The national championship technically won't be decided until Jan. 9 in New Orleans, but the matchup of No. 1 LSU and No. 2 Alabama on Saturday in Tuscaloosa, Ala., might as well serve as a national semifinal. The winner of the SEC West showdown immediately becomes the front-runner to win the BCS crown, while the loser will need plenty of help to get back in the national title picture. The meeting is the first between No. 1 and No. 2 outside the SEC championship game since top-ranked Ohio State beat No. 2 Michigan in 2006. Neither team has really been challenged. The Tigers' closest call was a 19-6 win at Mississippi State on Sept. 15, while the Crimson Tide's narrowest margin was a 27-11 victory at Penn State on Sept. 10. Alabama leads the all-time series 45-24-5 and has won two of the past three meetings.
Alabama opened at high as a 6-point favorite but has since been bet down to -4.5. The total opened as high as 43.5 points and has come down to 41.
WEATHER: Clear skies and game-time temperatures in the mid 50s are in the forecast for Tuscaloosa. There will be a light wind blowing east at 3 mph.
ABOUT LSU (8-0, 5-0 SEC West, 6-2 ATS): The Tigers are off to their best start since winning their first nine games in 1973. The effectiveness of LSU's defense, which ranks in the top 10 nationally in four major categories - third in scoring and rush defense, fourth in total defense and fifth in pass efficiency defense - is no surprise. But the offense has been surprisingly potent with the quarterback duo of Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson splitting time, averaging 39.2 points per game, second in the SEC behind Alabama. The Tigers were without three players - defensive backs Tyrann Mathieu and Tharold Simon, and running back Spencer Ware - for their 45-10 victory over Auburn two weeks ago because the trio failed drug tests. Their suspensions were expected to be for one game, but coach Les Miles had not announced their reinstatement as of Wednesday night. Mathieu is the team's top all-around defensive player, and Ware is the leading rusher with 512 yards and six touchdowns.
ABOUT ALABAMA (8-0, 5-0, 7-1 ATS): The Crimson Tide lead the SEC it total offense (457.6 yards per game), total defense (180.5 yards), scoring offense (39.4 points per game) and scoring defense (6.9 points). Led by the trio of running back Trent Richardson (989 rushing yards, 17 touchdowns), quarterback A.J. McCarron (1,664 passing yards, 10 touchdowns, three interceptions) and wide receiver Marquis Maze (39 catches, 482 yards, touchdown), the offense has extended Alabama's school-record streak of consecutive games scoring at least 20 points to 27. Alabama has won 25 of its past 26 games at Bryant-Denny Stadium dating to the start of the 2008 season.
1. Alabama has won nine straight games by 16 or more points, its longest such streak since 1950. The Crimson Tide have not allowed more than 14 points in any of those nine games. LSU has won its past nine games by at least 13 points and has allowed more than 11 points only three times during that stretch.
2. In 480 minutes this season, LSU has trailed for only 6 minutes, 33 seconds. The Tigers have not trailed since the second quarter of their season-opening 40-27 win over Oregon and have scored first in every game this season.
3. Alabama has outscored its last six opponents 142-7 in the second half and has not allowed a point after halftime in its past four games. The Tide have outscored opponents 69-8 in the fourth quarter this season.
* Tigers are 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven meetings in Alabama.
* Over is 4-1 in the last five meetings.
* Favorite is 6-2-1 ATS in their last nine meetings.
* Road team is 11-3-1 ATS in their last 15 meetings.
PREDICTION: LSU 19, Alabama 16 - Both teams have outstanding defenses, but LSU will find a way to get out of Tuscaloosa with the win.
Enjoys the sites ......
Lets all hope the game lives up to the hype !!!