There’s more than conference and national title hopes, rivalry bragging rights and national prestige on the line for No. 1 Alabama when it hosts No. 13 LSU Saturday night. This game is about taking back the pants of the home-field relationship.
Alabama and LSU have played each other all over the place: Baton Rouge and New Orleans in Louisiana, and Birmingham, Mobile, Montgomery and Tuscaloosa in Alabama. Though the Crimson Tide holds a 47-25-5 advantage in the all-time series, Alabama certainly doesn’t have any home-field advantage to speak of entering this game.
The Tigers have owned the deed to Bama’s house lately. Dating back to 1997, LSU has won six of the last eight against Alabama at Bryant-Denny Stadium and eight of the last 12 going back to 1988. Les Miles is 3-1 in Tuscaloosa as the Tigers’ head coach. And if you believe the old “we must protect this house” Under Armour commercials, that’s all unacceptable.
Sure, the Crimson Tide has returned the favor and are 25-9-2 all-time against the Tigers in Baton Rouge, but Alabama can’t be thrilled about an SEC West rival enjoying that much recent success on their home turf. And that’s not even considering the fact LSU has won the last three in Birmingham, going back to 1982.
Saturday night, Nick Saban and Co. have an opportunity to reverse that trend. With a victory, Alabama will have won two of the last three meetings at Bryant-Denny and will improve its narrow 10-9 series lead at the venue.
Amazingly, LSU accounts for nearly 20 percent of Alabama’s losses at its home stadium. Since the first game in 1929, the Crimson Tide is an impressive 212-50-3 at Bryant-Denny. Though it must be noted that record comes with two caveats. First: it does not account for 15 vacated wins. And second: Alabama played a significant portion of its home games at Birmingham’s Legion Field from the 1960s through the 90s.
Still, with a win the Tigers will knot the all-time series at a venue in which the Crimson Tide has won 80 percent of its games. A program as proud as Alabama expects to own every single opponent, especially at home. With a big performance Saturday night the Tide will be one step closer to wresting control of Bryant-Denny back from LSU.