There’s been a lot of talk leading up to the big LSU vs. Alabama game this Saturday. Sports writers, TV broadcasters, family, friends and even the mailman all seem to have an opinion. To some people, a matchup like this is the real national championship game. SEC fans are educated about their teams and devotion runs deep. They don’t need the talking heads to tell them what they already know. We asked two superfans to break down the rivalry. One thing is certain; goose bumps are an SEC trademark. Who do you think is going to win?

julie bama3 LSU Superfan vs. Alabama Superfan: Why Theyll Win
Name: Julie
Age: 38
Grad year: 1996
Superfan credentials: Alabama graduate, officer in the alumni association and never misses a football game.

What is your favorite thing about University of Alabama?
“The university has one of most beautiful campuses in the country. It is rich in southern architecture and even with the new buildings and the recent renovation of Bryant-Denny Stadium, the traditional southern feel of the campus has not been compromised.”

Why is Alabama going to beat LSU?

  • Home field advantage: It doesn’t get any better than watching the Tide play in Bryant-Denny Stadium, the fifth largest stadium in the U.S. with a capacity of 101,821. You can really feel the excitement among the fans. You can hear their cheers for miles. I get goose bumps just thinking about it!
  • Defense: Alabama’s defense could be the best defense in the history of college football. The Crimson Tide ranks No. 1 in the nation in scoring defense, total defense and rushing defense. It ranks second in passing defense. Dont’a Hightower is one of the best linebackers in the game and the Tide has not allowed more than 14 points in a game this year. Trent Richardson is by far the best tailback in college football. The amazing depth of Alabama’s defensive line will be the key to the game.
  • Coaching: LSU’s Les Miles is generally regarded as the luckiest coach in college football. As far as X’s and O’s, Saban might be the top coach in college right now.

What’s the tailgating like at Alabama?
“They show up in RV’s days before the games decked out in the traditional hounds-tooth print and crimson tide garb ready to tailgate. Parking lots are closed all over campus to make room for these committed fans. Tailgating is an art form in SEC football.”

Has a rivalry developed over the last 10 years or so?
“Anytime you put a No. 1 and a No. 2 against each other, especially when they regularly play each other in the same conference, it makes for a great game. The fact that these two teams have been top programs for a long time, adds to that rivalry. Plus, Saban is the one that made LSU relevant again a few years a back.”

CBS Local Picks: Who Will Win? The Experts Weigh In

lsu eric LSU Superfan vs. Alabama Superfan: Why Theyll Win
Name: Eric
Age: 38
Grad year: 2000
Superfan credentials: LSU graduate, president of local chapter alumni association, grew up less than a mile from Tiger Stadium.

What’s your favorite thing about LSU?
“I have so many great memories. I love the majestic oaks. I also like the steam tunnels that run underground throughout the campus. I use to play in them as a kid with my brothers. There were rumors of defeated team’s mascots down there, but we could never find them. And when band takes the field and starts to play at Tiger Stadium it is amazing. I get goose bumps even now thinking about it.”

Why is LSU going to beat Alabama?

  • Road warriors: The team is full of road warriors; we have gone on the road all year and won big games, against big time foes. LSU has played a tougher schedule than Alabama.
  • Defense: Alabama’s defense might get the press, but LSU’s defense is second to none. They have only allowed four touchdowns in five SEC games. LSU has great players at defensive end, not to mention a secondary featuring cornerbacks Morris Claiborne and the “Honey Badger,” Tyrann Mathieu. The defense is quick and physical. The only thing I am worried about is the Alabama rushing game. However, with our defense I don’t think it will get going.
  • Turnovers are the X factor: The Tigers haven’t committed a turnover since the third game of the season. Alabama has to play a clean game or LSU will take advantage. LSU is just better and has more depth. Plain and simple.

What’s the tailgating like at LSU?
“I love tailgating at LSU. The food, people and spirit make LSU what it is. The picture is of my family and me tailgating at Tiger Stadium. That’s my buddy Mike’s LSU tailgate Hearse. LSU has the best tailgates in the country and serves Cajun classics like jambalaya and gumbo, Cajun sausage, crawfish, and alligator stew (especially when LSU plays the Gators). Sometimes people roast entire pigs for the Arkansas game.”

Has a rivalry developed over the last 10 years or so?
“The rivalry is so special because we play them every year and Saban coached there. He scorned all Tiger fans and that creates passion. It’s always a rivalry with an SEC school. Geaux Tigers!”

CBS Local Picks: Who Will Win? The Experts Weigh In

Melissa Malamut is a freelance writer, editor and book author. You can follow her on Twitter at @melissamalamut.


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