LIVE: Alabama vs. LSU for division… and SEC, and BCS

Time to weigh in with your predictions. Here's mine: Alabama 20, LSU 16.

It's time to weigh in with your predictions. Here's mine: Alabama 20, LSU 16.

Nick Saban looks a lot shorter on TV.

Nick Saban looks a lot shorter on TV.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — I’m quite certain there’s drinking going on here.

I heard something crazy like 30,000 LSU fans made the five-hour-plus drive from Baton Rouge to Tuscaloosa for the LSU-Alabama game, even though most of them don’t have tickets. Given the number of people I saw out there tailgating, I’m guessing a lot of Bama fans are here just for the scene — and the beverages — as well.

Welcome to the game of the week, the month, the season, the millennium — whatever you want to call it. It won’t get any better than Alabama vs. LSU or Nick Saban vs. Les Miles the rest of the season, nor probably even at bowl time. It’s difficult to imagine even the BCS title game living up to the buildup or the match-up.

These are the two best teams in the nation. By the end of the night, we might still believe they’re the two best teams in the nation (notwithstanding the fact that the loser will have one more defeat thank Oklahoma State,

If anybody lights a match, downtown will blow up.

If anybody lights a match, downtown will blow up.

Stanford and Boise State). Tonight’s winner will win the SEC West and likely be the favorites to win the conference and BCS championship games.

As I wrote in an earlier blog, it’s unfortunate that the two best teams play not only in the same conference (SEC) but the same division (West), which is why Alabama and LSU are meeting in November instead of January. And I doubt there will be a series of events that leads to a bowl rematch because I don’t think

As it turns out, one or two people decided to tailgate.

As it turns out, one or two people decided to tailgate.

voters in the human polls will let that happen.

There’s not much left to say about the game. But here are a few things to thing about:

– Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron doesn’t get a ton of publicity. But given that games like this often are decided by a turnover, it’s worth noting he recently went 152 straight pass attempts (over six games) without an interception. He also has completed over 68 percent of his passes on third-and-long. I bring that up because . . .

This guy either lost a bet or is color blind.

This guy either lost a bet or is color blind.

– These are the two best defenses in the nation, so chances quarterbacks from both teams will face a number of third-and-long situations. In SEC games, Alabama is No. 1 in the conference with a 55.9 third-down conversion rate and LSU is third at 41.7.

– Of all the statistics that these two teams have put up this season, these two jump out at me most: 1) LSU has trailed only 6 minutes and 33 seconds all season; 2) Neither of these teams has trailed after any quarter all season.

Both of those stats will change tonight.

That’s it for now. I’ve posted a few photos to give you a feel for the atmosphere. I’ll be here blogging live until I have to start serving the print master. And now, I turn it over to you.

By Jeff Schultz

• Earlier: Weekend Predictions: Guaranteed winners (I’m serious this time)

• Earlier: Alabama-LSU have what everybody else wants — a great coach

• Earlier: Collapse of Hawks’ sale is just one more Spirit nightmare

Follow me on Twitter (@JeffSchultzAJC). Friend me on Facebook (Facebook.com/JeffSchultzAJC).

650 comments Add your comment

richmondDawg

November 5th, 2011
5:57 pm

Drunk SEC fans on a Saturday night? Surely you jest…

David from Athens. AL

November 5th, 2011
5:57 pm

How was your drive to T-town? Lots of traffic?

richmondDawg

November 5th, 2011
5:58 pm

Anyone else watching Stanford/Oregon State game? It’s a good one..

william cranman

November 5th, 2011
5:58 pm

Dawgdad (The Original)

November 5th, 2011
6:00 pm

LSU breaks their hearts.

DawgFannnnn

November 5th, 2011
6:02 pm

UGA and LSU are both playing cupcake teams today. I look for similar results in both. Sparky!

Milk

November 5th, 2011
6:04 pm

Howcome you put up a “Live Blog” for this game but not the UGA game? Ever since UGA beat Florida (which you WRONGLY predicted by the way, you’ve seemed to turn on UGA? Hater much?

Milk

November 5th, 2011
6:05 pm

Oh and LSU wins by 21

Milk

November 5th, 2011
6:06 pm

Final Score

LSU: 45

Alabama: 17

glsjunior

November 5th, 2011
6:09 pm

FIRE BILL CURRY!

5150 UOAD

November 5th, 2011
6:17 pm

Jeff SCHULTZ you or Bradley didn’t go to Athens for the HUGE match -up between NMSU v UGA?
This is a Georgia Paper but you pick this game to cover live? Why isn’t BRADLEY there for the USCf v Arkansas game that has meaning for UGA’s trip to the DOME.

Della R.

November 5th, 2011
6:18 pm

Two superb teams, but I think Alabama wins by 10.

5150 UOAD

November 5th, 2011
6:19 pm

DAWGFannnnn…………………..big words for a fan of the CHAMPION of the weak sisters of the blind. UGA don’t want none of Bama or LSU.

Inquiring Minds Want To Know

November 5th, 2011
6:21 pm

Jeff when will this be investigated?

On August 28th, 2011 Alabama running back Trent Richardson was pulled over for speeding in Chilton County, Alabama. The Crimson Tide star was going 85 in a 70 and the officer noted that he blamed the “large rims” on his vehicle for the speeding violation. What was the vehicle? A 2011 GMC Yukon which retails for in the neighborhood of $40,000 even without the added expense of new rims. Raise your hand if it makes sense that an “unemployed” athlete at Alabama with two children, no job, and a non-wealthy family could afford a brand new SUV.

5150 UOAD

November 5th, 2011
6:23 pm

Inquiring Minds Want To Know………………..as soon as they investigate the Herschel Walker Trans AM he got to play for UGA.

Richt lies... about everything

November 5th, 2011
6:24 pm

How come you put up a “Live Blog” for this game but not the UGA game?

Because. Who. Cares. Really. UGA is so mediocre and irrelevant today that it’s not worth sending a sports writer to Athens.

Richt lies... about everything

November 5th, 2011
6:26 pm

@5150 UOAD: Inquiring Minds Want To Know………………..as soon as they investigate the Herschel Walker Trans AM he got to play for UGA.

It was black, by the way.

Jeff Schultz

November 5th, 2011
6:28 pm

David — I left house at about 11 a.m. so I was safe on highways. But town is jammed.

Jeff Schultz

November 5th, 2011
6:29 pm

Neither of us in Athens. Me here and MB is on his way to Indy for Falcons game.

Jeff Schultz

November 5th, 2011
6:30 pm

Inquiring Minds — Any high-profile vehicle like that will get NCAA’s attention. Doesn’t mean it’s illegal though.

5150 UOAD

November 5th, 2011
6:30 pm

Richt lies… about everything………….actually it was the Smokie and the Bandit model.

5150 UOAD

November 5th, 2011
6:34 pm

If USCe loses to ArkieSAW how far do they fall in the polls even though they beat UGA? Well UGA should be top 10 after their game today against North Gwinette.

richmondDawg

November 5th, 2011
6:39 pm

Eric Dickerson had the same ride back then….Wonder how many recruiting battles were won with that particular model….Jeff, I’m guessing that the Alabama state troopers will be busy after the game tonight….Be very careful on the roads, man, I’m sure Tuscaloosa will be like the freaking Daytona 500 of drunk driving…

Chuck Dowdle

November 5th, 2011
6:40 pm

GEORGIA FANS – YOU WANT ATTENTION FOR YOUR TEAM? PLAY SOMEBODY!!!! THE TEAMS YOU BEAT IN SEC HAVE A COMBINED LEAGUE RECORD OF 3-22. YOU AVOIDED LSU AND BAMA THIS SEASON BUT PAYBACK’S COMING AT THE DOME. GONNA CRUSH THAT PUPPY DAWG.

Steve

November 5th, 2011
6:43 pm

Jeff, are you retiring soon? I want your job.

Inquiring Minds Want To Know

November 5th, 2011
6:44 pm

Jeff Schultz

November 5th, 2011
6:30 pm

Inquiring Minds — Any high-profile vehicle like that will get NCAA’s attention. Doesn’t mean it’s illegal though.

I guess your right. Most college kids from poor families drive $40K vehicles, especially the ones at AL who can throw, catch or carry the rock.

The stinch is obvious at AL, yet the NCAA looks the other way.

Trent Richardson though is not the only member of the Crimson Tide shown to own multiple vehicles in recent Alabama court documents.

Mobile County (AL) court records confirm that on June 17, 2011, current starting Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron was pulled over for speeding while driving a 2011 GMC Yukon without a license plate. McCarron was noted in county court documents as the owner of the vehicle.

AJ McCarron owner of 2011 $45K Yukon with no license plate

Less than two weeks later McCarron was once again pulled over, this time for tinted windows and not wearing a seatbelt in Baldwin County, Alabama. Court records documented McCarron as the owner of the vehicle in question, a 2010 GMC Yukon.

Steve

November 5th, 2011
6:44 pm

Chuck Dowdle, UGA has no control over their SEC schedule. Sorry you don’t understand how college football works.

David G

November 5th, 2011
6:48 pm

Roll Tide Roll! ‘Round the Bowl, Down the Hole, Roll Tide Roll!!!

5150 UOAD

November 5th, 2011
6:49 pm

UGA’s best bet for a good bowl game is for USC to win the East and get destroyed by Bama or LSU. If UGA plays in the dome and gets killed it will hurt their bowl game choices I would think. The BSC will not take the loser of the SEC CG if they get killed. the BCS wants the west #2 team over the east #1. I know all the Dawgs are wearing Arkansas red tonight, but that could really bite the dawgs on the butt to win the SEC least.

Steve

November 5th, 2011
6:51 pm

5150 I am sorry you don’t understand college football either. The loser of the SECCG always either goes to the Sugar Bowl or Capitol One Bowl. Two very good ones. Don’t be angry that Tech can’t win a bowl game.

Inquiring Minds Want To Know

November 5th, 2011
6:52 pm

Why doesn’t AL suspend players who fail the first drug test? And how do AL players drive late model vehicles worth $40K? How in the hell do they pay for the insurance, not to mention the car/gas.

The stintch is obvious at AL. And the corrupt NCAA is probably part of it.

5150 UOAD

November 5th, 2011
6:52 pm

Steve we have read your posts and you might get lucky and get Bill King’s Job if you are lucky like RUSS the temporary mascot.

Steve

November 5th, 2011
6:55 pm

Good one 5150! Still upset over that Virginia game? I would be too.

Paul in NH

November 5th, 2011
6:55 pm

@Milk
You need to buy yourself a new calculator. At 6:05 you said that LSU will win by 21 and then in your next post you called it as LSU 45 ALA 17

wreckmaniac

November 5th, 2011
6:55 pm

CNN conducted a poll yesterday. The question was: ” Who will win between LSU/Bama ?
1. 18%- LSU
2. 22% – Bama
3. 60% – don’t care.
On Monday these two will still be 1 and 2. South Carolina and AR is far more meaningful

Common Sense???

November 5th, 2011
6:56 pm

How can the same people that stood on their high horse in 2007 and preached that UGA shouldn’t play for the BCS Title because not only did they not win their division but didn’t win their conference are the same ones on TV today saying that they could see a rematch of LSU/Alabama in January.

Chuck Dowdle

November 5th, 2011
6:57 pm

steve – that’s news to everyone that a college has no accountability for it’s schedule. REALLY??? IS THAT HOW YOU GOT STUCK WITH NEW MEXICO STATE GAME TODAY? LOLZ. YOU BOZOS IN ATHENS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN 2ND RATE.

5150 UOAD

November 5th, 2011
6:58 pm

Steve I would be surprised if whoever represents the SEC least get KILLED in the DOME they will not be happy choices for either of those BOWL games. If the BCS gets LSU and Bama the next team will be Arkansas. If 2 SEC teams don’t go to BCS games the loser tonight and Arkansas will get the Best Bowl games. The SC Least team has to put on a Great Show in the Dome or they will get bumped down the pecking order for SURE.

Worm

November 5th, 2011
6:58 pm

UOAD, your slip is showing-Drinking too much during the off week..Paul Johnson is 1-4 when ACC opponents have an off week.Might better keep drinkin’

Milk

November 5th, 2011
6:58 pm

Hey Paul, I’m milk, I have strong bones…I didn’t mean exactly 21…I meant at least 21. You bird.

Opinion

November 5th, 2011
6:59 pm

LSU and AL. All of the ESPN announcers(aka whores) can talk about is the “tradition at these two fine schools”. No mention of the documented probation(s), document instances of players with no income driving tricked, late model vehicles worth $40K.

Sickening.

Scholarship

November 5th, 2011
6:59 pm

Same old low life UGA fans throwing darts at the Blimp( LSU and Alabama) on these blogs. They do not get it, the program they follow is now a mid level SEC team and would finish no better than 4th in the West. Keep dreaming and hoping that one day the Administration in Athens will realize that they are that far back in the pack.

Milk

November 5th, 2011
6:59 pm

Hey Chuck the Duck….everybody in the SEC plays small schools from time to time. We cannot help who we play, we just play the schedule…and if we were so bad as you say we are, we would have lost to those teams that were so “bad.”. Shut up and continue smoking your crack.

Worm

November 5th, 2011
7:00 pm

BTW_UOAD, when was the last time the ACC had two BCS teams-NEVER!

Opinion

November 5th, 2011
7:00 pm

UGA has played a tougher out of conference schedule than AL. LSU has played the toughest.

Steve

November 5th, 2011
7:01 pm

Really Chuck? Could have sworn UGA started the season off with the #5 team in the country.

Jeff Schultz

November 5th, 2011
7:01 pm

Steve, if you can pay off my mortgage, it’s yours. (Seriously, sometimes it is pretty cool to have this job. But having to have a column done the second the game ends isn’t fun.)

Steve

November 5th, 2011
7:02 pm

5150 = Still jealous over UGA. Poor guy. It’s OK, maybe one day Tech will mean something.

Inquiring Minds Want To Know

November 5th, 2011
7:04 pm

Scholarship

November 5th, 2011
6:59 pm

Same old low life UGA fans throwing darts at the Blimp( LSU and Alabama) on these blogs.

Well if you can explain how the 2 AL stars are driving $40K vehicles when they have no jobs and are not from wealthy families, I would love to hear it. I will queue the crickets and wait for a reference to a red trans am for a UGA player in the 1980’s.

Weaseal

November 5th, 2011
7:05 pm

Here’s to a Great SEC game and let’s all be proud of the best conference in the land!!