Around the Bowl and Down the Hole... Roll Tide Roll!
High on the list of strange but true facts about the LSU-Alabama series through the years, and especially this decade, is how little home-field advantage has meant.
Since 1970, the road team in this game is 27-11-1. The road team won every game between 1981-89 except 1985 when the Tigers and Tide fought to a 14-14 deadlock in Baton Rouge.
Since 1982, LSU is 10-3 against Alabama in either Birmingham or Tuscaloosa, with four wins in a row this decade in at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
LSU coach Les Miles has been the architect of the last two wins in Tuscaloosa — a 16-13 overtime thriller when the teams last met when both were ranked in the top 10 in 2005 and 41-34 in 2007 when the Tigers rallied with a pair of touchdowns in the game’s final 2:49.
“I think we’ve had good teams,” Miles said about the four-game wining streak at Bryant-Denny. “I think those guys know how to play on the road, play with poise, play with the confidence that they were going to be able to get it done and played well.”
As has Alabama. Two years ago the Crimson Tide was ranked No. 17 and on a three-game winning streak when LSU got to town.
The Tigers struggled when quarterback Matt Flynn got picked off three times in the first half, helping Alabama take a 27-17 lead late in the third quarter.
“I felt our team was very confident going into that game,” Miles said.
“I felt like certainly we recognized that was a great team we were playing. Every time we play Alabama — whether it’s on the road or at home — we recognize it’s going to be a very competitive game and matching two of the finest collegiate programs in college football.”
Alabama leads the series 44-23-5 and has a slim 9-8 edge in games played in Tuscaloosa. During Paul “Bear” Bryant’s tenure at Alabama, most games between the Tigers and Tide were played in Birmingham.
LSU and Alabama have also played occasional games in Mobile and Montgomery.
Yeah, I know... the Saban vs. LSU hype is starting to die down a little now that it's been three years. But I don't care! To me, this game is Saban Bowl III... and it's going to be a tough one! If the Tigers can pull out a W tomorrow, they can go all the way!!!