Alabama has fairly inarguably been LSU’s biggest rival in football over the last 15 years since the program hired former Tigers national title-winning coach Nick Saban.
However, the temperature of a rivalry doesn’t really depend on how competitive the series is. After all, Alabama leads the all-time series 55-26-5 and has dropped this game just four times since Saban was hired in 2007.
The Crimson Tide are in the midst of an especially dominant stretch, and when the two teams face off in Tiger Stadium on Saturday in a game that could determine the SEC West, LSU will be looking for just its second win in the series since 2011.
With that in mind, here’s what happens the last five times the Tigers came out victorious in this rivalry, beginning with perhaps the most iconic game in series history.
2019: No. 2 LSU 46, No. 3 Alabama 41
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Both of these teams entered this game at 8-0, and LSU was in the midst of one of the best seasons for any team in college football history. We knew the Tigers were good, but this was the night we realized just how good.
In a duel between future top-10 NFL draft picks in [autotag]Joe Burrow[/autotag] and Tua Tagovailoa, the passers combined for more than 800 yards and seven passing touchdowns. But a nearly flawless night from Burrow and a three-touchdown game from [autotag]Clyde Edwards-Helaire[/autotag] proved to be enough as LSU upset the Crimson Tide on the road.
No one knocked off coach [autotag]Ed Orgeron[/autotag] and LSU that season as the team finished 15-0 and earned the program’s third national title this century. The Tigers are still searching for their first win over ‘Bama since.
2011: No. 1 LSU 9, No. 2 Alabama 6 (OT)
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Before that win in 2019, Alabama had rattled off eight-straight wins in the series. To find the last LSU victory, we have to go back to 2011 when the two teams also met as unbeaten squads in November.
In what was dubbed the “Game of the Century” heading in, neither team crossed the plane as each traded field goals. This game went to overtime tied at six before Drew Alleman kicked the game-winning field goal.
LSU went on to win the SEC and drew the Crimson Tide in a rematch in the BCS National Championship Game. Unfortunately, we saw the script flip in that one as Alabama shut out the Tigers en route to Saban’s second title in Tuscaloosa.
2010: No. 10 LSU 24, No. 6 Alabama 21
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It’s easy to forget that LSU actually won back-to-back games in this series back in the early goings of Saban’s tenure at Alabama. His team in 2010 was likely the weakest he’s had at Alabama in the final season with Greg McElroy at quarterback, and the Tigers took advantage, handing the Tide its second lost of the season.
Neither offense was great in this game, but a 75-yard passing touchdown from [autotag]Jordan Jefferson[/autotag] to [autotag]Rueben Randle[/autotag] early in the third quarter proved to make the difference in this one. LSU actually led by 10 in the final five minutes before a late ‘Bama touchdown made things close.
Unfortunately for both teams, neither won the West as rival Auburn captured a national championship with Cam Newton that season.
2007: No. 3 LSU 41, No. 17 Alabama 34
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The ‘Bama was a very different program in Saban’s first season in 2007. They finished that year just 7-6 with a loss to Louisana-Monroe. But Alabama showed a glimpse of what it would become in this game, taking the No. 3 team in the country to the wire.
LSU jumped out to a 17-3 lead, but Alabama would take control before the half and ultimately stretch a 10-point lead in the third quarter. After a back-and-forth conclusion to the game, Jacob Hester scored the game-winning touchdown with less than 1:30 to play. This marked the last victory in a five-game Tigers winning streak during the mid-2000s
Despite losing to unranked Arkansas in triple overtime three weeks later and finishing the season with two losses, LSU went on to win a national title with Les Miles in an off-the-wall 2007 season.
2006: No. 12 LSU 28, Alabama 14
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Considering Alabama boasts arguably the two greatest coaches in college football history, it’s easily forgotten that this team was in a pretty bad spot before Saban took over. In 2006, the final season under Mike Shula, the team went 6-7 and lost by two touchdowns to a superior LSU team, which finished the year with an 11-2 record and Sugar Bowl win.
JaMarcus Russell torched the Tide in this game, completing 18 of 21 passes for 201 yards and three touchdowns. This was also the last time the Tigers faced an unranked Alabama team.
Despite how lopsided this series has been in recent years, LSU once had a tight hold on it. The Tigers won six of seven against the Crimson Tide in the 2000s in the years leading up to Saban’s hiring.
It will be unlikely to start a streak like that again, at least while Saban is still coaching, but winning this game in Year 1 would certainly send a strong message from Kelly.