Simply put, if you’re not excited about this game, then you really are with the terrorists.
Maybe not, I think even the Al Qaeda cells in Jalalabad and Tora Bora will tune in for #1 LSU Tigers vs. #2 Alabama Crimson Tide. This is why college football has the best regular season in all of sports, you have an in-season de facto national title game.
Over 600 media credentials have been issued for this weekend, extremely high yes, but more than 800 were issued in 1993 at the Notre Dame vs. Florida State #1 vs. #2 game in South Bend. Irish head coach Lou Holtz invited all of them to his home for a BBQ dinner the Thursday before.
Will Nick Saban do the same?
Alabama Crimson Tide Analysis:
The Tide have not really been tested yet.
They beat a 8-1 Nittany Lions squad pretty soundly (of course that Penn State team has atrocious QB play. The guy who “starts” is mediocre on a good day, and the second guy is an absolute train wreck, but he’s whiny about playing time and transferring, so they have to play him- other wise he’ll leave). Arkansas is a top ten team, but Nick Saban’s bunch crushed them 38-14.
Congrats Razorbacks, only you and that overrated PSU team have scored double digits on the ‘Bama defense. Everyone else this season has scored 7 or less.
And that defense is the real deal. They have at least three, probably four guys who will end up in the first two rounds of next April’s draft: Dre Kirkpatrick, Dont’a Hightower (it’s pronounced “Dante” as in the Inferno- even though the spelling might want to prompt you to start signing “Dont’a wish your girlfriend was hot like me”)
Nick Saban talked about the confidence Robert Lester and Dre Kirkpatrick are leaders in the secondary.
More on all those guys here.
AJ McCarron has settled nicely into the QB role. (67% passing, 1664 yards, 10 TD, 3 INT) Phillip Sims who?
And Trent Richardson’s NFL draft stock could be even higher than predecessor Mark Ingram, who won the Heisman. Many runners have influenced Richardson, including Reggie Bush and the Vikings Adrian Peterson.
Richardson is frequently compared to Emmitt Smith, but his physique and running style are more similar to Earl Campbell. He’s also drawn comparisons to Michael Turner the Burner and O.J. Simpson (on the field, not off of it, of course). Richardson has 17 TDs already, and is just 11 yards away from a 1,000 yard season. Watch this ridiculous 76-yard TD run. To learn more about Richardson go here
LSU Tigers Analysis:
Louisiana State has knocked off three ranked opponents, all on the road this season. So they’ll feel confident heading into the titanic showdown in Tuscaloosa. That’s a decent West Virginia team they beat. And ending the national title hopes of the Oregon Ducks in week one, showed the country right away that that they belonged.
Auburn is decent this year, but these SEC Tigers thoroughly took care of the other SEC Tigers in their last game. The perfectly placed bye week to gets them ready for the game-of-the-century tilt. Oh wait, Bama had a bye too. Which makes this game all the more fun to watch.
The last time #1 vs. #2 met in the regular season it was 2006, when Ohio State beat their archrival Michigan Wolverines 42-39. The Big Lead has a nice list of the last 7 in season #1 vs. #2 games, with video highlights.
LSU coach Les Miles wants his players and coaching embracing “flash lights, stop lights, street lights, all of the lights. all of the lights.”
”I want the players to enjoy the glare and the light of the big stage,” Miles said. ”I want them to enjoy the opportunity to play for a big victory. Once I’ve prepared the team and after I feel I’ve done a quality job, I want the players to play with freedom. If there is a chance to make a dominant play, I want them to make that play.”
Jordan Jefferson is back. Yes, he of the assaulting someone in the parking lot of a bar called Shady’s variety has a passer rating of 229.3 this season. Of course, he hasn’t thrown too many passes, and for just 123 yards. He’ll play, but the real horse is Jarrett Lee, who’s got a higher completion percentage, and a shiny, nice 13-1 TD-INT ratio.
The Tigers get it done on the ground by committee: Spencer Ware leads the way with 512 yards and 6 TDs, Michael Ford averages 1.6 better per carry, and also has 6 touchdowns. Alfred Blue has touched it the third most, and he has a 57-252-4.
Prediction to be taken with an entire truckload of salt, not a grain of salt: Bama 21, LSU 17 (2010-11 prediction record 33-16)
No more hype necessary. In fact there was more than enough before this post was even started. Bama is number one in points per game against, averaging 6.9. LSU’s defense is not that far behind, as they are only giving up only 11.5 points per game, ranking 3rd overall. The spread on this game is Tide by 5 with the over/under set at 41.5.
Look above at my prediction to see which way I think you should go with those numbers. I’ve said since the preseason that Alabama is the true #1 team in the nation. I’m not changing my tune now. Especially when they’re at home and I’ve gone 3-0 in predicting their games this year.
Look at how many of their guys I put as really high picks in my NFL mock draft.
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, a Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports.
A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; he’s also a member of the FWAA, USBWA and SPJ. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.
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