Avoid getting rolled by Alabama in November
Many LSU football fans (understandably) assume Brian Kelly will move to 2-0 against Nick Saban since joining the SEC. Indeed, 2022’s overtime win over Alabama injected a ton of confidence in the Tiger fan base and signaled a new era of LSU football. However, we will avoid assuming an SEC West paradigm shift until the Tigers pass the test. Of course, that test is (Brian Kelly) beating Alabama in Tuscaloosa.
The Crimson Tide have many questions with new coordinators, a new quarterback, and multiple new starters on defense. However, one cannot underestimate Saban’s ability to rinse and repeat. Alabama will field a 2023 roster that is more smash-mouth football centric circa 2008-15, and the LSU Tigers are a big reason why.
The Tide struggled mightily in the trenches during last season’s matchup in Death Valley. The LSU Tigers had Bryce Young on the move all game, thus, throwing off the Tide quarterback’s reads and timing. Also, Alabama’s ground game was anemic for all four quarters resulting in LSU’s ability to control the clock. One can expect Saban to improve both deficiencies in 2023 with an emphasis on the November 4th matchup in Tuscaloosa.
Here’s the thing, LSU doesn’t have to beat Alabama to earn their way to the CFP. We don’t think the Tigers will finish the regular season undefeated; thus, a loss in Tuscaloosa fits into our predictions. However, what LSU football cannot afford is a lopsided contest. But, of course, LSU must finish ahead of the Tide in SEC West play.
We think Alabama will lose two SEC West games in 2023, mainly because of their shift to new offensive and defensive schemes. However, we’re not ready to say Saban’s done winning championships quite yet. We’re also considering how tough it is to play in Tuscaloosa in November. LSU will benefit from a week off before kickoff but expect some injuries and fatigue to challenge the Tigers.
The Crimson Tide might win a close game on their home field, but the LSU Tigers will still look good at 8-1 as they head toward their final three games.