Start of November means LSU vs. Alabama

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Nick Saban
Nick Saban has helped Alabama dominate the recent rivalry matchups with LSU (File Photo: Terrill Weil).

We have turned the calendar to November.  For LSU football this means a game against Alabama.

You must go back to 1981 to find a time when LSU played Alabama on September 5 in a season opener on ABC TV.  LSU lost 24-7 in Tiger Stadium.

It has since become a November ritual.

The history of this game is filled with many stories and it stirs up the LSU fan base as much as anything.  When head coach Nick Saban landed in Tuscaloosa for the 2007 season, after two years in the NFL, it added some spice to the rivalry.  Of course, Saban was at LSU from 2000-2004, and this fact still makes LSU fans stir crazy that he has built a dynasty at Alabama.  Saban is 8-3 vs. LSU in his tenure at Alabama.

This brings us to the game Saturday night in Tuscaloosa on national television.  The wiseguys in Las Vegas have Alabama as a 21-point favorite in the largest point spread in the series since the Tigers pulled a shocking road upset in 1993  LSU, like Alabama, controls its own destiny in the SEC West.  Most people expect Alabama to win the game.  I am included on that list.

For LSU to win, the Tigers will have to check all of the boxes on the cliché list:  no turnovers, minimal penalties, do not allow big play, win the special teams battle, score whenever in the red zone, convert on 3rd down, etc.

Most football games are won at the line of scrimmage.  This is where Alabama has the big advantage on paper and on the field.  The experience and depth boxes are checked for Alabama.  LSU must marginalize the gap to have a chance.

The Tigers must also have “lady luck” on their side. Sometimes it is better to be lucky than good.  LSU needs the favorable bounce of the ball, the breaks like tipped passes into white jersey hands, punts downed inside the 5 instead of it going into the end zone for a touchback, etc.

It will also help if Alabama does not have its best game. The Crimson Tide, though, are well aware of the importance of the game and one would think they will be ready.

All week long I have been trying to come up with a vision for LSU to get a win.  I cannot come up with that picture.  We all know that anything can happen, and we have seen that across the country many times this season and in previous seasons.  I have also tried to get a vision of LSU keeping it close (within the point spread), and I cannot see that either this week.  Alabama is the best team in the country and the Tide will be the best team in Tuscaloosa this weekend.   That being said, something like Alabama 41, LSU 14 is the logical assumption.

The bright side? The remaining games in November for LSU are all winnable and time will tell if in fact the Tigers get those wins.

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Tommy Krysan

Tommy Krysan

Pelican Sports/WUBR 910am

Tommy Krysan is the General Manager at Pelican Broadcasting in Baton Rouge. He hosts an afternoon radio show, 3-5 p.m. Monday thru Friday on WUBR 910AM CBS Sports Radio in Baton Rouge. He hosts Tigers Roar TV on Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. which airs in Baton Rouge, Lafayette and New Orleans. He also hosts The Pelican Sports Post Game…

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