Hide your kids, hide your wife — Alabama is coming to town.
I get it. The Crimson Tide has the best defense, smartest coach and is currently the No. 1 team in all the land. They might as well steal Globo-Gym’s mantra, “Here at Alabama, we’re better than you, and we know it.”
In the eyes of most national college football pundits, it’s more likely Alabama coach Nick Saban cracks a smile than the Crimson Tide fall to an LSU team that only beat lowly Auburn by two points earlier in the season.
While last season’s “Game of the Century” between top-ranked LSU and Alabama was a tussle between two undefeated Southeastern Conference powers, this season’s matchup has a different feel.
Alabama rolls into Baton Rouge as a 10-point favorite. Not taking anything away from the Crimson Tide, but 10 points? Really?
The last time a Les Miles-coached football team lost by more than a touchdown in Tiger Stadium was against Florida in 2009 when Tim Tebow was taking snaps for the Gators.
Those are pretty lofty expectations to live up to for the visitors from the Yellowhammer State. Not to mention Alabama hasn’t had to take its talents on the road against any opponent of consequence this season.
Alabama dismantled Michigan 41-14 in the 2012 Cowboys Classic, but that game was played at the neutral site of Cowboys Stadium.
Even when the Crimson Tide entered SEC play, its three road opponents — Arkansas, Missouri and Tennessee — have a combined conference record of 3-12. Beating those teams isn’t exactly proving themselves on the road.
I don’t want to be the one to use the “they haven’t played anyone argument,” but it’s hard not to bring it up when discussing Saban’s crew. Sure they’ve been dominant, but have they been tested by a team that had the tools to beat them?
Whether or not that’s the case, Alabama has one task for the rest of its 2012 campaign — win out and defend its 2012 BCS National Championship in Miami, Fla.
It sounds simple enough, but it’s similar to the case LSU was in when it visited The Swamp at the beginning of October.
The Tigers were undefeated and untested and got beaten by Florida, who wanted to prove it was the better team. Alabama will be caught in the same conundrum on Saturday.
The Tigers have already lost. They know what it feels like, and they don’t want it to happen again.
Sure, the Tigers are still playing with their preseason goal of reaching the national championship, but with the way the BCS has shaken out over the first 10 weeks of the college football season, they still need a lot of help. Despite losing early on in the season, even if LSU takes down ’Bama, it likely won’t jump Kansas State, Notre Dame or Oregon, who are all undefeated.
It’s quite possible that LSU could win out and still be left out of the national championship unless two of those three loses.
Alabama is playing for much more. With only Texas A&M, Auburn and a likely date with Georgia in the SEC Championship, the Crimson Tide holds its own destiny in its quest for back-to-back national championships.
The only problem is, the Crimson Tide has all the pressure and everything to lose. The Mad Hatter with a loaded deck in his backyard is dangerous, and Saban knows it.
Micah Bedard is a 22-year-old history senior from Houma.