The History Of Alabama vs LSU

History of LSU vs Alabama

Photo from Icon SMI

As we kick off the biggest week of 2011 centered around the game Saturday night in Tuscaloosa with #1 LSU vs #2 Alabama, we take a look back at the history between these two schools.

LSU and Alabama first met in 1895 in Baton Rouge, and the Tigers were victorious in a 12-6 game. Alabama and LSU have both been members of the Southeastern Conference since 1932 and both have been in the western division when the divisions were created in 1992. Alabama leads the all-time series 45-24-5.

The two teams began playing on an annual basis in 1964. Interestingly, there are long periods where the home team struggled, including LSU going winless in Baton Rouge from 1971 until 1999 (0-14-1).

The rivalry got kicked up a notch in 2007 with the hiring of Nick Saban as the head coach of Alabama. Of course since Saban coached at LSU, some in the media have called it the “Saban Bowl”.

The #1 vs #2 matchup is unprecedented, but having both teams highly ranked coming into this game isn’t that unusual. For example, in 2005, Alabama was ranked 3rd and LSU 5th when they met in Tuscaloosa. Undefeated Alabama got knocked off by the one-loss LSU team led by JaMarcus Russell. The final score was 16-13.

The first “Saban Bowl” in 2007 was also quite a memorable game with one-loss LSU looking to get into the BCS. LSU won a thriller 41-34 in Tuscaloosa despite three interceptions in the 1st half by LSU QB Matt Flynn and a punt return by Javier Arenas. LSU scored twice in the remaining three minutes to win the game 41-34.

In 2008, Saban’s first game back into Death Valley as the Alabama coach provided a sweet overtime ending for the Tide. “Saban Bowl 2” was a back-and-forth game with big plays and lots of turnovers. John Parker Wilson got the touchdown in overtime to win the game 27-21.

In 2009, Alabama rolled with Julio Jones making one of the biggest plays of the night with his touchdown off the screen play in the 4th quarter. Alabama of course went on to win the national title that year. Alabama won 24-15.

Last year, Les Miles decided to eat some grass on national television and have his 6th ranked LSU Tigers knock off 10th ranked Alabama at the same time. The game was a thriller as usual with LSU winning 24-21.

What a rivalry! Who is ready for Saturday?