Published October 18, 2011 - 7:54am
NEW: Discuss this topic in the Google+ community for SEC fans.
Today is October 18th. So what if we’re a little over two weeks until the best college football game in the country for 2011? It will be the biggest non-championship game in quite some time. The TV ratings will be through the roof as the whole country will be tuning in from ACC country to Pac-12 country in order to see some the best of the best in college football.
We are only a mere 18 days away from this epic matchup, so let’s get started breaking it down.
We’ll start with three reasons why Alabama beats LSU on November 5th:
1. Trent Richardson
There is no one in college football having a finer season than Alabama’s Trent Richardson. From power running plays to screen passes, Richardson is imposing his will on would-be tacklers in the open field. Not one tackler has proven he can bring Richardson down. You have to gang-tackle this cat. With Richardson’s dynamic performance this past weekend against Ole Miss, he catapulted himself straight into the Heisman talk. Not many Heisman pundits were talking about Richardson seriously a week or so ago, but now they are. Richardson gained 183 yards on 17 carries and scored four rushing touchdowns. On the season, Richardson now leads the SEC in rushing with 912 yards on the ground on 132 carries and 15 touchdowns. He is averaging a crazy 6.9 yards per carry on the year. Arm tackles won’t get the job done.
Why? LSU has been good against the run this season, but if there is just one area the Tigers would be vulnerable, it would be straight up the middle. Alabama will run into the teeth of the Tiger defense behind their mammoth offensive line with the best power runner in all of college football in Richardson. Tennessee had success running the football on the Tigers in last weekend’s game. Was it enough? Obviously not, but they did have some successes with the power running game. LSU’s defense is very good, but the Tigers could be vulnerable up the middle.
This game will define Richardson’s campaign for Heisman in 2011 – he might be the best running back in college football since Adrian Peterson.
2. Home Field Advantage
Bryant-Denny Stadium is a beautiful masterpiece and a staple of football in the South. There is a ton of history in this stadium, and the all-time attendance record will be well in jeopardy when these two teams meet.
Over the course of history, Alabama is 216-50-3 all time at Bryant-Denny. This crowd will be rocking, not only because of the likely No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup, but not one Crimson Tide fan can forget what happened last year in Death Valley.
I think the home crowd will be a huge factor, but LSU will travel very well, as they always do.
3. Nick Saban
There is not a better coach in the game today than Nick Saban. Saban’s attention to detail is very impressive, and it’s all business, all the time.
Saban has his defense smothering opponents so far this season, and Alabama is No. 1 in scoring defense (allowing 7.0 points per game), rushing defense (38.14 yards per game) and total defense (184.1 yards per game). And while they haven’t played the teams that LSU has so far, I do think player for player this defense has more experience and is more physical overall. I won’t say they are more talented or faster, because that is simply not the case, but this defense knows its assignments and it executes to perfection. It’s like a well-oiled machine every Saturday.
This defense and offense takes on Saban’s tough personality and physical presence. Alabama is the most physical team LSU has seen in any of their games this season.
While you can make an argument for both LSU and Alabama winning this football game, these are just three reasons why Alabama wins. We’ll be looking at three reasons LSU wins this game coming up.
One thing that won’t be argued – the SEC Championship, the National Championship and the rest of America will be weighing on this game.
18 days and counting…