Kirk Herbstreit sees a different kind of LSU-Alabama than we’ve seen in the past, a game that’s typically driven by defense, field position and ball control. The ESPN analyst admits Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa may have changed that last year, but even so, Alabama had to work a little harder than they thought to get the win in Baton Rouge.

“I see the complete opposite this year,” Herbstreit said in an interview with “I think, and I may be completely wrong, a Big 12 game breaks out in Tuscaloosa. I think it is a shootout. I think you are going to see (Joe) Burrow and those receivers are going to make plays. He gets the ball out so quickly. I think it is going to be tough for Bama to slow him down.”

Herbstreit sees the same from Tagovailoa against LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda.

“I think it is 38-34 kind of game,” he said. “I have no idea who is going to win. … I think it is going to be more open and more offense. You are talking about the two quarterbacks that are running the most sophisticated NFL systems – with Sark coming back from the Falcons – with Tua – as an NFL QB with an NFL mind. And (LSU offensive coordinator) Joe Brady coming from (New Orleans quarterback) Drew Brees working with Joe Burrow. They are running NFL stuff. I don’t think either defense is going to slow down those offenses.”

In terms of the loser of the game, and what that means for their chances of making the College Football Playoff, Herbstreit said LSU is the only SEC team to be the second team from the league to make the CFP.

“Every year I say what I think, you can spin it in anyway that you want,” he said. “The only team in the SEC that has that case right now is LSU. LSU goes into Tuscaloosa, and they lose 38-34, hard-fought game, they compete, and they win the rest of their games. You are talking about the games they already played where they went to Texas and won, they played Florida, who at the time was No. 7 in the country, they beat Auburn, who was No. 9, they lose to Bama, who was a top 2 team in the country on the road. Then, they win the rest of their games and don’t go to Atlanta, and Bama wins out and wins the SEC.”

It’s a different story for the Crimson Tide.

“If Alabama loses, I don’t think you can say the same thing,” he said. “I don’t think they have that schedule, that resume. It would be harder for Alabama to get in with a loss. Easier for LSU.”