A Game 7 is always huge.
This will be the seventh meeting between LSU coach Les Miles and Alabama coach Nick Saban since the former LSU mentor arrived at The Capstone in 2007. Their personal series is tied 3-3.
Overall, Miles is 5-3 against Alabama, the most wins by any LSU coach against the Crimson Tide. Overall, Saban is 3-4 against the Tigers, including a 45-26 loss in the 1995 Independence Bowl when he was at Michigan State.
As has often been the case, there are national championship implications on the line Saturday. Here’s a look back at their first six encounters:
NOV. 3, 2007 — NO. 3 LSU 41, NO. 17 ALABAMA 34:
Almost as soon as Saban leaves the Miami Dolphins to take the Alabama job this game in Tuscaloosa, Ala., is dubbed the “Saban Bowl.” With both teams 4-1 in the SEC, No. 3 LSU has to win to stay on track for the national title game. Tied 34-34 with less than 3 minutes left, Chad Jones forces a fumble from John Parker Wilson to set up the winning 1-yard TD run by Jacob Hester with 1:26 remaining. MILES 1, SABAN 0
NOV. 8, 2008 — NO. 1 ALABAMA 27, NO. 15 LSU 21 (OT)
Saban was cheered when he brought his Miami Dolphins to Tiger Stadium to play the New Orleans Saints in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina. They booed him lustily as he returned with the top-ranked Crimson Tide. A Jarrett Lee pick six helped the Tide force overtime, which ends on a 1-yard sneak for a touchdown by John Parker Wilson. MILES 1, SABAN 1
NOV. 7, 2009 — NO. 3 ALABAMA 24, NO. 9 LSU 15
The Tigers take a 15-10 lead into the fourth quarter but manage only 9 net yards total offense in the final 15 minutes. Julio Jones catches a 73-yard touchdown pass that makes the score 21-15 with 10:24 left. A controversial call in which Patrick Peterson is ruled out of bounds when he picks off Greg McElroy allows Bama to put the game out of reach with a 40-yard Leigh Tiffin field goal. SABAN 2, MILES 1
NOV. 6, 2010 — NO. 12 LSU 24, NO. 5 ALABAMA 21
A nibble of grass, a trick play pulled from under his hat, and Miles’ Tigers were back in winning form against the Tide. On fourth-and-1 at the Bama 24, Miles calls for a reverse to tight end DeAngelo Peterson, resulting in a 23-yard run that sets up a 1-yard Stevan Ridley run to put LSU ahead to stay. “I can tell you one thing,” Miles said. “The grass in Tiger Stadium tastes best.” MILES 2, SABAN 2
NOV. 5, 2011 — NO. 1 LSU 9, NO. 2 ALABAMA 6 (OT)
Billed as the Game of the Century, the Tigers and Tide wage a heavyweight defensive slugfest that turns on an incredible defensive play by LSU safety Eric Reid. He intercepts a Marquis Maze pass at the goal line, ripping the ball away from tight end Michael Williams, to force overtime. In OT, after Bama missed its fourth field goal, Drew Alleman calmly drills a 25-yard field goal for the win. MILES 3, SABAN 2
JAN. 9, 2011 — NO. 2 ALABAMA 21, NO. 1 LSU 0
After dropping to only No. 3 with the loss to the Tigers, the Crimson Tide gets back in the top two and forces a rematch in the BCS National Championship Game in New Orleans. This time, it isn’t even close. Alabama dominates LSU completely, piling up a 384-92 edge in total offense en route to its second national title in three years and denying the Tigers’ claim to perhaps the greatest season ever. MILES 3, SABAN 3