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Weekend Preview: LSU has what it takes to battle Alabama, BCS busters and more

Zach Mettenberger,  Jeremy Hill AP

The biggest games of the week may have been played Thursday night, but the Saturday line-up  is not all that shabby either.

Alabama vs. LSU

Nobody has been safe in the SEC this season. Everybody has taken a loss except for one team, Alabama. Saturday night in Tuscaloosa the Crimson Tide host LSU. The SEC West match-up may not have quite the same magnitude recent meetings have had, but with the season winding down there is no good time to take a loss now for Alabama. Of course, that hasn’t exactly hurt them before. Could this year turn out to be different? Alabama cannot risk it to find out.

LSU is one of the few teams to have been able to handle the Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa. LSU has won five of the last six games in Alabama. Alabama’s only win at home against LSU since 1999 came in a 24-15 victory in 2009. So, does LSU have a chance at knocking of Alabama once more? Why wouldn’t they?

LSU has all of the ingredients they need to pull the upset. the Tigers have one of he top quarterbacks in the SEC (Zach Mettenberger), a power running game led by one of the top rushers in the SEC (Jeremy Hill) and one of the top defenses in the SEC. The problem for LSU is Alabama has all of those things as well.

A loss for Alabama may put a temporary dent on the bus to the SEC Championship, but no matter what happens it appears The Iron Bowl with Auburn is going to be huge.

ACC Championship Chase

Florida State (8-0, 6-0 ACC) is in a good spot in the BCS championship, but still must make sure to finish the year strong in ACC play. Florida State will look to avoid a huge upset Saturday when they travel to Wake Forest (4-5, 2-4 ACC). This should be a game that sees some big numbers put up by the Heisman front-runner Jameis Winston (Marcus Mariota‘s performance Thursday likely results in Winston leading the pack). Letting up at this point in the year is probably not wise for Florida State as there are other undefeated teams on the prowl for a trip to Pasadena. Don’t count on Florida State having a sluggish afternoon.

While Florida State may have the Atlantic Division pretty much wrapped up, the Coastal Division is still up for grabs. Miami (7-1, 3-1 ACC), despite losing running back Duke Johnson in the loss to Florida State last week, still sits in a good spot in the division. The Hurricanes host Virginia Tech (6-3, 3-2)  Saturday in what may be the biggest hurdle the rest of the way before making their first trip to the ACC Championship Game. Stephen Morris will have to be smart with his pass selection because the Hokies have one of the tougher defenses in the ACC. Without Johnson, the Hurricanes will look to Dallas Crawford, who should be more than capable of handling the responsibilities.

BCS Buster Watch

Entering the week Fresno State (8-0, 5-0 MWC) remains in the perfect position for a BCS bowl berth. The Bulldogs are ranked 16th in the BCS rankings and ahead of the top contenders in The American (we’ll get to that conference in a moment). As long as Derek Carr can lead the Bulldogs to a road win at Wyoming (4-4, 2-2 MWC) Fresno State should remain in a good spot with time winding down in the regular season.

Northern Illinois (9-0, 5-0 MAC) dropped a spot in the BCS standings to 18th overall, but the Huskies still remain in striking distance of making a return trip to the BCS stage. As long as Fresno state keeps winning though, it will be tough to see Northern Illinois sneak in one more time.

Chasing The American Dream

The American Athletic Conference championship picture will be a bit more clear after this weekend. The key game to pay attention to will feature Central Florida (6-1, 3-0 AAC) and surprising Houston (7-1, 4-0 AAC). UCF is ranked 21st in the BCS rankings, which is vital to Fresno State and Northern Illinois, but the Knights and Cougars will battle for the pole position for the conference’s automatic BCS berth. If Central Florida wins this weekend, the berth will be their’s to blow having already beaten Louisville this season. A Houston win could open up a bit of a complicated situation in the conference. Houston visits Louisville next week. If Houston wins this weekend and Louisville defeats Houston next week, a three-way tie at the top of the conference would be left to untangle. But let’s worry about that later if we need to. The big key this weekend is whether or not Central Florida wins. A win could make a case to bump the Knights up in the rankings, either closing the gap on Fresno State and NIU or passing them altogether.

The quarterback battle between Central Florida’s Blake Bortles and Houston’s John O’Korn should be an entertaining one. Bortles will also be put to the test though, with Houston leading the nation in turnover margin with a +20, highlighted by 17 interceptions.

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9 Responses to “Weekend Preview: LSU has what it takes to battle Alabama, BCS busters and more”
  1. suprmous says: Nov 8, 2013 7:40 PM

    A lot of folks have said that we can’t win against Bama and I say bull. We’ve been known to do just as Kevin has stated “handle Bama quite well”. It’s only those die hard fans who seem to think we can’t go play for play against their team. I; along with many others who feel we can, have valid reasons for believin what we do. It’s never been pretty when playin Bama but you can’t say miracles haven’t happened. Over the years many strange things have happened both ways and you, the honest and true fan, will have to agree there’s been many a time you’ve been on the edge of your seat wonderin: can they, will they, Holy Mary Mother of Jesus it happened that way? As I sat -goin all the way back to when the eldest of the Holy Terror 3 play- I can remember thinkin of how bad’s it goin to be sittin thru tomorrow at breakfast surrounded by him and the other 2 win or lose. This game was undoubtedly in comparison to what my folks felt like when Bama played my mom’s alma mater. My poor pop didn’t know if he should say somethin or just keep his mouth shut and suck it up all year or wait until he’d be ready to be taken Home or when my mom would be taken. Lucky for them they’ve had us younguns to take the heat off of em. This’ one game they’ve held their breath on. Course the one with Auburn is just about as equal as is the one with my mom’s alma mater, which has given them fits as of late. But all in all I’ve got to admit this’ the one game of the year that really has me on my toes. Wheather you root for Bama or LSU you have to admit it’s been a classic.

  2. madtownthrowdown says: Nov 9, 2013 7:05 AM

    Suprmous should change their username to Rambler.

  3. dhardy8207 says: Nov 9, 2013 9:17 AM

    Its going to come down to the 4th quarter… If LSU is out of steam going into the last 15 minutes of the game, their in trouble…

    Its all about endurance when it comes to 2 teams as closely matched as LSU and BAMA are. The difference maker is who can finish strong and BAMA prides itself in being able to dominate that last quarter….

    Roll Tide…..

  4. dhardy8207 says: Nov 9, 2013 9:19 AM

    **TYPO** “They’re in trouble”***

    Late night out and early am at work never works out without error!

  5. southernpatriots says: Nov 9, 2013 11:09 AM

    Some research and thanks to the Sports Information folks….

    “Saturday’s game marks the fourth straight game and the fifth time in seven meetings that either LSU or Alabama goes into the contest ranked No. 1 in the country. LSU was ranked No. 1 for both games in 2011, while Alabama was No. 1 in 2008, last year and then again this season.

    Despite losses to Alabama in its last two meetings – the BCS National Championship Game in 2011 and last year in Baton Rouge – LSU is still enjoying its most successful run against the Crimson Tide. LSU is 6-4 in its last 10 games vs. Alabama and 9-6 over the last 15 meetings. LSU has won six of its last eight games in Tuscaloosa dating back to a 27-0 win in 1997.
    LSU coach Les Miles has a 5-4 mark against Alabama, which includes a 3-1 record in games played in Tuscaloosa. LSU won the last meeting between the teams in Bryant-Denny Stadium, 9-6, in overtime in what was billed as the ‘Game of the Century’.”

    Allons les Tigres! Geaux Tigers!

  6. classyjacklambert says: Nov 9, 2013 12:16 PM

    Is it just me or do people that try to speak French just illicit disdain?

  7. classyjacklambert says: Nov 9, 2013 1:35 PM

    Elicit. Damn.

  8. suprmous says: Nov 9, 2013 9:37 PM

    classyjacklambert, do I sense “a tad of” jealousy with bein bilingual? Get a life pal, not that you’re not surrounded by just one dialect. How many Dutch do you pass in a day’s time that you think get aggrivated with you?

  9. suprmous says: Nov 9, 2013 9:39 PM

    madtownthrowdown, what’s so special about your username?? You come from a place full of rabid dogs that throw fits downtown?

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