The Alabama vs. LSU football rivalry is not considered one of the greatest, most extreme or intense rivalries in college football, but in recent years the intensity has been on the rise. Look for the rivalry to really heat up now that coach Nick Saban has won national championships at both schools. While coaching at LSU Saban won the 2003 national championship and in January of 2010 he won the title at Alabama.
LSU won the first game ever played between the two schools way back in 1895, 12-6 in a game played in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It wasn’t considered a rivalry back then because they didn’t even play each other every season. They didn’t begin to play each other every year until 1964. They actually had stretches of years when they didn’t play each other. From 1908-1918 and from 1931-1943 they didn’t meet at all on the football field.
It was tough calling the game between LSU and Alabama a rivalry because Alabama was winning most of the games played between the two schools. Between 1971 and 1981 Alabama won all 11 games played with Paul “Bear” Bryant as their coach. And beginning with the 1970 season, LSU didn’t win a home game against Alabama until the year 2000. This is when the real rivalry started because LSU went on to win 7 of the next 8 games played starting in 2000.
Since Alabama has a winning record against every team in the Southeastern Conference, it’s hard to establish what a rivalry really is with them. With LSU, on the losing end of a 45-23-5 record with Alabama, you have to pick certain victories they’ve had over Alabama in establishing a rivalry with them. One big LSU win came when they were 3-5 and they beat #5 rated Alabama 17-13 in 1993. This loss ended Alabama’s 31 game unbeaten streak.
Another game that added to the rivalry was the first meeting between the two schools since Nick Saban had left LSU. His Crimson Tide team lost to his former LSU Tigers 41-34 in a wild game in 2007. But the following season Saban went back to LSU for the first time since leaving there and his #1 rated Tide won an overtime game, 27-21.
Every year now LSU and Alabama are considered two of the top teams in the SEC West. And even more impressive is the fact that they are both considered two of the top programs in the whole country. The rivalry will heat up more and more as each team begins to win games. When teams are rivals, it gets more heated when one team doesn’t win every year. And with Les Miles coaching LSU and Nick Saban coaching Alabama, it will be hard for either school to have a long winning streak against the other.
The rivalry between Alabama and LSU shows all the signs of being one of the best ever because each year they play, not only a berth in the SEC title could be on the line, but a shot a national title could be won or lost. Alabama vs. LSU is now considered a great rivalry.
By NadineDoerle from Pixabay