For Tiger fans, this game has been circled for two years. LSU fans, never known for their class, have heaped all manner of abuse on Saban. Apparently longing for the days of DiNardo, LSU is one of a few SEC teams that saw a resurgence in the early aughts, while Alabama wandered in the wilderness. They, as much as those other Tigers, have plenty to lose with Alabama’s ascendance.
As much as LSU would like to think this game is a big rivalry game, it’s not. Alabama owns this series, despite the recent success of LSU. The bile directed at Saban is due to this newfound success. Saban left this program in better shape than he found it, and Les Miles has been caretaker of the program since then. Make no mistake, Tigahs, he’s Larry Coker, and you guys are on the downhill side of your success. This game will be the clearest indicator yet of that fact.
Alabama has taken care of business this season, winning games while underwhelming the sports media. This isn’t a flashy, Big Ten-type team; it’s a grinding, workmanlike team, reflecting Saban’s personality. They’re the worst undefeated team in the country, some are saying. They said that in 1992, also.
Alabama has done just enough to win since Georgia. Other than last weekend’s homecoming blowout, they have played conservatively. We expect them to open the playbook back up this week, and stun the home fans early. Expect lots of reaction shots on TV, as the cameras focus on slack-jawed LSU students watching the Tigers get dismantled in the first quarter.
For the record, those white helmet rumors are just that, but it sure would be cool.
Other SEC games:
Florida 56, Vandy 13
Georgia 24, Kentucky 17
S. Carolina 20, Arkansas 17
I actually think that the huge, over-the-top, LSU-fans-in-a-tizzy sort of buildup for this matchup will backfire on the Bengal Tigers. Instead of getting themselves more ready for the game, it will instead make them more antsy and will give Bama more confidence. This Bama team is mature and poised and knows what’s waiting for them if they win the game – their first SEC West title in way too long.
This isn’t to say this game won’t be a test and can’t be tough. It will be. LSU has a good defense and an exceptional runner in Charles Scott. But I think that Bama’s offensive and defensive lines, consistent and hard-hitting running attack, and senior quarterback will be too much for LSU. And if we do what we’ve been doing all year – getting ahead early and taking momentum away from the other team, grinding it out on the ground, and winning in the trenches – we can win this game and keep moving towards better things. As Antoine Caldwell said the other day: “It’s not going to take anything extraordinary or special. We’ve just go to keep doing what we’ve been doing.” I think they can!
Alabama 28 LSU 17
Other SEC games:
Florida 45 Vandy 20 (I’m not falling for the idea that Vandy can give Florida a run for their money. I’m thinking the only real test for the Gators will be Bama in the SEC championship.)
Georgia 21 Kentucky 10 (Georgia’s let games get away from them too much this year. Not this time!)
Arkansas 21 South Carolina 13 (I think Arkansas is hungry for a bowl berth and they gotta win this one to get one. USC’s a little banged up and not real consistent, while the Hogs seem to be showing some improvement)