Fun Facts For LSU vs. Alabama
by Donovan Tennimon
Nov 03, 2013 9:47 PM EST
In anticipation of the most hyped game of the season in the SEC come random factoids concerning both programs and their coaches. These are two of the most successful teams in all of college football during the last 10-plus years. LSU and Alabama have combined to win five of the last 10 BCS national championships. In that time frame, both teams have gone to the BCS championship game three times.
In the last four years, the Crimson Tide and the Bayou Bengals easily lead the SEC in conference winning percentage and overall winning percentage. Alabama’s senior class has won 87.5 percent of their conference games (27-5) and 90.7 percent of their overall games (49-5). Meanwhile, LSU’s seniors are 25-7 in the SEC, good for 78.1 percent, and 43-10 overall (81.1 percent).
Les Miles and Nick Saban are Yankees leading southern teams. Miles is a native of Ohio and was an offensive lineman under head coach Bo Schembechler at the University of Michigan. Saban is originally from West Virginia and played under Don James at Kent State.
Miles and Saban were leading second-tier programs prior to being named head coach at LSU. Saban was at Michigan State and Miles was at Oklahoma State. Despite both schools having quality programs, they always played second fiddle to traditional in-state powerhouses Michigan and Oklahoma, respectively.
Through nine games this season, Miles has a 92-23 record at LSU. That’s good for second all-time in school history behind Charlie McClendon’s 137 career wins. Saban is 76-13 so far in his tenure at Alabama. He is currently in third place on the all-time Alabama wins list behind Frank Thomas (115) and Paul Bryant (232).
This will be the seventh regular-season meeting between Miles and Saban. The series record is even at three games apiece. Two games have gone to overtime. Alabama won in OT in 2008 in Baton Rouge and LSU won in Tuscaloosa during the Game of the Century in 2011. No regular-season contest has been decided by more than nine points and the average margin of victory has been 5.3 points.
When facing off against each other, these two programs actually play better as the road team than as the home team. Did you know legendary Alabama head coach Paul “Bear” Bryant called Tiger Stadium the toughest place to play in college football? He stated, “Baton Rouge happens to be the worst place in the world for a visiting team. It's like being inside a drum.” Ironically, coach Bryant had a 14-2 record at Tiger Stadium.
Alabama did not lose at Tiger Stadium from 1971 to 2000. Originating with a now-famous pregame interruption of Alabama coach Bill Curry by an offensive lineman in 1987, the phrase "the Tide don't lose in Baton Rouge" was born.
Going back to the 1993 season, LSU has a 7-3 record in Tuscaloosa, and at one point won four in a row at Bryant-Denny Stadium (2001-07).