost for the second straight year to Mississippi. And I was wrong. They've only won like three championships since then--
--national championships. But for Alabama to be out of the playoff race at this early a juncture is the first time, to be out of the SEC West Championship race, most likely, is, at this early a juncture, is the first time since 2007.
This team doesn't look like a lot of Nick Saban teams. They don't make enough plays on defense. They make too many mistakes. There's just something lacking with a team that we all did come into the season saying, that is the best team in the country and maybe an all-time great Alabama team. And it's not that by any stretch. It's the worst Alabama team since 2010 in terms of results on the field.
So I think there's-- we'll see. And again, they may turn around next year and go 15-0. But as of right now, I'm starting to wonder.