It's a holiday that only comes once every other year: Alabama's trip into Death Valley.
Sure, the Tide has won its last three games at Tiger Stadium and is 27-9-2 all-time in Baton Rouge, but in theory this should be Alabama's toughest road trip, or at least up there with Auburn. Mike the Tiger, the bourbon-scented air, the stadium itself and, oh yeah, the team combine to give Death Valley a mystique unmatched in American sports.
And this is a week when LSU needs that mystique cranked up to 11. Nick Saban brings perhaps his most complete team ever, with an offense that leads the nation in scoring at 54 points a game and a defense down just a stitch from years past... while still ranking 10th in scoring at 16 points per game.
On the other side, Ed Orgeron brings an LSU team that will try to beat Alabama in a very traditional fashion: defense, running game and toughness. No one's been able to beat Alabama in this fashion -- heck, no one's been able to beat Alabama in any fashion -- but this LSU team hasn't taken a swing at the Tide yet.
To win on Saturday night, LSU will need to execute, to get in Tua Tagovailoa's kitchen, to manufacture explosive plays, and to win every intangible. This includes the hype video.
For LSU's creative staff, this is the week you bring out all the ideas you've spent the past nine months brainstorming for. It's the week you pull out all the stops. It's Alabama week.