1) In the context of recent ‘Games of the century,' where do you think the LSU-Alabama 1 vs. 2 matchup stacks up?
As far as hype it'll rank among the greatest regular-season games of all-time. A lot depends on how the rest of the season shakes out, and if the winner really does go unbeaten and if the loser wins out, but recently, it's at least as big as 2006 Michigan-Ohio State. Not since the 1971 Oklahoma-Nebraska classic has it seemed so crystal clear that a regular-season game was going to decide the national title. With a two-week waiting period, and in the world of the New Media, the coverage is going to be at a Super Bowl level. I know we're covering this like it's the national championship.
2) How likely do you think it is that this could be chapter one between these two teams this season?
A rematch could only happen if LSU loses in a Wisconsin-Michigan State type of heartbreaker. The thought being that if the road team loses close, then it might deserve a shot on a neutral field, but that argument didn't work for Michigan in 2006. The loser won't finish No. 2 in the BCS if there's an unbeaten Big 12 champion, or if Stanford or Clemson wins out, but it'll almost certainly finish No. 3 and will be in the discussion … unless LSU loses to Arkansas. Don't rule that out. The pollsters aren't going to want to see a rematch and will vote accordingly.
3) Where are the biggest differences between the Tigers and Crimson Tide – if there are any?
LSU has more experience at quarterback, Nick Saban is the better coach. LSU gets more of a pass rush and has been stronger on the lines, but Bama is far tighter in the secondary and is better overall against the run. It's all nitpicking; these are the two best teams in America and it's not even close. Among the 44 starters, at least half will end up spending more than a little time in an NFL camp.
4) Why are Les Miles and Nick Saban two of the premier coaches in college football today?
Recruiting. If you get the top talents, you have loaded teams. Give any coach either of these two teams and they'd rock, too, but having NFL talent across the board makes good coaches great and great coaches legendary.
5) What kind of impact does a game like this have on recruiting when these two programs already compete for so many kids?
The loser will have to pony up an extra bag of cash for the top talents … KIDDING. It doesn't matter. The winner will pump up the victory to Johnny Five-Star, while the loser will pipe in with the "if we had you, we'd have won," line.
6) How do you see this game playing out? (include a score if you're comfortable doing so)
Keeping in mind I might change this in the next 10 days, LSU's lines will be better and Jarrett Lee will be better than A.J. McCarron. Neither team will throw a lick, but Lee will come up with a few key throws that McCarron won't, and the Tigers will win a close 17-13 classic.
SIX-PACK: With Pete Fiutak
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