Why LSU Won't Be Undefeated When It Battles Alabama on Nov. 3

Colby LanhamCorrespondent ISeptember 23, 2012

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 09:  Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide shakes hands with head coach Les Miles of the Louisiana State University Tigers afterthe 2012 Allstate BCS National Championship Game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 9, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Alabama won the game by a score of 21-0.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Everyone remembers the "Game of the Century" last season between the LSU and Alabama, right? It's the one that nobody really wants to remember.

The utter lack of offense from either team made it difficult to watch.

Well, these teams will play again on Nov. 3 in what essentially will be a battle for supremacy in the SEC West. Last season, LSU was victorious in its regular-season matchup with Alabama and stayed undefeated en route to the national championship game rematch with the Crimson Tide, which it lost.

This fall, the real question is: Will the Tigers be undefeated again when it faces Alabama in Baton Rouge?

The answer? No, they will not. 

One of the reasons why will be the disappointing play of quarterback Zach Mettenberger. After graduating the quarterback carousel of Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee, the Tigers moved on to Mettenberger, who transferred to LSU in 2011 from Butler Community College (Kansas) after being kicked off the Georgia Bulldogs team. 

Mettenberger was supposed to be an instant upgrade.

Well, the Tigers were mistaken. Mettenberger has not made this LSU offense more explosive through the air, which is what it needs. The Tigers have a great ground game; but against Alabama, running yards will be hard to find.

For the last few seasons, LSU has greatly underachieved at the quarterback position, which in turn has hindered the passing game. At a certain point, great teams need a quarterback who is more than a game manager. They need one who can make plays, and Mettenberger has shown already that he is not that guy.

On top of that, LSU must play at Florida and Texas A&M before its matchup against the Tide.

Both places have incredibly intense atmospheres, and like we saw against Auburn, that is something the Bayou Bengals aren't too good at handling.  

These kinds of games can catch a talented team like LSU off-guard. The Tigers could easily be caught sleeping in either of those games, especially in The Swamp in Gainesville. 

LSU's lone home game before hosting Alabama will be against South Carolina. Home-field advantage will certainly help in that game,  but there is no doubt the Gamecocks will provide a challenge with quarterback Connor Shaw and running back Marcus Lattimore. Shaw's ability to run demands attention from opposing defenses, but they must also watch out for that underrated arm of his.

As talented as LSU is on defense, the Tigers won't be able to come out of such a string of difficult games unscathed, and the hype surrounding the November 3 showdown against Alabama will dwindle.