Alabama's No. 1 spot in the BCS standings will be on the line again Saturday when the Tide host LSU (8 p.m. ET, CBS). The Tigers represent one of the last significant hurdles that Alabama has to clear to get to the national title game. If Alabama gets past LSU, the only worrisome game remaining on its regular season schedule is a road trip to Auburn.
LSU's offense has been impressive this season, and if the Tigers win this game, that probably will be the reason why. Their defense is uncharacteristically vulnerable, and Alabama is averaging more than seven yards per play this season.
Rankings and records: Alabama is 8-0 (5-0) this season. The Tide rank first in the BCS standings, the AP Poll and the Coaches' Poll. LSU is 7-2 (3-2), ranked 10th in the AP Poll, 12th in the Coaches' Poll and 13th in the BCS. Alabama has a 47-25-5 all-time record against the Tigers.
Weather: The high in Tuscaloosa is expected to hit 70. There's no rain in the forecast.
Three names to know
A.J. McCarron -- Steady as usual, McCarron has 16 touchdown throws against three interceptions. He is completing 69.4 percent of his throws while averaging an impressive 8.9 yards per attempt. He has not thrown an interception since September.
Zach Mettenberger -- Mettenberger ranks among the nation's top 10 in both passer rating (177.07) and yards per attempt (10.8).
Odell Beckham Jr. -- The first step in slowing LSU's passing attack is blanketing Beckham, who is already over 1,000 yards receiving this year. He is averaging 21 yards per catch and has had 100 yards receiving or more in five of nine games.
Two things at stake
Alabama is in full control of its BCS Championship Game destiny at this point. A loss to LSU would not only knock the Tide down a few pegs, it would inject some chaos into the BCS, not to mention the SEC West. A victory for the Tide gets them past one of their last two significant regular-season hurdles -- the last being their trip to Auburn to end the year.
LSU can theoretically still win the West, but with two conference losses already, a victory over Alabama is essential. A win over the Tide would improve the Tigers' bowl stock, giving them a better shot at receiving a BCS bowl bid whether they win the West or not.
How to witness
TV: CBS, 8 p.m. ET (Verne Lundquist, Gary Danielson, Tracy Wolfson)
Online streaming: SEC Live
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