GAMEDAY: Fact or fiction: The LSU hangover

GAMEDAY: Fact or fiction: The LSU hangover

Alabama defeated Mississippi State 25-20 during last year's game. CW file

It seems that every season many Crimson Tide fans always fear the game after LSU. The LSU game is historically considered the most physical and sometimes the most emotional game for Alabama each year. For a lot of programs in the country, there seems to be a hangover after they play top teams in the nation, and sports reporters love the chance to bring up the 2012 Texas A&M loss as an example.

Alabama had just come off of a tough win against LSU the week before in 2012. A last minute go-ahead touchdown from T.J. Yeldon sealed the deal. 

In a blink of an eye, Alabama trailed the Aggies 20-0. Alabama seemed to not be ready and eventually lost. Many still attribute that loss to an LSU hangover.

This week is a little different, though. Alabama is playing Mississippi State, not Texas A&M. Every year since Nick Saban has coached Alabama, except for 2012, Alabama has traditionally played Mississippi State after LSU. Saban has coached at Alabama since 2007, and has only lost to Mississippi State once. That one time was his first season, 2007. Saban has won seven straight against the Bulldogs, and six of those times have been post-LSU games. So it seems that Saban has the Bulldogs' number, hangover or no hangover.

Last season, if there was any time that Alabama fans would have been the most nervous, it would have been then. Alabama had just come off another emotional and physical win against LSU in overtime. Not only that, Mississippi State was undefeated and ranked No. 1 in the nation coming into Tuscaloosa. Alabama looked as if it was doomed. Many sports reporters brought out the hangover theory once again to say that Alabama could not win this game, but didn’t we establish Saban has the Bulldogs' number? 

If anything, it seemed Mississippi State was the team with a hangover, as Alabama jumped to a 19-3 lead in the first half and would go on to win again.

So is there really an LSU hangover? Yeah, there was 2012, but maybe it was because the Heisman-winner quarterback Johnny Manziel had the game of his life, not that it was a post-LSU game. 

Well, Alabama always seems to play Mississippi State closer than they should, people argue. Do they? Of the six post-LSU games they have won in a row, Alabama has an average margin of victory over two touchdowns at plus-18 points per game. Saban deserves more credit. From the look of it, there is no such thing as an LSU hangover, even though there probably should be. A lot of programs lose games after emotional victories, but Saban’s team does not.

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