Posted on October 27, 2019, by Travis Pulver
Whenever LSU and Alabama play, the game is always one of the better ones of the year. The Tigers seem always to be one of the few teams capable of giving the Crimson Tide a good fight. But in the end, Alabama comes out on top, or at least they have for the last eight seasons (and in 55 of the 83 all-time meetings).
Most of those games have involved at least one team being ranked in the top five, if not both. Alabama has been either the No. 1 or 2 in seven of the last nine. But this year’s game is going to be a little different.
It will feature the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the country for the third time in the last decade. Alabama has been the No. 1 team in the country in four of the last eight matchups with LSU; both teams have been in the top five in five of the last nine.
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Alabama has been the higher-ranked team in six of the last eight—but not this time. This time, LSU will be the No. 1 team in the country and Alabama the No. 2 (via the AP Poll).
The Crimson Tide had entered the weekend as the No. 1 team in the country. But after losing Tua Tagovailoa to an ankle injury last week, they were forced to go with their No. 2 QB, Mac Jones, against Arkansas.
However, with their run game (179 total yards and two touchdowns) and defense (213 total yards and one touchdown allowed), they were fine. But Mac Jones did his part as well completing 18 of 22 passes for 235 yards and three touchdowns.
Since LSU’s win over No. 9 Auburn was more impressive to enough voters, the Tigers edged the Crimson Tide out this week for the top spot with 1476 points to 1474 for Alabama. Ohio State wasn’t far behind with 1468.
It’s the closest the top three have been since December 3, 1979. With all three teams off this week, that is likely how they will remain heading into the LSU-Alabama matchup on November 9.
So—how is this game going to play out?
Alabama’s run game does not appear to be as good as it often is, but that may be more of a reflection of the passing game than a negative for the running backs. Tagovailoa has been one of the better throwing quarterbacks in college football for the last two years. However, should he not be able to go, Mac Jones looked pretty good last week.
But with the trio of receivers like Alabama has, it may not be too hard for a quarterback to look good in the Alabama offense. At the same time, LSU is no slouch on offense, either ranking No. 3 in total offense, No.2 in passing, and No 4 in scoring (Alabama ranks No. 8, 5, and 2).
This one has the potential for some serious fireworks, and it will likely be decided by defense. But much like in years past, both have excellent units– just not great ones this time. Alabama is No. 19 in total yards allowed and No. 10 in scoring; LSU is ranked No. 24 and 22.
However, the level of competition has a lot to do with how a team looks from a statistical perspective. Alabama has definitely played a much easier schedule than LSU.
So—who is going to win this one?
Right now, two weeks ahead, FanDuel has the spread at -6.5 for Alabama. The Tide is a good team, but so are the Tigers. But this game is not going to be decided by a touchdown; a field goal– maybe. If the spread remains at 6.5 points for Alabama, absolutely take LSU to win.