Undefeated college football powerhouses LSU (8-0) and Alabama (8-0) are set to do battle on the gridiron in Tuscaloosa, Alabama next weekend to decide who's No. 1 in the BCS.
The much anticipated matchup has been on the horizon ever since LSU knocked off Oregon in week 1.
Both teams are 5-0 in the SEC, and have made it look easy thus far.
Both teams boast elite national championship-winning head coaches in Nick Saban and Les Miles, and superb shutdown defenses, ranked among the top in the nation.
The matchup has been labeled a toss up by most college football experts considering each team has a neutralizing factor for the other.
But I'm here to tell you why the LSU Tigers will ride their third-ranked defense to a road win in front of a hostile Alabama Crimson Tide crowd on Nov. 5.
Although Alabama's defense is allowing only 6.9 points per game in 2011—the best in the nation—I like the playmaking tendencies of the LSU defense to take over.
Cornerbacks Tyrann Mathieu and Morris Claiborne will have moments that change the "tide" of the game.
Mathieu, who was suspended for LSU's win over Auburn last week, already has two interceptions, three forced fumbles and two defensive touchdowns in 2011.
Claiborne has three interceptions to his name in eight games this season and changed the West Virginia game with a clutch kickoff return touchdown late in the third quarter.
Dominant Front Four
LSU's dominant defensive line will also play a critical role for the Tigers on the road against Alabama.
Crimson Tide Heisman candidate running back Trent Richardson has worn down every opposing front seven by the second half of the game this season.
LSU only allows 11.5 points per game in 2011, which bodes well for Tiger fans who can rest assured that their club's offense is much more dynamic than the Tide's.
The Tigers can throw two very different and equally talented quarterbacks at Alabama next weekend.
Both Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson have solid experience under center in the SEC and have proven themselves time and again.
The two signal callers have combined for 15 touchdowns and just one interception through the air in 2011, and have each completed more than 60 percent of their passes this season.
Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron has been consistent in 2011, but hardly has the talent to win a game for the Tide, especially over an opponent as stacked as LSU.
The bottom line is that LSU-Alabama will be the college football game of the year regardless of the outcome.
Neither team has been tested this season and the winner will likely win its way all the way through to the BCS National Championship Game this January.
I like LSU to be that team.
LSU does just enough to slow down Richardson and the Tigers make some big plays on defense en route to a 27-24 win at Bryant-Denny Stadium.