Really starting back a couple weeks ago when the media began hyping up the Alabama-LSU matchup, the pundits began claiming Alabama needed to win the rivalry showdown more than LSU.

ESPN’s Rece Davis and David Pollack echoed those sentiments in interviews with Alex Byington of Montgomery Advertiser.

Alabama needs a win against LSU because without it, the Crimson Tide won’t have the resume or, in all likelihood, the SEC West crown, to earn a playoff spot.

“Because of, not really anything Alabama can necessarily control, but because they wound up playing Duke,” Davis explained. “LSU played Texas, which is a solid non-conference game, maybe not what people thought at the time, but certainly still a solid game, and they played Florida, who’s really good.”

In Davis’ mind, because LSU has wins against Texas and Florida, the Tigers will still be alive if they lose against Alabama.

“LSU could still have a case and survive a loss in the game Saturday. My judgement of the situation is Alabama cannot.”

Another factor playing into this discussion is the fact Alabama will be home this Saturday. A loss at home rather than at LSU would be even more catastrophic for the Crimson Tide’s playoff chances.

Pollack provided a different reason for why Alabama badly needs the win against LSU while also leaving the door open for another scenario.

“When the committee uses the word “eye test” (as) the reason you are No. 3 and you’re undefeated, and a loss comes your way, I don’t think your chances are really good for bouncing back,” he said. “But the committee stipulated a long time ago that injuries were part of it, and Tua’s (Tagovailoa) injury might be a big deal, a big part of that, and if it plays a big part in the game, maybe, but Alabama needs this game a lot more than LSU does.”

It will be interesting to see how healthy Tagovailoa is and whether or not his ailment could impact this game and the playoff race down the stretch.