Alabama coach Nick Saban can’t take the podium at the SEC Media Days without being asked about his team’s recent stretch of dominance.
But this year, Saban was quick to point out that LSU isn’t far behind the Crimson Tide.
“Well, I have a tremendous amount of respect for a lot of teams in our league,” Saban said. “I mean, LSU is very, very good … I think there’s a lot of parity in our league. I think it’s very challenging from a consistency standpoint in our league.”
Saban’s Crimson Tide have won 17 straight games in SEC play dating back to 2015 and have beaten LSU six times in a row dating back to the “Game of the Century” in 2011. But it’s not as if LSU hasn’t been competitive with Alabama. Since Saban’s tenure began in Tuscaloosa, the winner of the Alabama-LSU game hasn’t been ranked outside of the top 5 once, and eight of the 11 games have been decided by 10 points or fewer.
This includes the matchup between the Tide and the Tigers in 2016, when the score was tied 0-0 heading into the fourth quarter before Alabama pulled away, winning 10-0. Alabama cornerback Minkah Fitzpatrick remembers that contest fondly, describing it as one of the more competitive ones he’s participated in during his two seasons at Alabama.
“LSU is definitely one of the most fun games I’ve played in,” Fitzpatrick said, “because every single play matters.”
The Tide and Tigers will face off this season in Tuscaloosa on Nov. 4, 2017. As is almost always the case, Alabama and LSU will both take their bye weeks ahead of the annual showdown, further proving the respect these teams have for one another.
Alabama is one of five SEC road games for LSU this season, fitting in the middle of a grueling schedule that includes trips to Florida, Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Tennessee.