Nov 7, 2008

LSU vs. Alabama


This is it. It's the game that LSU fans have been waiting almost two years for. It's Nick Saban's return to Tiger Stadium (actually his second return, but first versus LSU). LSU fans have been thinking of ways to get him back for leaving us and returning to the SEC at rival Alabama. But beneath all the hatred and the sideshows, there will be a game played on Saturday. And an important one at that.

Alabama brings its #1 ranking to Tiger Stadium, the first time a team comes into Baton Rouge ranked #1 since the Florida Gators were knocked off their throne in 1997. LSU has a ton to play for -- defensive respect after giving up 50+ points twice in losses, an outside shot at the SEC Championship Game, a New Year's Day Bowl, the chance to knock off the #1 team in the country and stick it to our former coach at the same time. This game will be huge.

College Game Day will broadcast live from LSU's campus and the college football world will tune in just to see what LSU fans do when Nick arrives on campus. There I go again, as much as LSU fans, players and coaches will say this game is about the 22 guys on the field, it's not. It's so much more for LSU. Everything that LSU fans have read and heard from the Crimson Tide faithful the past two seasons will boil over Saturday.

I personally still like Nick Saban. I know, you aren't supposed to say that around here, but I still have a picture of him on my desk when he was nice enough to pose with me and my future wife on our graduation day. I have a lot of respect for the man, even though he's been labled as a lier, money hungry, power hungry and the Nick-tator. But you have to hand it to the guy. He is great at what he does. While he may not stick around for long in one place, he can turn around a college program in no time flat. He can coach a defense and, while not everyone loves his style of coaching, he can get the best out of his players.

These are all the real reasons why LSU fans have been dissing and hating on Nick for the past couple of years. LSU fans know how good he is, and fear that the balance of power in the SEC West could be shifting. LSU has been the top team in the West for years now, playing in the SEC Championship game four times with two BCS champships under Saban and Les Miles. While fans have grown to love Les, no one wants a rival program to reach #1 status.

LSU and Les got the Crimson Tide last year at Alabama, but this weekend's game is much bigger. The entire LSU fan base has been anticipating this matchup and would love nothing more than to knock off the #1 Tide. With the way LSU has played this year, a win against Alabama would make the Tigers season (as long as they don't lose to Ole Miss or Arkansas later this year). Emotions will be high, Tiger Stadium will be rocking and and all eyes will be on the Alabama sidelines.

LSU 28
Alabama 21

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