If you heard loud head banging and ravenous screaming after last night’s SEC National Championship Game, it was probably just your typical college football fan, rocking back and forth in a cold sweat after last night’s defensive struggle. It was an offensive famine unseen in the national championship game since Oklahoma nearly blanked Florida State 13-2. After witnessing the New Orleans Saints and Detroit Lions throw the ball with no regard for human life 48 hours earlier, watching both offenses declare an offensive strike sent LSU fans into withdrawal. Going from Baylor and West Virginia’s offensive smorgasbord to Alabama’s shutout is the equivalent of trading spring break in Cancun for Christmas in South Sudan.

However, Alabama’s defensive shutout gave as much of a boost to Nick Saban’s legacy as it should put a dent on Les Miles’. The Mad Hatter just can’t match wits with Saban.

Not only did LSU fail to reach the end zone but it also took them 50 minutes for their offense to cross midfield. Alabama couldn’t have defended their side of the field better if they’d strewn live mines from hash mark to hash mark inside Alabama territory. LSU’s defense and special teams controlled Alabama’s offense valiantly before the levees broke on Trent Richardson’s 34-yard touchdown sprint.

The LSU defense forced Alabama’s into five field goals and even blocked a 42-yarder. The only way that LSU could have given their offense more opportunities to score would have been by blocking an Alabama kickoff.

But don’t be completely fooled. Monday night’s BCS national championship was a mix of great defenses and woeful offense. Alabama and LSU do boast the nation’s best defenses. However, their respective offenses contributed to the paucity of scoring with their relatively inept offenses. Alabama was able to move the football with ease until they reached field goal range. Meanwhile, LSU’s Jordan Jefferson’s only highlight was an open field tackle of linebacker C.J. Moseley, who picked off Jefferson’s Shovel Pass to Nowhere.
Jeff_medium  Les Mile’s complete and utter devotion to Jefferson was bafflingWhether he was facing felony assault charges, missing open receivers or throw bounce passes into the dirt, Miles never even considered cutting his losses with Jefferson. He even admitted to that fact after the game.

Jarrett Lee may have had a horrendous performance against Alabama on Nov.5 but at least he’s shown the ability to move the ball with a good old-fashioned forward pass better than Jefferson. In the SEC Championship Jefferson threw for 30 yards and one touchdown on 5-of-13 passing. However, LSU’s faults were covered up by their 42-point outburst. On Monday night, Jefferson completed 11-of-17 passes for 53 yards and committed one of the most mind numbing championship turnovers since Georgetown’s Sleepy Brown threw a chest pass to UNC’s James Worthy in the 1982 national championship game. (Amazing Brent Musberger was there too)

Against Oregon’s paltry defense, Lee completed only 45% of his pass attempts for 98 yards. But that wasn’t even his worst passing performance. Lee completed only 38 percent of his passes against Kentucky. I’ll repeat that, Kentucky!  It says something about LSU’s quarterback position when the punter, Brad Wing has achieved cult-figure status.

LSU’s quarterback situation has fallen a long way since Matt Flynn and JaMarcus Russell were duking it out in spring practice for the starting job. It’s hard to believe Les was once the offensive coordinator and head coach of Oklahoma State’s nuclear powered offense.

The best quarterback that Les Miles actually recruited to LSU is now a wide receiver.  In high school, Junior Russell Shepard was a second-team ALL USA Today quarterback and the number one player in ESPN’s recruiting rankings before he was inexplicably moved to receiver as a freshman in 2008. At 6’1, 185 pounds, Shepard is bigger than Michigan’s Denard Robinson and just as fast. Shepard still tells Miles he’s the best quarterback on the LSU roster and it’s not difficult to believe him.

The Jefferson/Lee era brought the forward pass back 80 years. Fortunately, for LSU fans, Lee and Jefferson will give way to a new crop of passers. Defensive maestro John Chavis is the guru that has created defensive juggernauts at every pit stop in his career including LSU but Les Miles is the recruiting wizard. In 2012, Zach Mettenberger, Jerrard Randall and the top ranked quarterback pros[et in the Class of 2012, Gunner Kiel will battle for the starting job and LSU will begin next season as a top-ranked team. Hopefully, Miles has learned a valuable lesson from Jefferson and Lee. In the future, Miles and his coaching staff have to spend more time carefully evaluating and recruiting the quarterback position.

Update: Gunner Kiel decided to enroll at Notre Dame at the last minute and rumors have swirled that the son of the reporter in the video above as well as Russell Shepard asked for Miles to start Lee instead of Jefferson.