Examining how Alabama's recent victory over LSU compares to other recent wins against the Tigers

The energy level in Bryant-Denny Stadium before kickoff on Saturday felt like a playoff atmosphere- at least until the laughter started.

At one point late in the game an LSU offensive lineman caught a pass (illegally) and the flags immediately flew out. First of all credit the lineman for making a great catch, but would the laughter have been so loud if Alabama hadn’t already essentially locked the game up?

LSU technically had the time to comeback at that point, but the way the game was going Alabama secured its victory long before the clock hit zero. In fact I would argue that game was almost as dominant a performance as the rivalry has seen since the current five-game winning streak began.

Since the win streak began Alabama has won the games by an average of 13.4 points per game. That average suggests Saturday’s 30-16 victory was a typical performance from the Crimson Tide, but no game was really further out of reach at the beginning of the fourth quarter than the most recent edition.

In the game that started it all, the 2011 BCS National Championship Alabama entered the fourth quarter up 15 points before winning the game 21-0. The Crimson Tide also won by 21 points in 2013, but Alabama entered the fourth quarter up on seven points.

The following list of numbers is how Alabama has fared in the yardage battle beginning with the championship game in 2011 and ending with Saturday’s matchup: +292, -104*, +88, +56, +252. Right away it’s obvious that again that two of Alabama’s victories stand apart from the rest of the pack.

I could pick any number of stats to illustrate Alabama’s dominance, but there’s really only one major statistical category left- time of possession. Saturday Alabama held the ball almost 19 minutes longer than LSU. To put that in respect here are the time of possession differences (rounded to the nearest minute) for Alabama starting with the championship matchup: +6, -10*, +7, +16. This time around the two recent games standout the most.

The most recent matchup is the only game that stands out in all three categories. If LSU wins out then perhaps Alabama will get a chance to improve upon its performance and extend the win streak later this season, but until then this game should represent the potential the team has not only in this rivalry but every week.

*- Alabama really had no business winning the 2012 regular season matchup. The Crimson Tide also lost the turnover battle (-2) for the only time in the rivalry since the win streak began. 

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