LSU vs. Alabama: B/R's College Football Writers Make Their Pick
LSU vs. Alabama.
Game of the Century.
Game for SEC supremacy.
Game for BCS dominance.
So, who's going to win and why? We figured if you ask 50 people, you'll get 50 different reasons. So we did. We took a poll of more than 70 of our college football writers on Bleacher Report and asked them to pick a winner, and give us a one sentence summary of why they think LSU or Alabama is going to win the game.
And here are the results.
Enjoy the big game!
LSU Will Win the Game
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Here's our Bleacher Report college football Featured Columnists (FC) who think the Tigers have the advantage against the Crimson Tide.
Rich Thomaselli, Deputy College Football Editor—LSU 24, Alabama 20. Because the Tigers have a slightly better defense. Slightly.
Sean Lansing, FC, Wisconsin—LSU 27, Alabama 13. LSU has the closest thing in college football to an NFL defense, and Alabama doesn't have a pro quarterback.
Jake Martin, FC, LSU—LSU 20, Alabama 17. LSU will score a touchdown on defense, and that will be the difference maker in the ball game. Brad Wing's ability to place the ball inside the 20-yard line will be a huge factor in the game as well.
James Evens, FC, Purdue—LSU 38, Alabama 17. LSU's defense is just too stellar for Alabama.
Tom Doherty, FC, Missouri—LSU 24, Alabama 20. LSU has the upper hand at QB and more playmakers in the secondary.
Sean Merriman, FC, LSU—LSU 27, Alabama 24. Both teams will find success in the run game, but the difference will be that Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson make one less mistake than A.J. McCarron.
Graham Kelly, FC, Tennessee—LSU 17, Alabama 14. LSU has played a tougher schedule than Alabama and has better prepared for a big game atmosphere. LSU's superior special teams win it for them.
David Luther, National FC—LSU 17, Alabama 14. Two awesome defenses keep the scoring to a minimum, but LSU has overcome some tough tests already, while Bama is comparatively unproven.
Chris Humphrey, FC, General College Football—LSU 20, Alabama 17. With the defenses of Alabama and LSU mirror images of each other, the talent on the Tigers offense will be the key for a win this Saturday in Tuscaloosa.
Drew Laing, FC, Florida—LSU 17, Alabama 14. Seeing the Gators play both LSU and Alabama this season, I think LSU's defense will just be too much for the Crimson Tide. With Les Miles as head coach, you know something will bounce his way.
Ian Berg, FC, Auburn—LSU 28, Alabama 21. LSU will win the turnover battle and force key turnovers late.
John Rozum, FC, General College Football—LSU 12, Alabama 10. Both teams are virtually exact replicas on defense, but LSU's offense is more dynamic as they can use two different QBs to change the pace.
Jonathan Woo, FC, Texas—LSU 24, Alabama 20. If LSU can shut down an offense like Oregon with all of its weapons, Bama will share the same fate.
Bryan Kalbrosky, Oregon FC—LSU 35, Alabama 31. Because the idea of both teams losing twice and allowing Oregon to play for a national championship is entirely unlikely, it is difficult to imagine a team without a star quarterback having the ability to stop the powerhouse that is Les Miles and the Tigers.
Russ Stanton, FC, Auburn—LSU 21, Alabama 14. While the Crimson Tide has Trent Richardson, LSU has more of a multi-pronged offensive attach, rather than a single shining star, and the LSU defense can stop a single threat, while the Bama defense will have a problem covering all of LSU’s options.
Jayson Love, FC, Rutgers—LSU 24, Alabama 14. LSU uses its athletic and talented defense to hold Bama down and scores enough to win going away.
Eric Pennell, FC, Oklahoma—LSU 24, Alabama 17. Big games come down to big moments, and LSU has more big play potential on both offense and defense. Never bet against the real Honey Badger, Les Miles.
Kraig Lundberg, FC, Nebraska—LSU 22, Alabama 17. Tigers beat Crimson Tide with a big day from Tyrann Mathieu and the LSU defense.
John Bain, FC, LSU—LSU 23, Alabama 21. The Tigers keep improving their offensive play this season, and their momentum and run defense will carry them to victory in this game.
Russ Harris, FC, Arkansas—LSU 27, Alabama 17. Close game until the Honey Badger gets a pick 6 in the closing minutes.
James Brown, FC, Arkansas—LSU 17, Alabama 14. Defense rules this game, but LSU pulls it out with a reverse-flea-flicker called by Les Miles in the waning minutes.
Alex Joseph, FC, Oklahoma—LSU 17, Alabama 14. LSU has more weapons, better quarterback(s) and the Tigers have absolutely owned this game when played in Tuscaloosa (in the past 10 years).
Chad Scott, FC, Boise State—LSU 20, Alabama 13. LSU is able to contain Trent Richardson, forcing the Crimson Tide to rely on their much weaker passing game.
Alex Shoemaker, FC, Oregon—LSU 17, Alabama 13. After seeing what LSU was able to do against Oregon's high-power offense, I've been a big believer in this Tigers team. Tyrann Mathieu, Morris Claiborne and Kendrick Adams will force multiple Tide turnovers, as the Tigers come away with a victory.
Amy Daughters, FC, National Writer—LSU 17, Alabama 14. Because LSU doesn't turn the ball over and will outlast Alabama in the second half.
Dave Fitzgerald II, FC, Big Ten Conference—LSU 20, Alabama 14. LSU wins because Les Miles is the master in big game situations, and eating the grass in Tuscaloosa will confuse Nick Saban and his vaunted defense.
Zach Travis, FC, Big Ten Football—LSU 27, Alabama 23. When the fight is between the two biggest kids on the block, always bet on the one that is just a little bit crazy.
Andrew Pregler, FC, Syracuse—LSU 17, Bama 13. LSU has had Bama's number the last few years thanks to their physical play. And with much more talent, they finally make the huge step with a win.
Jordan Calfee, FC, General College Football—LSU 31, Alabama 21. Because, in my experience, LSU wins the National Championship every four years (2003, 2007, and soon to be 2011).
Jeremy Hillman, FC, SEC Football—LSU 23, Alabama 21. LSU leads the conference in turnover margin, with an impressive plus-15 margin, and will have a key takeaway on Saturday that seals the game.
Alabama Will Win the Game
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Here's our Bleacher Report college football Featured Columnists (FC) who think the Tide will roll the Tigers.
David Young, FC Notre Dame Football—Alabama 24, LSU 21. Because the running game will decide the outcome and the Tide has Trent Richardson and the Tigers don't.
Brad Ross, FC, Oklahoma State—Alabama 20, LSU 17. Home field pushes Alabama over the edge.
Lafe Peavler, FC, National College Football Writer—Alabama 24, LSU 21. LSU might have a slight edge over Alabama if this was on a neutral field, but the fact that this game is in Tuscaloosa tips the scales toward the Crimson Tide.
Rob Goldberg, FC, General College Football—Alabama 20, LSU 13. The Alabama defense will be too much for an offense without a real playmaker, and Trent Richardson will do just enough to keep the Crimson Tide ahead.
Stephen Urbaniak, FC, Miami—Alabama 31, LSU 27. Alabama does just enough on offense and Trent Richardson has a big day carrying the rock against a solid LSU defense, and Nick Saban out-coaches Les Miles en route to the Tide making their case to have the inside track to the national title.
William Penfield, FC, General College Football—Alabama 24, LSU 20. The Crimson Tide will come away with the close victory because they are at home and have the best player on the field in Trent Richardson.
Brian Lendino, FC, Missouri—Alabama 24, LSU 23. A.J. McCarron is a more consistent passer than Jarrett Lee, and leads Alabama down the field in the final minutes to take the lead over the Tigers.
Danny Drama, FC, Florida State—Alabama 24, LSU 16. Bayou Bengals will neither be unable to run the ball nor stop Trent Richardson. Tide rolls on special teams to victory.
Kevin McGuire, FC, Penn State—Alabama 23, LSU 21. The defenses are a wash, but give me Alabama's running game to grind it out and wear down the Tigers through four quarters.
John Patton, FC, Florida—Alabama 17, LSU 13. The Crimson Tide has the best defense I have seen in two decades covering college football (the four starting LBs and four starting DBs all could be selected in the top three rounds of the NFL draft), and in Trent Richardson, Alabama has the one thing LSU doesn't—a superstar on offense.
Rick McMahan, FC, USC—Alabama 21, LSU 17. Bama wins a close game at home.
Randy Chambers, FC, General College Football—Alabama 17, LSU 10. Both teams are very similar, but I'll go with the team that's at home and has the best player on either side of the ball in Trent Richardson.
Ryne Hodkowski, FC, General College Football—Alabama 20, LSU 14. Alabama will force LSU to throw, something they won't be able to do on the road against the Bama defense.
David Boutin, FC, Georgia—Alabama 24, LSU 21. Both defenses should be stifling, Bama at home is the difference.
Tyler Waddell, FC, Ohio State—Alabama 19, LSU 13. Les Miles is 3-5 against opponents ranked in the Top 10 since 2008, and it's in Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Russ Wheless, FC, Georgia—Alabama 24, LSU 13. LSU takes lead early, but, just like everyone else, finds out the Tide and Trent are too strong.
Ian Hanford, FC, Penn State—Alabama 17, LSU 16. Home-field advantage and a consistent ground game will give Bama the slightest edge.
Chad Robb, FC, Nebraska—Alabama 24, LSU 9. Trent Richardson begins his run to the Heisman.
Michael Taglienti, FC, Texas A&M—Alabama 20, LSU 10. Alabama will shut down the Tigers' running game and force two interceptions on defense. Bama will not turn the ball over on offense, and LSU cannot score without short fields.
Austin Fox, FC, Michigan—Alabama 24, LSU 17. For one reason: the game is played in Tuscaloosa.
Carolyn Todd, FC, Penn State—Alabama 17, LSU 14. The game is in Tuscaloosa. Home-field advantage will carry Bama in a tight one decided by defense and a winning field goal.
Joe Penkala, FC, Oregon and National—Alabama 23, LSU 20. Two great teams and two great defenses, but ultimately the Crimson Tide D makes one more stop and the home crowd makes things difficult on the Tigers.
Jeff Grant, FC, Sports Betting—Alabama 23, LSU 16. Nick Saban's disciplined program wins out in the fourth quarter.
Sanjay Kirpalani, FC, Florida State—Alabama 20, LSU 16. I think Bama will be tough to beat at home (won 27 of last 28 or something like that). Plus I live in Alabama, so for my personal well being, I've got to roll with the Tide!
James Sullivan, FC, Texas A&M—Alabama 24, LSU 14. The Crimson Tide owns a more potent offense as well as a stronger defense and will frustrate Les Miles into some bad play-calling.
Joel Barker, FC, Tennessee—Alabama 20, LSU 17. LSU has a slight edge on defense and special teams, but it will be a late drive featuring Heisman contender Trent Richardson that seals the deal for the Tide.
Nathan Lowery, FC, Oregon—Alabama 27, LSU 18. Alabama matches LSU's defense but has more talent on offense.
Connor Killoren, FC, Notre Dame—Alabama 24, LSU 17. Bama has the superior defense. A.J. McCarron will do an excellent job of managing the game, with Trent Richardson moving the ball behind an offensive line that will control the line of scrimmage all night.
Stix Symmonds, FC, Iowa—Alabama 24, LSU 22. While LSU has looked very good, Alabama appears to be a more complete team and gets the home-field advantage.
Stephen Waldron, FC, Florida—Alabama 24, LSU 23. Each team will have a defensive touchdown. The LSU running game keeps them in it, but in the end Trent Richardson proves to be too much.
Robert Kelly, FC, Houston—Alabama 27, LSU 21. The Crimson Tide will be hard to beat at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Brian Jones, FC, Georgia—Alabama 24, LSU 20. Because the game is played at Bryant-Denny Stadium and I feel Alabama is a more balanced team when it comes to offense, defense and special teams.
Ben Herman, FC, Michigan State—Alabama 24, LSU 21. Richardson held in check, but Bama prevails at home thanks to a defensive TD.
Matt Shetler, FC, Pitt—Alabama 20, LSU 17. Taking the home team in a close, physical game.
David Mayer, FC, Miami—Alabama 24, LSU 14. Trent Richardson proves why he is a Heisman candidate as he runs for over 100 yards while Alabama shuts down the rushing attack of LSU.
Leftover Hot Dog, FC, South Carolina—Alabama 23, LSU 20. Saban will prove that defense wins, and Trent Richardson will show why he is the best running back in the nation.
Patrick Runge, FC, Nebraska—Alabama 17, LSU 14. Edge goes to the Tide between two evenly-matched, defense-first teams. Alabama has the best offensive player on the field (Trent Richardson), and the game is in Tuscaloosa, which tilts the scales for the Crimson Tide.
Tom Perry, FC, National—Alabama 24, LSU 20. Alabama is able to neutralize the Honey Badger and run the ball like no other team has been able to do, and it could potentially be Trent Richardson's Heisman moment.
Edwin Weathersby, College Football Recruiting Analyst—Alabama 24, LSU 13. Playing in Tuscaloosa proves to be a huge aid for the Tide, and Saban's defense shows why they're the most talented, well-coached and most prepared unit in the country.
Johnathan Cace, FC, Virginia Tech—Alabama 27, LSU 16. LSU only ranks 81st in total yards per game, and they have yet to face a defense close to Alabama's.
Matt Smith, FC, Notre Dame—Alabama 27, LSU 17. Nick Saban is 13-1 in SEC games against a team he lost to the previous year.
Daniel Hudson, FC, Tennessee—Alabama 24, LSU 17. LSU gets the slight edge on defense, while Alabama gets a slightly bigger edge on offense thanks to Trent Richardson. The game is being played in Tuscaloosa, and that's the tiebreaker.
Gerard Martin, FC, Notre Dame—Alabama 24, LSU 19. Both defenses are elite, all three quarterbacks are mediocre. Trent Richardson is the best player on either team, and he's the difference in a narrow Alabama win.
HJ Mai, FC, Oregon—Alabama 24, LSU 21. The Crimson Tide has the better offense, and LSU's defense is only slightly better. Nevertheless it's going to be a tight game.
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Two things seem to be favoring Alabama as 44 of our FCs picked the Crimson Tide, while 30 selected LSU. One is home-field advantage, and the other is Trent Richardson.
Richardson is arguably the best player on the field—although Honey Badger Tyrann Mathieu of LSU might have something to say about that—and this has the potential to be his signature moment that locks up the Heisman Trophy.
The Tigers have a pretty amazing defense.
All in all, it adds up to what should be a fabulous Game of the Century on Saturday night.