The 2011 matchup between the No. 1 ranked LSU Tigers and No. 2 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide was dubbed “The Game of the Century” as LSU won 9-6 in overtime to defeat the Tide in Tuscaloosa.
The 2013 matchup between the SEC west rivals isn’t in the same ballpark, and with No. 10 Oklahoma at No. 6 Baylor and No. 5 Stanford at No. 3 Oregon playing on Thursday, it may not even be the game of the week, but don’t say that in the LSU locker room.
LSU has beaten Alabama twice since 2010 and have won six of the past eight games in Tuscaloosa, but with two losses entering Saturday night’s game in Bryant Denny Stadium, the Tigers find themselves as prohibitive underdogs against the top team in the nation.
“It being Alabama, it feels the way it always feels,” LSU receiver Odell Beckham Jr. tells Ross Dellenger. “It’s LSU versus Alabama. It doesn’t matter if it’s a three-point spread (or) a 40-point spread.” [The Advocate]
Two losses or not, big underdog notwithstanding, this is still Alabama and LSU can salvage their season and spoil their rival’s dream season with a win. A sellout crowd will file into their seats, millions across the country will be watching on CBS and recruits from coast to coast could be swayed by the outcome.
“It’s become an intense rivalry, especially after coach Saban came to Alabama,” running back Jeremy Hill tells Glenn Guilbeau. “Then it got really intense. This is the one we’ve been waiting for.” [Source: USA TODAY Sports]
This is a season-saving game for LSU who can still play their way into a BCS bowl bid if they win the remainder of their games which also includes a date with Texas A&M. But the main reason why Hill said this is the game everyone looks forward to is because each side absolutely hates the other side.
“I think Alabama fans hate us, then Auburn, then Tennessee,” said LSU fullback Connor Neighbors. “That’s how the people I know see it,” Neighbors said. “The LSU game means the most to the Alabama people now.”
This is a game that would be the game of the week if both teams had losing records because of the passion (hate) that resonates from the coaches to the players to the fans. We will watch hours of pregame coverage, read countless articles and blogs like this one and listen to hours of talk radio to bide our time until 7 p.m. Saturday night.
“You can’t hide the fact that this rivalry is huge,” LSU defensive tackle Ego Ferguson said Monday.
Playing the role of spoiler is a foreign subject to LSU, but just don’t call them an underdog because this team believes they can beat any team in the country. Saturday, they will get an opportunity to take out the best.