No. 3 Alabama Hosts No. 9 LSU
Nov. 2, 2009
GAME 9: ALABAMA (8-0, 5-0 SEC)
THE GAME: The No. 3 University of Alabama football team finishes a three-game Southeastern Conference homestand with a visit from the ninth-ranked LSU Tigers, on Saturday, Nov. 7, at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The game is scheduled to kick off at 2:30 p.m. on CBS with Verne Lundquist, Gary Danielson and Tracy Wolfson calling the action. Eli Gold, Phil Savage and Barry Krauss will have the radio call on the Crimson Tide Sports Network.
HEAD COACH Nick Saban: Alabama head coach Nick Saban (Kent State, 1973) is in his third season with the Crimson Tide. He was named the school’s 27th head coach on January 3, 2007. Saban has compiled a 118-50-1 (.701) record as a collegiate head coach with a 27-8 (.771) mark at Alabama that includes an 8-0 record this year with a 5-0 mark in the SEC. He captured his 100th career win and coached his 150th game as a collegiate head coach during the 2008 campaign. In 2003, Saban led LSU to a 13-1 record and the BCS National Championship. Overall, Saban has coached three conference championship teams (1990 Mid-American, 2001 SEC and 2003 SEC) and nine of his 12 teams have played in post-season bowl games with Alabama already bowl eligible this season. Saban is one of two (Bob Stoops) current Football Bowl Subdivision coaches to coach for at least 10 years and not suffer a losing season.
RANKINGS: Alabama was ranked fifth in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches’ preseason polls. It was the highest preseason ranking for the Tide since the 2000 season when they opened at No. 3. Since that time, the Crimson Tide has moved up to No. 2 in both the AP and the coaches’ poll this week. The Tide moved to No. 4 after the opening weekend with an Oklahoma loss and then to No. 3 in week three when Southern California fell. The Tide jumped Texas in the AP poll in week six and then overtook Florida for the top spot in week seven before slipping back to No. 2 in week eight and No. 3 in week nine during a bye week. UA garnered eight first-place votes in the AP poll and five in the coaches’ poll this week.
THE ALABAMA-LSU SERIES: Alabama leads the all-time series with LSU 44-23-5 in a series that dates back to the 1895 season. The 2009 game will be the 73rd meeting between these two long-time Southern football rivals. The Tigers won the inaugural meeting in Baton Rouge, 12-6, on Nov. 18, 1895. The two teams did not meet again until the 1902 season, with LSU prevailing once again. Alabama’s first series win came on Nov. 9, 1903, in Baton Rouge as the Crimson Tide scored a 10-0 victory. From 1919-45, Alabama posted a 12-game unbeaten streak (9-0-3) against LSU. The series was resumed during the 1944 season with the Tigers gaining a slight advantage over the next nine meetings, posting a 5-3-1 record from 1946-58. Alabama went 16-2 (.889) against LSU from 1964-81, including a series-long 11-game winning streak from 1971-81. LSU also ended UA’s school record 31-game (30-0-1) unbeaten streak with a 17-13 win at Bryant-Denny Stadium in 1993. The Tigers snapped a 15-game winless streak to the Crimson Tide in Tiger Stadium with a 30-28 win in Baton Rouge on Nov. 4, 2000. LSU has won eight of the last 13 meetings, dating back to 1997. Alabama snapped a five-game series skid with last year’s 27-21 overtime win in Baton Rouge. The Tide has not beaten LSU in Tuscaloosa since a 23-17 win in 1999. Four Alabama cities have played host to this rivalry, including Tuscaloosa, Mobile, Montgomery and Birmingham. The Tide owns a 19-14-2 record in the state of Alabama.
NATIONAL CHAMPIONS: Nick Saban, Les Miles, Steve Spurrier and Urban Meyer are the four active SEC coaches to win a national championship. Saban led LSU to a 13-1 record and the BCS National Championship in 2003, while Miles led the Tigers to the BCS National Championship in 2007. Spurrier guided Florida to a 12-1 ledger and the school’s first national title in 1996. Meyer has two national titles with the Gators in 2006 and 2008.
BEATING THE BEST: Alabama is 6-2 against the Associated Press Top 25 over the 2008 and 2009 seasons. The Crimson Tide’s 34-24 win over Virginia Tech in the season opener was the Tide’s third win over a top-10 team dating back to the start of the 2008 season. Alabama is 3-0 against the AP Top 25 in the 2009 season and will face No. 9 LSU on Saturday.
Alabama vs. Top 25 Opponents (since the start of the 2008 season)
ALABAMA 25-1 UNDER SABAN WHEN LEADING AT THE HALF: Alabama has led at the half of its last seven games. The Crimson Tide is 25-1 when leading at halftime under head coach Nick Saban, including a 19-game winning streak. The only loss came against LSU during the 2007 season when UA held a 20-17 halftime lead before losing, 41-34, on Nov. 3, 2007, at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The Crimson Tide is 1-5 under Saban when trailing at halftime and 1-2 when tied at halftime. The lone win when trailing at the half came in the 34-24 win over No. 7 Virginia Tech in the 2009 season opener in Atlanta. Alabama’s lone win when tied at halftime came last year at LSU.
16 NATIONAL TV GAMES IN LAST TWO YEARS: The LSU game, which will be broadcast on CBS, will be the Crimson Tide’s 16th national television game since the start of the 2008 season. UA opened the season with a national ABC broadcast against Virginia Tech and then CBS broadcast the Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee games. ESPN broadcast the Tide’s win over South Carolina in Bryant-Denny Stadium. In 2008, Alabama had 10 of its 14 games broadcast nationally, including five games on CBS, three games on ESPN, one on ABC and one on FOX. The 10 nationally broadcast games last year were tied with Notre Dame for the most in the nation.
BEST COACHING STARTS: Nick Saban has compiled a 27-8 (.772) record in his career with the Tide and the 27 wins rank as the fourth-most for any Crimson Tide head football coach after 35 games. Xen Scott had 25 wins through his first 35 games with the Crimson Tide and Paul “Bear” Bryant had 23. Wallace Wade holds the record for most wins after 35 games with 31 victories. Frank Thomas is second with 30 wins in 35 games while Gene Stallings third with 29. Below are the most wins by UA coaches after the first 35 and 36 career games.
Most Wins (After 35 Games)
Most Wins (After 36 Games)
NEXT GAME: The Crimson Tide travels 83 miles up highway 82 for their third SEC road game of the season on Saturday, Nov. 14, against the Mississippi State Bulldogs. Alabama leads the all-time series with MSU 72-18-3. The Tide snapped a two-game losing streak to the Bulldogs last season with a 32-7 win in Tuscaloosa. UA’s last win in Starkville was a 17-0 shutout in 2005. The Alabama-Mississippi State game will begin at 6 p.m. (CT) and will be televised by either ESPN or espn2.