The dynamic between LSU and Alabama in 2011 was fascinating. After the Tigers just barely beat the Crimson Tide 9-6 in Tuscaloosa, they could hardly move the ball over the 50-yard line when they met again in New Orleans in January.
Since that night, Alabama has won all five games between the two teams. SEC on CBS commentator Gary Danielson believes that night in January really mattered. He had this to say on the Paul Finebaum Show on Wednesday:
“The last five games, you know 0-5, really stand apart because the line of demarcation is obviously that 2011 national championship game,” Danielson said. “I admire a lot of things about Les (Miles), he’s his own man he wasn’t going to back down he wasn’t going to release assistant coaches. If somebody was going to be fired it was going to be Les and I admire that about him, but if I think if he could have one do-over: When he was on the field after that 9-6 victory in Tuscaloosa and he told Tracy Wolfson, ‘We would be proud to play Alabama again in the national championship game.’
“It’s amazing the before and after,” Danielson said. “…It’s a clear line of demarcation in that football game.”
Since that night, the Crimson Tide have won another national title and LSU hasn’t won another. Alabama has won two more SEC championships while the Tigers haven’t claimed another title. Perhaps Danielson is on to something.
If anything might save LSU, it might be the game’s location in Baton Rouge. The Tigers, although losing both times, have had much closer losses to Alabama in 2012 (21-17) and 2014 (20-13 in OT).