Nov 8, 2019

Alabama and LSU's matchup is hyped as the "Game of the Century"

llustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The LSU Tigers visit the Alabama Crimson Tide on Saturday in the first regular-season AP No. 1 vs. No. 2 meeting since their game eight years ago.

Why it matters: Interestingly enough, the very thing they helped birth — a system where humans, not computers, rank the nation's best teams — has LSU and Alabama at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, in the playoff rankings.

The backdrop:

  • On Nov. 5, 2011, No. 1 LSU and No. 2 Alabama met in Tuscaloosa in what was billed as college football's "Game of the Century." The Tigers prevailed, 9-6 in OT, in a game that featured 49 future NFL players.
  • Two months later, Alabama beat LSU, 21-0, in the BCS National Championship Game — a controversial rematch that led to the demise of the BCS and the birth of the College Football Playoff.

The stakes: If Alabama loses, they'll almost certainly miss the playoff for the first time since its 2014 inception. If LSU wins, they'll be in the driver's seat the rest of the way.

Betting info:

  • Spread: ALA -6.0
  • Over/Under: 63
  • Moneyline: LSU + 185 (bet $100, win $185); ALA -220 (bet $220, win $100)

Alabama:

  • Will Tua play? Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa (ankle) remains a game-time decision. "We'll continue to monitor him and see how he progresses, but we're pleased with where he is," coach Nick Saban told ESPN yesterday.
  • Home field advantage: The Tide have won 31 straight home games, and they've lost just four regular-season home games since 2008 (78-4 record in that span).

LSU:

  • New look Tigers: LSU has forever been known for hard-nosed, ground-and-pound football. Now they're competing statistically with Mike Leach's Air Raid. "I'd like to play just one game with that playbook. Heck, just one quarter," said former QB Tommy Hodson.
  • Heisman watch: QB Joe Burrow has completed 78.8% of his passes this season, which would be the best single-season completion percentage of all-time. Hence why he's the current Heisman favorite (though Tagovailoa isn't far behind).

Go deeper: Ohio State tops the first CFP rankings

Go deeper

CFP rankings: LSU on top, Georgia edges Alabama

Photo: Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

Fresh off its victory in Tuscaloosa on Saturday, LSU finds itself atop this week's College Football Playoff rankings, while No. 4 Georgia edged No. 5 Alabama to break into the top four.

Rounding out the top 10: No. 6 Oregon and No. 7 Utah both moved up one spot, while Minnesota's win over Penn State vaulted them nine spots to No. 8. The loss dropped Penn State to No. 9, followed by Oklahoma at No. 10.

Go deeperArrowNov 13, 2019

College football's conference championship weekend is here

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Conference championship weekend is upon us.

Why it matters: The action begins tonight in Santa Clara, Calif. and continues through Saturday, with the outcomes dictating who makes the playoff and who makes the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl.

Go deeperArrowDec 6, 2019

Trump appears with Sessions' Senate rival at Alabama football game

President Trump and first lady Melania Trump at the LSU Tigers-Alabama Crimson Tide game at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Saturday. Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images


President Trump was cheered by the crowd Saturday as he attended a collegiate football game in Alabama alongside Rep. Bradley Byrne, who's running against former Attorney General Jeff Sessions in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate seat.

Details: Trump was recently booed by sports fans during two previous high-profile events and CBS reports a Baby Trump protest balloon was "knifed and deflated" at Saturday's U Tigers-Alabama Crimson Tide clash, which LSU won 46-41. But he received a warm reception from fans at the game, per video posted online by users including Byrne.

Go deeperArrowNov 10, 2019