The Third Season

For the teams playing in the BCS national championship game, there are really three seasons: spring practice, the regular season and then, the game:

Alabama’s 44 days are the most for a championship participant since Ohio State waited 51 days to lose the 2007 title game to LSU in New Orleans.

The layoff provides a new challenge for Nick Saban, who has never waited longer than 38 days before a bowl. Saban won his BCS titles after 33 days off at Alabama and 29 with LSU. Is this layoff more time to study and get well, or to overanalyze and get rusty?

LSU’s Les Miles has experienced three bowl layoffs longer than this 37-day wait. He waited 41 days before the Cotton Bowl win last year and 40 days before the Sugar Bowl win five years ago.

And yes, if you’re rolling your eyes that an entire column was devoted to this subject, that’s one more byproduct of this interminable wait.