Alabama is the only undefeated team in the SEC. There are three one-loss teams: Georgia, Kentucky and LSU. One of those is the Crimson Tide’s next opponent.
If No. 1 Alabama defeats No. 3 LSU on the road Saturday, the Crimson Tide officially clinches the West and punches its ticket to the SEC Championship Game. The Tigers haven’t lost a game in Tiger Stadium.
“There’s so much on the line when this game comes around as far as implications of the whole season,” UA offensive lineman Ross Pierschbacher said. “Sometimes, you have some doubts during the game. I remember during that ’14 (game) and ’16 too, you’re like, ‘Well, if we lose this game, where do we go from here?’”
In 2016, Alabama was the top-ranked team nationally heading into No. 15 LSU territory. Both teams went into the fourth quarter scoreless. A 21-yard run from UA quarterback Jalen Hurts and a 25-yard field goal from Adam Griffith gave the Crimson Tide a late 10-0 victory.
The 2014 game went into overtime in Death Valley. Alabama was No. 4 and LSU was No. 14. Blake Sims threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to DeAndrew White to give the Crimson Tide a 20-13 win.
Pierschbacher wasn’t necessarily concerned about losing either game, but the earlier one put him through the wringer since he had to watch from the sideline.
“I was thinking it more because it was my first year there, redshirting, so I was almost like a spectator the whole season,” he said. “So I was definitely worried. When you’re playing, you don’t really think about it as much. You’re thinking, ‘What’s my job? Keep moving forward regardless of the circumstances.’”
Both years saw Alabama go on to win the SEC Championship Game but ultimately lose during its College Football Playoff run.
Not projecting, though. This year’s regular season isn’t over. In fact, this weekend is the Crimson Tide’s first top-five matchup.
“You definitely find out about yourself in a game like this,” Alabama linebacker Christian Miller said. “But I wouldn’t say we don’t know how we’re going to respond. I think we’re going to do what we do, and that’s play football.”
Reach Terrin Waack at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 205-722-0229.