1. Sports
  2. /
  3. Florida State Seminoles

College football Week 11 viewing guide: LSU-Alabama is here

Bill Clinton once took a nap on Nick Saban’s couch. No, really.
LSU quarterback Joe Burrow (9) passes in the first half against Florida in Baton Rouge, La., on Oct. 12, 2019. [BILL FEIG | AP]
Published Nov. 8

Lamest time window: Late. The first sets of games are great, so it’s a perfect night for a dinner out.

Noon: We’ll finally learn how good undefeated Minnesota really is when the No. 13 Golden Gophers host No. 5 Penn State.

3:30: No. 1 LSU vs. No. 2 Alabama, of course.

4: If you need a secondary option behind this year’s Game of the Century, No. 18 Iowa at No. 16 Wisconsin will be the perfect defensive slug fest to counter the high-scoring SEC shootout. What a weird thing to write.

7: I’d say South Carolina should be on upset watch against Appalachian State, but the Mountaineers should be favored in this one…

7:30: Weird things happen at North Carolina State, so watch out, No. 4 Clemson.

8: Iowa State can hang with No. 9 Oklahoma.

Eye on the NFL draft

Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy (4) catches a touchdown pass against Arkansas on Oct. 26 in Tuscaloosa, Ala. [VASHA HUNT | AP]

Five first-round, non-quarterback prospects to watch in LSU-Alabama:

Alabama receiver Jerry Jeudy: His 24 career touchdown catches are the second most in program history, behind Amari Cooper (31).

Alabama receiver Henry Ruggs: He’s only one behind Jeudy in that category, and his average touchdown covers a ridiculous 40.2 yards.

LSU safety Grant Delpit: One of the most versatile defenders in the country has been nursing an ankle injury but is still expected to play.

RELATED: Why Grant Delpit is the next LSU defender Bucs fans should know

LSU outside linebacker K’Lavon Chaisson: He, too, has been injury-plagued but has elite pass rushing potential at the next level.

Alabama offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood: The Pensacola native shined as a freshman in the national title win over Georgia and has started all 23 games since then.

GameDay breakdown

The last LSU-Alabama Game of the Century (2011) was a 9-6 slug fest. This one will be more like a 49-46 shootout. Both teams have great passing attacks, so it might come down to the run game. Alabama is more consistent with Najee Harris, but LSU is more explosive with Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Can the Tigers crack Nick Saban’s defense with a big run or two?

Presidential visit

With President Donald Trump expected to attend the LSU-Alabama game, Saban was asked about his previous encounters with presidents. His best story was when Bill Clinton set up at Michigan State’s football building before a speaking engagement when Saban still coached there. “The Secret Service guys came and got my couch and asked if they could take it to his office so he could take a nap,” Saban said. Saban’s response: “Certainly.”

Tua vs. Burrow

The LSU-Alabama matchup pits two of the nation’s top passers against each other (assuming Tua Tagovailoa’s ankle has recovered well enough for him to play):

Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa

In this Sept. 7, 2019, photo, Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (13) looks to throw during the first half against New Mexico State. [VASHA HUNT | AP]

Passing efficiency: 212.40 (No. 2 nationally)

Yards per attempt: 11.2 (No. 2)

Completion percentage: 74.7 (No. 2)

TD passes: 27 (No. 3)

Notable school records held: Career passing TDs (81), career TDs responsible for (90)

LSU’s Joe Burrow

In this Oct. 12, 2019, photo, LSU quarterback Joe Burrow (9) passes in the second half against Florida, in Baton Rouge, La. [GERALD HERBERT | AP]

Passing efficiency: 204.47 (No. 3 nationally)

Yards per attempt: 10.8 (No. 3)

Completion percentage: 78.8 (No. 1)

TD passes: 30 (No. 2)

Notable school records held: Passing TDs in a season (30), consecutive games with at least 20 completions (11)

The other big game

For the first time since 1904, undefeated Minnesota has opened its season by scoring at least 28 points in its first eight games. Can the No. 13 Golden Gophers continue the trend against No. 5 Penn State? Probably not, but there’s a chance P.J. Fleck’s Gophers keep the game close, which is remarkable enough.


  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Vernon III Hargreaves kneels in the end zone after the Seattle Seahawks defeated his team in overtime in an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, in Seattle. (AP Photo/John Froschauer) JOHN FROSCHAUER  |  AP
    Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: It’s a mailbag episode, with answers on Jameis Winston’s future, Lavonte David’s season, Mike Evans’ plight, Kevin Cash’s third-place finish and Charlie Strong’s job...
  2. Florida State head coach Willie Taggart, right, disagrees with the referee in the first half of his final game with the Seminoles, Nov. 2 against Miami in Tallahassee. MARK WALLHEISER  |  AP
    There are reasons to think quick hooks and mid-season dismissals are the new norm.
  3. Miami quarterback Jarren Williams (15) scrambles as he is rushed by Louisville linebacker Dorian Etheridge (17) during the second half in Miami Gardens. Williams set a school record with six touchdown passes as Miami defeated Louisville 52-27. WILFREDO LEE  |  AP
    The Hurricanes quarterback has a field day in a 52-27 win over Louisville.
  4. Florida State interim head coach Odell Haggins gets a hug from linebacker Jaleel McRae after his team beat Boston College on Saturday in Boston. BILL SIKES  |  AP
    The Seminoles rally from a first-half deficit, surge ahead, watch the Eagles tie the score, then pull ahead for good in the final two minutes.
  5. In this 1987 file photo, Deion Sanders stands on the field during a game against the Florida Gators in Gainesville. ALLEN DEAN STEELE  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Roundtable: Was this just Friday afternoon internet clickbait or an idea worth Seminole consideration?
  6. Quarterback Kyle Trask threw for 257 yards and got the Gators back in the game vs. Georgia in the second half, but Florida lost 24-17. OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
    The last three times Florida lost to Georgia, the Gators lost the next game by double digits.
  7. In this Dec. 2, 2017, file photo, Florida State interim head coach Odell Haggins watches the team warm up before a game against Louisiana Monroe in Tallahassee. Now he finds himself as the interim coach again just two seasons later. MARK WALLHEISER  |  AP
    Haggins has been at FSU through the highs of two national titles and the last three years of lows.
  8. Former Florida State football player Deion Sanders, left, joins Head Coach Willie Taggart prior to the start of the spring game action Saturday at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee in 2018. COLIN HACKLEY  |  COLIN HACKLEY
    NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo reported the development Thursday night.
  9. Quarterback Jameis Winston and the Bucs play their first home game in 49 days at 1 p.m. Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. Times
    Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Can Jameis Winston make the Bucs’ welcome-home game a success?
  10. LSU quarterback Joe Burrow (9) passes in the first half against Florida in Baton Rouge, La., on Oct. 12, 2019. BILL FEIG  |  AP
    Bill Clinton once took a nap on Nick Saban’s couch. No, really.