Next up for Alabama is a Saturday night date at home to LSU on Saturday. Both schools are coming off of a bye week, so both should be rested and ready for a hard-hitting encounter. Alabama has some big games coming up, but it must first dispose of this old SEC rival.
Here are Alabama's three keys to this one:
Be ready for a team with nothing to lose
Often when the Crimson Tide takes on the Tigers there is a lot at stake for both sides. Meetings with both at or near the top of the college football pyramid seem to happen all the time, but this time the Crimson Tide is a heavy favorite to take care of LSU at home under the lights.
Alabama has been established as a favorite by as many as 21.5 points by oddsmakers, suggesting that Alabama is going to smash LSU by three touchdowns. Nick Saban, though, doesn’t have to look far to see how those odds can be turned on their head as LSU lost to Troy earlier this season as a 20.5 point favorite themselves.
Expect Ed Orgeron and his team to throw everything at Alabama on Saturday. Their players will be up for the battle and the playbook will be wide open as Orgeron tries to overcome a (comparative) lack of ability in any way he can.
Stop Derrius Guice
It is bad news for LSU and running back Derrius Guice that Alabama has had an extra week to prepare for this matchup. One of Nick Saban’s greatest traits as a coach is his ability to stop the opposition doing what they do best and for LSU that would be Guice running the ball.
Last time out against Ole Miss, Guice was back to his 2016 form. The tailback went for 276 yards on the ground, showing a blend of speed, power, and agility that the Rebels defense just couldn’t handle. Alabama, however, is giving up just 66 yards per game on the ground, meaning that this would be a tough week for Guice and an underwhelming LSU offensive line even without that extra week of preparation.
Use the feeling of disrespect
Another of Saban’s traits is that he can use the media in whatever way he wishes to pump up his team. When Georgia was chosen at No. 1 in the first College Football Playoff poll earlier this week it was likely music to ears of the Alabama head coach. This was something tangible that he could show his team to get them focused and ready to come out hot on Saturday and take out their frustrations at the snub on LSU.
It has been 15 years since the Crimson Tide has beaten LSU by more than three touchdowns. This year Alabama is better on the line of scrimmage than the Tigers both offensively and defensively, and that will be the telling factor as that particular streak comes to an end.