Emotions are running high.

The stakes are arguably higher.

And the campus and the city is in a state of frenzy.

Alas, Bama week is here.

But despite all of the talk, all of the hype and all of the rivalry talk, LSU coach Les Miles and Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban diffused their rivalry and said Saturday’s game is about the players.

And let’s make no mistake about it, it is about the players.

Les Miles has done a lot of things at LSU. But throwing a pass, laying a block and making a tackle are not things we’ve ever seen him do.

The same can be said about Saban with Alabama.

So the outcome of Saturday’s contest will be decided in between the two sidelines, and I think that is the beautiful thing about football.

But with all the politically correct talk aside, this game means more for both sides.

On the LSU side:

1. LSU wants to prove they are legit after humiliating losses to UGA and UF. What better way to do that than by beating the current No. 1 team in the land?

2. Elder statesmen want to beat their old coach, or the man who recruited them. Younger players want to make a good impression on the veterans and play well for them to earn leadership positions inside the locker room.

3. LSU still wants to win the SEC. As far fetched as it sounds, if LSU beats Alabama, the Tide have to beat both Mississippi State and Auburn consecutively. The problem is they haven’t beaten either team in quite some time. So whether you want to believe it or not, a win Saturday keeps LSU alive in their quest for a second straight SEC title.

For Bama:

1. Bama’s seniors have never beaten LSU . . . or Auburn for that matter. Both are big-time goals those guys have in their final go-round with the Tide.

2. Alabama wants to win one for their head honcho. Those kids will have never seen as much hatred and as much hostility as they will see Saturday. With the man they respect so much in the midst of a controversy, Bama will want to rally together and win one for Nick.

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But with all of those things being said, Bama is young and they will be walking into a lion’s den.

This game will break the Tiger Stadium attendance record and if the hype for this game gradually increases as the week goes on, it will be WILD to say the least on Saturday.

The only message I have to convey is to be good fans. Wanting to win is one thing. But acting silly and embarrassing LSU on a weekend when the whole world is looking in is completely another.

Les Miles said it best on Monday: Go to the game. Be loud. Be rowdy. Cheer hard. But cheer for LSU to win. And don’t cheer moreso for Bama to lose.

I think that is a good way to look at it and I encourage all of you to be good fans, but to be classy fans as we head toward the weekend.

But make no mistake about it, Tiger Stadium will be like the Roman Colosseum on Saturday and Bama will be the team being hunted.

Much more on this game as the week goes by.

I am totally excited.

Are you?

Shoot me a comment giving your pick and score for this game and if you have any plans to do anything special for Saturday’s game. I look forward to seeing what you guys have cooked up.

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Another week of the NFL is in the books.

Here is my NFL power rankings.

1. Titans – The Titans will not win the Superbowl. I will take any bets and any sum of money that they will not win the Superbowl. But they are the only unbeaten. That has to count for something.

2. Giants – The best team in the NFL is the Giants. They are the only team in the NFL that can run, pass and play dominant defense.

3. Steelers – They have won without Parker for most of the year. And won without Big Ben Monday. These guys have the makeup of a playoff team.

4. Ravens – May be a stretch. But they’ve won three in a row and are playing as good of defense as ever. If Joe Flacco doesn’t throw them out of games, they will be in it in the fourth quarter of every game they play. That’s a good luxury to have.

5. Panthers – Jake Delhomme usually pulls a rabbit out of his hat come playoff time. If he has one more left, the Panthers just might win the NFC.

6. Patriots – I watch the Patriots a lot, because I admire the success they’ve had (and are still having). It’s taking a while, but Matt Cassel is starting to get it. And that means more Moss and more Welker, which means more points and more wins.

7. Cardinals – A sleeper Superbowl pick. They have all the offensive weapons to do it. My only concern is Kurt Warner who has been made out of glass every season in recent memory minus this one.

8. Colts – They’re only 4-4. But don’t be naive and think this team won’t make a series run before this thing’s over.

9. Bucs – Garcia has reenergized their squad. And we all know how tough that Tampa 2 is to penetrate.

10. Redskins – I don’t believe in Jason Campbell yet, but I do believe in Clinton Portis. That dude is a hungry, hungry man, playing for his long lost friend Sean Taylor.

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The big SEC news of the day came out of Tennessee where it was announced that Phil Fulmer is out at Tennessee following the season.

I am not surprised, because I know the trend in coaching today is “What have you done for me lately?” But find me someone out there who could have won at a high level with Tennessee’s roster this season? The answer is probably no one. They have no quarterback, only a marginal defense and very few playmakers. In today’s SEC, that’s not a recipe for success.

I do not understand how a man with a national title on his resume can win the SEC Eastern Division one year, then be ousted midway through the season in the next.

I do not know if Fulmer will retire or not. But if he does not, the school who rolls the dice on him will be making a wise investment.

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In the NBA, the big news was that the Pistons traded Chauncey Billups and Antonio McDyess to the Nuggets for Allen Iverson.

It’s rare to say this — especially in the NBA, which is dominated by bad trades. But this is a good move for both teams.

In Denver, this move symbolizes the beginning of the Anthony era. With Billups on board, Anthony and other shot-hogs like JR Smith and others will get more looks, which will make everyone more happy, and will also make the team more productive, because it’s not like the ball being in Melo’s hands is usually a bad thing.

The Nuggets also get the point guard they’ve lacked — virtually forever, and get something in return for AI, who probably would not have resigned with them in the offseason anyway.

What the Pistons get back is some options.

Rodney Stuckey will move to the starting lineup most likely and AI will play the 2 with Rip Hamilton moving to sixth man.

That is obviously an extremely deep pool of guards to choose from — probably the deepest in the NBA.

But the risk of Iverson being ‘disruptive’ or whatever is also minimal, because he is in a contract year.

Best case scenario, Iverson plays well and the Pistons make another run at the title.

Worst case scenario, it blows up and they move on following this year. If that happens, they still now have a ton of extra cap space to retool that they wouldn’t have otherwise had.

So good move for both clubs.

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That’s all for me.

have a great Tuesday!

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