For 'Bama, LSU, another epic showdown
TribLIVE Sports Videos
BATON ROUGE, La. — OK, maybe it's not the Game of the Century.
No disputing it's the game of the year. Nothing new about that.
Alabama-LSU has become the greatest rivalry in college football, supplanting Michigan-Ohio State, Florida-Florida State and any of those other annual showdowns with historic overtones. Last year these SEC powerhouses met twice — once with the Crimson Tide ranked No. 1 and the Tigers No. 2, the second time with the roles reversed.
Another epic showdown looms Saturday night in Tiger Stadium. Top-ranked Alabama (8-0, 5-0 SEC) is looking to stay on course for its second straight national title, but a familiar foe — No. 5 LSU (7-1, 3-1) — stands in the way.
“You've got your Michigan-Ohio States and stuff like that, but I feel like those games are not what they used to be,” LSU linebacker Kevin Minter said. “This is the gusto right here.”
The teams have long been SEC rivals, but it was a largely overlooked game on the national stage. That changed in 2007, when former LSU coach Nick Saban, after a brief stint in the NFL, returned to the college game — at Alabama.
Suddenly, the series took on a new level of nastiness.
“I grew up watching LSU-Bama, and it was always a good game, but since I got here it's definitely gotten way bigger,” LSU safety Eric Reid said. “Whenever we play each other, everybody expects a big game.”
Indeed, these are two modern dynasties. LSU, guided by Saban successor Les Miles, won the national title in 2007. Alabama finished on top in 2009, then again last season — by beating the Tigers, 21-0, in the title game.
“It'll definitely be the most physical game we play all year,” Alabama center Barrett Jones said. “The most physical games I've played in my life have been against them. We really respect the way they play football.”
When the teams met last year in Tuscaloosa, Ala., the buildup was so intense that everyone broke out the “Game of the Century” moniker. Alabama was the favorite, but LSU pulled out a 9-6 victory in overtime, winning a battle of the field goals.
The Crimson Tide climbed back to No. 2 in the BCS standings to earn a rematch in the national title game, then limited the Tigers to 92 yards and five first downs en route to the title.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers nose tackle McCullers finds performance, fitness go hand in hand
- Padres snap Pirates’ 7-game win streak
- Pittsburgh roots shape former Md. governor’s outlook in run for president
- Point Park graduate’s ‘mugshot’ photos hit nerve on racism
- Driver dies, students hurt in school van crash in Indiana County
- Penn State lands 4-star offensive lineman from Reading
- Paddleboard classes focus on fitness
- Pirates notebook: Burnett rediscovers vintage form
- East Franklin family held at gunpoint in Arnold; no one hurt
- Volunteers pull weeds, clear debris from Hempfield’s neglected 14th Quartermaster monument
- Hurdle says Pirates must eliminate defensive gaffes