ESPN College GameDay Heads South for Week 11 LSU vs. Alabama Showdown

Brian Leigh@@BLeighDATFeatured ColumnistNovember 2, 2013

BATON ROUGE, LA - NOVEMBER 03:  T.J. Yeldon #4 of Alabama carries the ball against Craig Loston #6 of LSU at Tiger Stadium on November 3, 2012 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

For the first time since Week 5, when LSU traveled to Athens, Ga. for a game with the Georgia Bulldogs, ESPN's College Gameday will head back to SEC country next Saturday.

Again the crew will see LSU play a true road game, this time traveling to Bryant-Denny Stadium for the Tigers' annual matchup with No. 1 Alabama, according to Gameday correspondent Sam Ponder:

LSU-Alabama is always one of the season's highlights. Last year, the Tigers almost derailed Alabama's national title season in Baton Rouge, but a late screen pass from AJ McCarron to T.J. Yeldon capped the Crimson Tide's comeback and propelled them to a 21-17 win.

The year before that, the rivals met twice in the same season: once in SEC play, and again in the BCS National Championship Game. LSU won the first meeting 9-6 in overtime, but Alabama took the game that really mattered 21-0, not allowing the Tigers to cross midfield until there were eight minutes left in the game.

Despite having lost twice already this season, LSU is ranked No. 13 in the BCS standings and has more than enough horses to give Alabama a scare. Around quarterback Zach Mettenberger, guys like Jeremy Hill, Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. are three of the best skill-position players in America.

And even though the defense has struggled to replace departed players from last season, whenever coordinator John Chavis is patrolling the sidelines, that unit always stands a chance of coming up big.

Alabama is a near-consensus choice at No. 1 in the country, but its schedule has been criticized for lacking consistent competition. This is one of the few weeks where it could legitimately go down, which would (quite obviously) shuffle the deck of the national title picture.

Week 11 is an exciting one, as Oregon plays at Stanford in a game that could decide the Pac-12, and Oklahoma travels to Baylor for the Bears' biggest test to date. Had either of those games taken place on Saturday, Gameday producers might have had to consider spurning LSU-Alabama.

But alas, both of those games will take place on a stacked edition of Thursday night football, making Tuscaloosa an easy choice over places like Ann Arbor (for Nebraska at Michigan) or Miami (for Virginia Tech at Miami).

Those games never stood a chance.