BATON ROUGE, La. -- It’s Saturday night in Tiger Stadium
Nightfall is still about 30 minutes away, but this place will be bedlam later on tonight.
Alabama vs. LSU stirs the emotions in this league like few other rivalries, and it’s only intensified because of the Nick Saban factor.
Saban won a national championship at LSU in 2003 and steered the program out of the doldrums. But after jumping briefly to the NFL and deciding it wasn’t for him, he resurfaced in the SEC … at Alabama.
The fans on the Bayou still haven’t forgiven him.
The LSU student section booed loudly earlier when Saban strolled across the turf and began chanting a not-so-nice expletive.
One thing’s for sure: This crowd will be ready. Most of the fans have been on campus tailgating since well before noon. Just getting onto campus was a nightmare. In addition to the nearly 100,000 people who will be in the stadium, there might be another 50,000 on campus partying it up as only they can here on the Bayou.
This is clearly Alabama's toughest stretch of the season. If the Crimson Tide can win here tonight, they get Texas A&M next week in Tuscaloosa. The Aggies are playing as well as anybody right now in the SEC and destroyed Mississippi State 38-13 in Starkville earlier Saturday.
LSU has had a much tougher schedule to this point. The Tigers have already beaten Texas A&M on the road and South Carolina at home. Their only loss was to Florida on the road.
We'll find out a lot more about both teams tonight in one of the great settings in all of sports.