LSU and Alabama are two of the biggest powerhouses in college football and the clashes between them are going to be an annual event because they are both in the SEC West.
This year, though, we get to see them battle it out twice in the same year but this time the national championship is on the line.
Which of these teams is better equipped to win the national championship this year and next year?
Without question it is LSU.
The Tigers have the upper hand in this year’s national championship, having beaten the Tide in Tuscaloosa already this year and they are the only undefeated team left in college football.
But what’s even scarier is the prospect of what they could look like next year. They will lose their quarterback, tight end, a cornerback and all of their linebackers but there is still an incredible amount of optimism for 2012.
Zach Mettenberger is widely believed to have a higher ceiling than either Jarrett Lee or Jordan Jefferson, Tyrann Mathieu can definitely replace Morris Claiborne and the entire defensive line will be returning for at least one more year.
LSU will be almost without question the consensus No. 1 team heading into the 2012 season.
As for Alabama, it will likely lose more than half of the defense that ranks first in every major statistical category to the NFL draft.
Josh Chapman, Jerrell Harris, Courtney Upshaw, DeQuan Menzie and Mark Barron will all graduate and Dont’a Hightower, Dre Kirkpatrick and Robert Lester are all expected to declare for the draft.
That doesn’t include the losses of both of their wide receivers and more than likely their Heisman finalist at running back.
Alabama may not even be the second-best team in the SEC West next year.
Nick Saban is one of the best coaches in the country but there’s no realistic chance he can win back-to-back national championships this year and next. Les Miles, on the other hand, has a very good shot at doing it.