LSU vs. Bama is best rivalry in college football
For many years, the debate was whether the best rivalry in college football was Ohio State vs. Michigan, USC vs. Notre Dame or Oklahoma vs. Nebraska.
There is no question today that the best rivalry in college football is now LSU vs. Alabama.
These are arguably the best programs in college football. The fact that current Alabama head coach Nick Saban was the individual who rebuilt the Tiger program back up to championship heights in the early 2000s before bolting to the NFL has led to many subplots.
Over the last three years, these teams have faced off against one another four times and both teams have two wins.
Last season saw the teams square off twice, and while LSU won in the regular season (9-6), they lost to Alabama in the rematch for the BCS National Championship (21-0).
But what is most impressive is what you see out on the football field because you are watching what at times seems likes an All-Star game for the NFL.
Over the last three seasons Alabama has had 20 players drafted into the NFL that have played in this contest and 10 of them went in the first round.
Over the last three seasons LSU has had 17 players drafted into the NFL that have played in this contest and three of them went in the first round.
This year, I have 15 players that will play in this game in my ratings of the top 62 players that could be available for the 2013 NFL draft.
For LSU, that list features the likes of defensive ends Barkevious Mingo and Sam Montgomery, defensive tackle Bennie Logan, free safety Eric Reid, cornerback Tharold Simon and middle linebacker Kevin Minter.
Notice the fact that all six of those players are on the defensive side of the ball.
For Alabama, that list includes offensive guard Chance Warmack, cornerback Dee Milliner, offensive center Barrett Jones, offensive tackle D.J. Fluker, inside linebacker C.J. Mosley, defensive end Jesse Williams, free safety Robert Lester, outside linebacker Nico Johnson and halfback Eddie Lacy.
But the difference-maker between both clubs has to be Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron.
LSU and Alabama are evenly matched on the defensive side of the ball and both teams are excellent power running teams that have great special team units. But the big difference is that Alabama has the better passing attack and the more stable player at the most important position on the field at quarterback.
We have all seen the indecision and inaccuracy of LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger this season.
That has not been the case in Alabama.
A.J. McCarron has developed into one of the most accurate and most efficient passers in college football in 2012.
McCarron has completed 122 of his 177 passes for a completion rate of 68.9 percent. He also has 1,684 passing yards, 18 touchdowns and zero pass interceptions this season.
His ability to handle the Tide offense has led them to outscore their opponents 208 to 31 in the first half of their undefeated season.
The game is in Baton Rouge and it will be close, but there is a clear difference between both teams and it is the passing skills of McCarron. I have a strong feeling that his talents will lead to an Alabama win Saturday night in Tiger Stadium.
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