Alabama vs. LSU Odds & Point Spread Picks





There is a rivalry that has returned to college football in a big way. A rivalry that has become arguably the biggest college football game to watch all season, even over the BCS National Championship game. A rivalry that features a star head coach against his predecessor. On September 9th, 2013, the LSU Tigers will go into Bryant-Denny Stadium and face what is likely to be an undefeated Alabama Crimson Tide. The Crimson Tide have won four of the last six against the Tigers, while the previous five years they saw themselves struggling as a football program in general.

A series that started in 1895, the LSU-Alabama rivalry has not always been a legitimate rivalry. After all, it wasn’t until 1988 that LSU had finally won three games out of a five year span against Alabama. Overall, Alabama has dominated the Tigers with the record sitting at a grueling 47-25-5. LSU has simply been overpowered through many of their matches, both on the field and off. The game between these two programs isn’t just about the one per season played in front of 100,000+ fans, but also plays a huge factor in high school recruiting. This has increasingly been a heated rivalry over the last 10 years regarding the Louisiana and Alabama areas. Both teams like to pull recruits out of each other’s state, attempting to suck up all the best recruits for one team.

The key player in this rivalry starting to heat back up is easy to spot. He’s the man that took over as the LSU Tigers head coach in the year 2000, and now the man that is in pursuit of a three-peat of BCS National Championships with the Alabama Crimson Tide. Nick Saban has had his way with the SEC in the past and he continues to do so after many years of coaching. Before Saban came into the LSU program in 2000, the Tigers had beat the Crimson Tide just two out of the last ten seasons. Saban ended up beating Alabama four out of his five matchups against them, just one of many reasons for him being such an attractive head coaching option for the NFL. Once Saban signed his contract to coach the Miami Dolphins in 2005, LSU needed to find its next big coach. After success with the Oklahoma State Cowboys, Les Miles threw his name into the hat, eventually earning the position.

Miles and Saban have been on opposing sidelines before. In 1980 and 1981, Miles was an assistant to Michigan head coach Bo Schembechler. During “The Big Game”, Nick Saban was on the Ohio State sideline as the Buckeye defensive backs coach for those same two seasons. Just a few seasons later, Miles was an offensive line coach for the Colorado Buffaloes he faced Saban who was a defensive coordinator for the Michigan State Spartans. It wouldn’t be until Saban’s return to college coaching that the two would face off again.

In 2007, after some off the field troubles in Alabama with some players and coaching staff, Alabama gunned towards getting Nick Saban out of this contract with the Miami Dolphins and coming back up into SEC territory. An unsuccessful (in the NFL) Saban signed the deal to become the 27th head coach of the Crimson Tide. In 2007, Saban and the Tide went 7-6, losing to LSU and watching as Les Miles took the SEC title and the BCS Championship against Ohio State. It wouldn’t take long for Saban to start winning, however, as he would beat the Tigers four out of the next six years.

It was 2011 that the rivalry really began to take heat after a controversial National Championship bid for the Crimson Tide to play the Tigers took place. LSU beat Alabama in 2011 when they played in the regular season which led to the Tigers winning the SEC Championship and ensuring their place in the title game. Many felt that the one loss Oklahoma State Cowboys (a former Les Miles team) earned their shot against LSU as Alabama had already played and lost once. However, we saw a two SEC team BCS Championship played out, but one that played out with Alabama getting revenge. In 2012 Alabama beat the Tigers 21-17, which was just one of 13 other steps to getting Alabama their second consecutive BCS title.

It’s safe to say that with the history of Les Miles and Nick Saban, so long as these two coach against each other, the game is always going to be a rivalry to watch. A one-loss LSU team is projected to go into battle with an undefeated Alabama team during week 11. This will be LSU’s best and next chance to spoil Alabama’s potential three-peat, giving Miles and the Tigers quite the momentum for the bowl season.