LSU at Alabama. The biggest game of the year so far in the SEC. It has serious repercussions for both teams. Alabama loses, and their chances for winning the SEC west become much smaller. LSU loses, and they probably lose whatever chance they still have of playing for the "national championship".
Newspaper Hack at Journalism is for Rockstars looks at some of the smack-talk going on in the LSU section of the Internet. I liked this one:
“When it comes to Bama Football, this is how I feel about them: I would raze their cities to the ground, sell their women and children into slavery, sow their fields with salt, remove them from the history books and bring death to their program for all time. Other than that, they’re ok by me.”(1$ to Panzer from tigerbait.com) — Benji313Pretty funny. The Tide Druid fully "gets" the magnitude of this game, both schedule-wise and emotionally because of the Nick Saban issue. He also offerers several reasons why Alabama wins and loses the game. OutsideTheSidelines at Roll 'Bama Roll takes a detailed look at the game from almost every angle.
On the LSU side, Richard Pittman admits to being caught up in the game hype than the actual contest, but corrects that in this entry:
Of course, games in the SEC are often won on the lines, and I think we have a fairly significant advantage here, especially when we're on defense. The Bama offensive line played its best game last week without two of its starters, but frankly Tennessee's defense is not as good as usual this year, and they were unable to exploit the problems on the Bama offensive line (or the Bama energy and emotion for that matter). If those guys continue to be out, I think we'll be able to exploit their absence a little more.This is what I believe as well. LSU has a stronger line on both sides of the football than Alabama, and they have had time to rest and recover for this football game. When you have two rested teams coming into a game, the team with the stronger lines almost always gets the win.
Purple Reign at And The Valley Shook looks at several pundits' predictions for this game, and the overwhelming consensus is that LSU wins this game. Finally, New Orleans Love tells us why this game matters:
The refs may have to get in between the coaches in this one.This game matters for all kinds of reasons, not the least of which is that LSU losing to Alabama would do more to drive Les Miles into the waiting arms of Michigan than anything else. He may very well go anyway, but the crap he'll have to listen to if he loses this one will make that decision a lot easier.
LSU may go for it on 4-and-8 at their 40 in this one.
It's that intense.
Saturday's game is LSU vs. Alabama, but everyone knows it's even more about Nick Saban and Les Miles. No matter what the coaches say, it's Nicklaus vs. Lester. The LSU faithful will hate Les if he loses to Alabama, especially with the LSU West crown at stake (even though bettors well know 'Bama will lose to Auburn) Alas, it is what it is.
For Saban's part, he pretty much gets a pass on this game unless LSU embarrasses Alabama in their house. That would get the Bama fans clacking their tongues and wringing their hands, but it won't generate much "Far Nick" sympathy -- they paid too much for him to run him off his first season.
Overall the pressure is far higher on Miles than Saban, and it will be interesting to see how this washes out. I am watching both coaches tell everybody right now that this game isn't about them. Don't you believe it.