Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
What will the moniker for this one be?
We have seen the Game of the Century, and although it was a great game (if you like that kind of football), it was mistake-filled and considered a dud in the eyes of some. Nonetheless, it was a far cry from the title that had been bestowed upon it with LSU winning in overtime 9-6 in Tuscaloosa.
We have also seen what was billed simply as The Rematch, and it was surely not a rerun... at least the aforementioned was watchable. The Tide dominated the Tigers in every aspect of the game (including the coin toss), spoiling the Tigers' perfect season in route to a convincing 21-0 National Championship victory in the Bayou Bengals' backyard.
In early November, these two powers meet again for what most likely will be another hard fought instant classic, earning the victor a layover stop in Atlanta for the SEC Championship game and subsequently a trip to Miami Gardens for the BCS Championship.
It may be hard to fathom, but these Tigers could be better than last season's team that steamrolled into the Superdome with a perfect record only to have its wheels fall off.
The highly regarded Zack Mettenberger takes over at quarterback and how he will perform is anybody's guess. He remains the only question mark the Tigers' 2012 version has because this team is loaded.
So the possibility exists that the only question regarding the Tigers could quite possibly transform into the biggest blessing cast upon offensive huddles in Baton Rouge in a while.
If that makes any sense.
The Tigers have seriously struggled at that position since the 2007 season under Matt Flynn and have not had a passer like Mettenberger on the roster since the days of Jamarcus Russell.
Insert Jamarcus Russell joke here.
So, if Mettenberger is the unknown, here is what we know:
The Bayou Bengals return nearly everyone from a national runner-up save for a few. Heisman finalist Tyrann Mathieu, along with exciting sophomore playmaker Odell Beckham are back. As is, get this—their top four leading rushers.
These Cats will wear you down.
With a November date, Alabama, having lost several key pieces to arguably one of the best collegiate defenses ever assembled will have plenty of time to gel and mature into another elite unit under Nick Saban. And with the meticulous preparation that Saban preaches, this Tide team will be ready to roll.
There is no need to wait until Bowl Selection Sunday following this annual SEC divisional showdown. The winner will represent the SEC in the BCS National Championship game at Sun Life Stadium on January 7.
The loser will not be as fortunate this time around.
Joe Rogers is a college football writer and a member of NSSA (National Sportscasters & Sportswriters Association). He also operates the website The College Football Bowl Report.