Nick Saban's impact on the Alabama-LSU rivalry

Nick Saban is preparing for his 15th Alabama-LSU rivalry game. Over those 14 seasons, five of the schools ended the season as national champions.Take a look at the crazy stats of this rivalry from the years when Saban was leading the teams.

The LSU years

From 2000 to 2004, Saban coached LSU. He won his first national championship while coaching the Tigers in 2003. Saban played the Crimson Tide all five seasons, and won four of them. In the five games, LSU averaged 23.6 points per game while Alabama averaged 18.6. The first two games, both teams were unranked and LSU won. The third game in 2002 was Saban’s first loss in the rivalry. The Tigers were ranked No. 14 while Alabama was No. 10 in the nation. Alabama shut out LSU 31-0. It was the most lopsided game of the rivalry that Saban has participated in. LSU was ranked the next two seasons in the matchup and won the games pretty handily.

YearResultScoreRankings
2000 (Home)Won 30-28No Rankings
2001 (Away)Won35-21No Rankings
2002 (Home)Lost31-014 LSU, 10 UA
2003 (Away)Won27-33 LSU
2004 (Home)Won26-1017 LSU

The Switch to Alabama

Saban left LSU after the 2004 season to go to the NFL. He only coached the Miami Dolphins for two seasons before he decided to go back to college football. Alabama hired Saban in 2007 and if the game was not a rivalry before, it seemed to catch some steam now that Saban traded sides. 

The first meeting in 2007 did not go Saban’s way though, as Les Miles took a No. 3 ranked LSU to Tuscaloosa and beat Saban’s Crimson Tide 41-34. LSU would go on to win the national title in 2007. The game was closer than expected though, and the next several years seemed to follow suit. Miles and Saban split the first four games and then the season that defined the rivalry came in 2011. The “Game of the Century,” it was coined. No. 2 Alabama hosted No. 1 LSU. An unprecedented 45 players from the two teams would go on to play in the NFL. The game was a defensive battle and ended with a 9-6 LSU victory. Alabama would get a rematch though in the national championship.

Alabama won the second time around 21-0 to claim Saban’s second national championship. Since that game Alabama has won three straight. Last year’s 2014 matchup was the first one to go to overtime where Alabama won 20-17. Saban has a 6-3 record now against the Tigers and is looking win his seventh game this weekend. Over the nine games Saban has coached against the Tigers, Alabama averages 23.5 points per game. LSU has averaged 17.4 points per game. In all nine games, at least one team has been ranked in the top five. In eight of the nine games, both teams were ranked. Right now Alabama is ranked No. 7 in the AP rankings while LSU is ranked No. 4. This Saturday will be the ninth straight game between the two schools that both teams were ranked.

YearResultScoreRankings
2007 (Home)Lost41-343 LSU
2008 (Away)Won27-2115 LSU, 1 UA
2009 (Home)Won24-159 LSU, 3 UA
2010 (Away)Lost24-2112 LSU, 5 UA
2011 (Home)Lost9-61 LSU, 2 UA
* 2011 (Neutral)Won21-01 LSU, 2 UA
2012 (Away)Won21-175 LSU, 1 UA
2013 (Home)Won38-1710 LSU, 1 UA
2014 (Away)Won20-13 (OT)16 LSU, 5 UA

Overall LSU-Alabama Saban Stats

  • Saban is 10-4 in the rivalry game
  • He is 4-3 at home and 5-1 away
  • His team averages 23.6 points per game
  • His opponent averages 17.9 points per game

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