That Destiny Thing Begins At LSU

As the college football season has reached the two-thirds point, a popular theme is whether a teams controls its own destiny. In all probability, only two teams – undefeated number one Oregon and undefeated number two Auburn – really do.

One or two teams are going to go undefeated and may not have complete control, if by control it is meant reach the BCS National Championship Game.

Alabama has a loss, but most believe the Crimson Tide, which won last season's BCS National Championship Game, will be in the title game again if the Tide can win four regular season games to end the season, then win the Southeastern Conference Championship Game.

That four-game stretch in November begins Saturday at LSU. The Crimson Tide, ranked sixth in the latest BCS poll, takes on the Tigers, ranked 10th, in Baton Rouge at 2:30 p.m. CDT. CBS will televise the game. Both teams are 7-1 overall and 4-1 in SEC play.

Alabama Coach Nick Saban was asked the "controlling your destiny" question at his regular Monday news briefing.

"Yeah," he said, "I think there're a lot of other people probably in the same boat. So it's who can take care of their business the best down the road by what you control. And what you control is how we play. That's why we need everyone's best at this time of the year."

He pointed out that the teams remaining on Bama's SEC schedule – LSU (7-1), Mississippi State (7-2), and Auburn (8-0) have won "22 of 25 games, so we're going to be playing some of the best teams and we need to be playing our best football of the year if we're going to be able to accomplish what we have an opportunity to accomplish."

All three of those SEC teams have an open date before playing Alabama, but --- nyah, nyah, nyah LSU – Alabama is coming off its bye week. Saban said he was pleased with the work that was done in the three days of practice last week.

"I thought the players had pretty good focus, and practiced hard and actually hopefully addressed some issues and problems that we can improve on," Saban said. "You never know how your team's going to respond to a bye week relative to how they're going to come out and play. I think it's important to get back into the routine of the week for this week in preparation for this game.

"This team has a great opportunity in the last one-third of the season starting with the game that we have right now with LSU. LSU is a very good team. We need everyone's best. We need their best attention to detail, we need their best energy and enthusiasm, we need their best focus on execution, we need their best in terms of their inspiration and how the effect other people in a positive way. The choices we make and the action we take will certainly determine how successful we have a chance to be.

"The focus doesn't need to be on the finish line. The focus needs to be on the process of what we need to do every day to play the best football we're capable of playing. That means you focus every day, every play in practice. The same thing when the game comes so that you have the bext opportunity to play your best, which is what we need right now and to keep focus on things that are going to make a difference in the game. And that takes maturity, that takes commitment and a lot of perseverance. That will be a challenge for everyone in terms of how they finish the season."

Saban had good injury news, saying that only back-up nose tackle Kerry Murphy was limited. Murphy, who has knee soreness, is expected back in practice Tuesday.

As would be expected, Saban had nothing but good to say about the athletes and coaches at LSU.

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