Look For Analysis Of Alabama-LSU

This game is going to be analyzed to death, hyped to the Nth degree, talked and talked and talked, written and written and written. As well it should. This is the kind of game that has fans hyperventilating.

At 7 p.m. CDT Saturday, or actually after five or six CBS commercials beginning at that time, Alabama will host LSU in one of the biggest regular season games in college football history. Now, it may turn out that Alabama vs. LSU doesn't turn out to be one of the most memorable games ever, but it almost certainly will be one of the most important.

The Crimson Tide and Tigers meet in Bryant-Denny Stadium with the number one ranking on the line. Both teams are 8-0 overall and 5-0 in Southeastern Conference games. For weeks it has been pointed out that it didn't matter which team was higher ranked. That issue would be settled on the field. As it turns out, LSU is number one and Alabama number two going in.

How much analysis will there be? You'll learn more about the 1944 Army-Navy game (and other one vs. two games) than you ever expected. The suspicion is that the results of such games will have no bearing whatsoever on Saturday night's game in Tuscaloosa.

Last Saturday I heard someone on television say that the winner would be the team that attempted the most rushing plays (and pointed out that to date LSU has attempted more rushes than Alabama).

I think the team that takes a knee on the last two plays of the game will win.

The game is so big that speculation has already begun as to where the loser will be ranked, and whether the loser can make it back to number two so there is a rematch of the Tide and Tigers in the BCS National Championship Game in New Orleans on January 9. Forget that Bama and LSU will still have some games to play after Saturday.

I hope New Orleans hoteliers and restaurateurs get their wish. They want Alabama fans bearing cash for a week or so, not LSU fans driving in on the day of the game and leaving as soon as it's over.

Think about the usual cliches (which, by the way, doesn't make them wrong just because they are overused): Who can run? Who can stop the run? Turnovers? Special teams?

The most important position on the football field is quarterback. LSU has two quarterbacks with a great deal of experience. Alabama has a first year starter in A.J. McCarron. It is reasonable to make the analysis based on quarterback experience, but more important may be quarterback reaction. Both LSU and Alabama can be expected to be able to affect the quarterback. Which team has the quarterback who best handles the pressure?

Here's one way to look at it. Both Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee of LSU have lost games. McCarron hasn't.

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