We’re all aware of the mise en scene, the setting and environment of the annual battle that’s LSU-Alabama.
Bryant-Denny Stadium. Under the lights. More than 100,000 followers. Primetime TV viewers on CBS. Two rosters stocked with gamers you will note within the NFL sooner or later.
Unfortunately for LSU, issues have grow to be somewhat lopsided. Alabama has taken its program to 11 in a “Spinal Tap” type of method. The Crimson Tide has discovered that little additional bit to grow to be the dominant program in an age of fat-cat coaches’ contracts and services so lavish the Shah Jahan would have crumpled up the plans for the Taj Mahal and informed his architect “we need to go bigger.”
Bama has crushed LSU six straight occasions courting again to the “debacle in the Dome” within the 2012 BCS National Championship Game. Starting with that title, Alabama has averaged a nationwide championship each different yr, whereas LSU has averaged Three.Three losses per yr, fired a coach and made a house within the land of not-bad-but-definitely-not-great.
It is into this valley LSU rides as a three-touchdown underdog, this system’s largest point-spread disparity in 23 years. It’s possible a ranked LSU group has by no means been a much bigger underdog.
It doesn’t imply, although, that this isn’t the most important recreation on the Tigers’ schedule. It at all times is.
“Everywhere I go, they talk about this,” LSU coach Ed Orgeron mentioned. “This is the sport.
“I am not going to make it so big to our gamers that they will not be able to play. We’re going to be able to play. (But) I believe that is big for us in recruiting. I believe that is big as a result of they’ve gained the SEC, they’ve gained nationwide championships; they’re on prime of the world proper now. This is the benchmark.”
The Advocate’s writers have made their picks for LSU vs. No. 1 Alabama on Saturday night time in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
The numbers are there to see and so is Alabama, a.okay.a. the Red Menace. There’s no purpose to lie and there’s definitely no place to cover.
The LSU Tigers won’t and mustn’t search to do both. What they should do is dig somewhat deeper and embrace their internal underdog. They want to think about this recreation not as a visit to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, however to Lake Placid, New York.
Once upon a time, when the query might nonetheless be requested as as to whether Nick Saban was an excellent faculty soccer coach, he led the LSU Tigers to “The Bluegrbad Miracle” win at Kentucky in 2002.
What LSU wants this time is a Miracle on Ice.
On the off probability you don’t bear in mind the story, a fast refresher: In the 1980 Winter Olympics, a U.S. group of principally faculty hockey gamers took down the Red Army group (sound acquainted?) from the Soviet Union en path to the gold medal. The Soviets had gained 5 of the earlier six Olympics and crushed the U.S. and a group of NHL all-stars within the weeks main as much as the video games.
Were the Americans higher than the Soviets? On steadiness, no. In a seven-game collection the united states would have crushed the USA.
But they didn’t play seven occasions. They simply performed as soon as. Be higher on that sooner or later. Believe, as Al Michaels immortally requested us that day, in miracles.
That’s the promise and the problem set in entrance of LSU on Saturday.
The Tigers are on a profitable streak, and, simply as we suspected, it is as a result of the followers have gotten their mojos working. There’s little question they’ll …
You don’t need to go as far off the soccer discipline as hockey to search out inspiration for LSU. Here are three homegrown examples of gorgeous upsets:
• The 1966 Cotton Bowl. Arkansas gained 22 straight video games and was an enormous favourite over LSU. But the Tigers parlayed a pair of 1-yard Joe Labruzzo first-half landing jabs and a few rugged second-half protection right into a 14-7 surprising of the Razorbacks.
• LSU 17, Alabama 13, 1993. A Three-5 LSU group that misplaced 58-Three to Florida 4 weeks earlier went to Tuscaloosa as a 25-point underdog. Alabama was driving a 31-game unbeaten streak and ranked No. 5 nationally. The headline within the Mobile Register that day mentioned “Tide could lose, pigs might fly.” The Tide did lose, and the Tigers didn’t want a chartered airplane to fly dwelling after arguably their largest upset ever.
• LSU 28, Florida 21, 1997: A yr earlier, the Gators crushed a Four-Zero Tigers group 56-13 in Gainesville. In Tiger Stadium, the Tigers bolted to a 14-Zero lead, and a Cedric Donaldson pick-six helped it maintain up as LSU beat a No. 1-ranked group for the primary time in 9 tries.
So the Tigers have to be impressed. They have to be unfastened. They have to reap the benefits of the one factor they’ve that Alabama doesn’t: the liberty of not having something to lose. They have to attempt to confound the Crimson Tide with a lot of gadgetry from that Matt Canada playbook and plumb the depths of Dave Aranda’s defensive pc thoughts to determine methods to masks deficiencies alongside the defensive entrance and confuse Jalen Hurts and Co.
Oh, and a defensive scoop-and-score or a DJ Chark punt return for six wouldn’t damage, both.
Do you consider in miracles?
Why not? Sometimes pigs do fly.
Neil Broussard realized the reality later.
Follow Scott Rabalais on Twitter, @RabalaisAdv.