Love them or hate them, you have to respect Alabama. The Crimson Tide are in the thick of the title hunt every year under Nick Saban, and nothing has changed in 2012. All eyes will be on the Nov. 3 game between Alabama and Louisiana State in Baton Rouge.
The ESPN telecast drew a 14 rating. The only BCS games with lower ratings were the 2005 USC-Oklahoma matchup, which got a 13.7, and the 2002 Miami-Nebraska game, which had a 13.8.
Ratings were down 8% from the 2011 title game between Auburn and Oregon.
Monday's telecast had regional appeal, with seven of the top 10 metered markets having a Southeastern Conference footprint, according to the overnight numbers. Birmingham topped the list with a 61.2, followed by New Orleans at 53.3.
Then the ratings took a steep drop, with Oklahoma City (29.1), Minneapolis-St. Paul (27.5), Atlanta (26.8), Memphis (25.8), Knoxville (25.5), Greenville (24.5), Jacksonville (23) and Austin (20.5) completing the top 10.
Which team will win Monday night's Bowl Championship title game between Louisiana State and Alabama? For the fifth year in a row, the Wiz went to distinguished members of the news media and blogging community for the answer. Opinions vary, but nearly everyone agrees that one of these teams will actually score a touchdown in this Rematch of the Century.
At the bottom of the post, readers are invited to vote in two polls. The first asks which team will cover the spread. At the time of this post, Alabama is favored by 1.5 points. The second asks if the total number of points will go over or under 40.5.
Let's get to it (Twitter feeds are linked off names):
Larry Brown of Larry Brown Sports: Bama 20, LSU 17. Even though they lost, Bama appeared to be the better team in the first meeting between the squads. It moved the ball slightly better than LSU and lost because it couldn't make a field goal. I don't think LSU will get that lucky this time.
Yost of the Michigan blog M Zone: 'Bama 21, LSU 17. I just think it's going to be too hard for LSU to beat 'Bama twice in a season. Plus, unbeknownst to LSU, Nick Saban has probably signed 42 additional players since the end of the regular season.
Oddsmakers in Las Vegas aren't the only ones breaking down Monday night's Bowl Championship Series title game between Louisiana State and Alabama. After the jump is the complete list of odds from Bovada, everything from which team will win the coin toss to total number of interceptions thrown by Alabama's A.J. McCarron.