TUSCALOOSA, Ala. >> Alabama and LSU are ready for another 1 versus 2 November get-together.
It took eight years, seismic offensive shifts and two Heisman Trophy-contending quarterbacks, but they’re back for another massive meeting between the nation’s two top-ranked teams in the Associated Press poll.
No. 1 LSU (8-0, 4-0 Southeastern Conference, No. 2 College Football Playoff ranking) meets No. 2 Alabama (8-0, 5-0, No. 3 CFP) today at Bryant-Denny Stadium, just like the so-called Game of the Century in 2011. Well, not just like it since those comparatively plodding offenses never reached the end zone and now the Tigers and Crimson Tide have two of the nation’s best.
“It’s very exciting, 1 vs. 2, it’s the best of the best,” Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy said. “Everybody wants to play their best game because it’s 1 vs. 2. You want to go out there and show that you’re the best.”
The big question leading up to the game is the status of Tide quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and his surgically repaired right ankle. Coach Nick Saban has said that will be “a game-time decision,” but Tagovailoa has been practicing and ’Bama remains a 51⁄2-point favorite.
If he’s healthy, it has the makings of an epic quarterback showdown: Tagovailoa and LSU’s Joe Burrow rank among the top three nationally in completion percentage and passing efficiency.
Saban has been cautious, or maybe just coy, in public comments about Tagovailoa’s status. The 2018 Heisman Trophy runner-up has missed the past six-plus quarters since getting injured against Tennessee and had a surgical procedure on his right ankle.
Mac Jones took his place.
“Tua’s worked hard to try to get back where he has an opportunity to play,” Saban said Wednesday night. “He’s been able to practice some. We still don’t know what his status for the game is going to be. We’ll make it when the game comes. We don’t know what kind of setbacks he’s going to have and how he’s going to continue to progress. So, there’s nothing else I can really say about it.”