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One of the reasons that LSU fired very successful coach Les Miles during the 2016 football season is because he was being dominated by bitter rival Alabama each year. Ed Orgeron took over that season for Miles as the interim coach and was eventually given the full-time job.
Orgeron had no better luck against Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide … until last year’s national champion Tigers went into Tuscaloosa and beat Alabama 46-41 in one of the more memorable games of 2019. Joe Burrow might have clinched the Heisman Trophy that day by throwing for 393 yards and three scores.
The SEC West schools renew their rivalry on Saturday from Baton Rouge with a 6 p.m. ET kickoff (hopefully, that is, as LSU is dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak), and this one is not likely to be close with the No. 1 Crimson Tide rolling along this year and 28-point favorites.
LSU was expected to struggle in 2020 after losing nearly every starter from 2019 but is a hugely disappointing 2-3 and has been defensively terrible in allowing 33.6 points per game. The Tide, meanwhile, have one of the nation’s top offenses behind QB and Heisman candidate Mac Jones in averaging 47.2 points per game. Bama has won its past four at LSU, coming by an average of 12.5 points.
Could there be a huge letdown for No. 2 Notre Dame when the Irish visit Boston College at 3:30 p.m. ET? On paper, this shouldn’t be a huge challenge for Notre Dame, but it had one of the biggest regular-season home games in recent school history last Saturday in upsetting then-No. 1 Clemson in a thriller. The Fighting Irish are -13.5 for this one and have won the past seven in the series by an average of nearly 15 points per game.
Staying in the ACC, it’s an important one between No. 9 Miami and Virginia Tech from Blacksburg at noon ET. It seems somewhat likely that Clemson and Notre Dame will have a rematch in the ACC title game, but the Hurricanes have a shot if they win out. The Canes are 2-point underdogs with the Hokies 4-1 ATS in their past five at home.
Saturday will be the head coaching debut of Washington’s Jimmy Lake – a long time defensive assistant under the now-retired Chris Petersen – as the Huskies host Oregon State in Pac-12 action at 11 p.m. ET (latest game of day). UW was supposed to open the Lake era last Saturday, but its game against California was canceled due to a COVID-19 outbreak at Cal. The Pac-12 did not build in any bye weeks so that was ruled a no-contest as will any other games called off. Washington is a 13.5-point favorite, but the road team has covered the past five in this series.
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