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November 2, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with Gary Laney

Gary Laney
  (3:00 PM)

It's the eve of LSU-Alabama and the town is buzzing with excitement. I expect this to be the loudest, craziest Tiger Stadium I've ever experienced and I was there for the Florida game in Tebow's senior season, the earthquake game and a lot of others. Let's talk about the Game of the Year, shall we?

Joe Dirt (Denham Springs)

I think Spurrier has a point. I think Alabama can score on the Saints defense and stop the Chiefs offense. Heck, LSU can score on the Saints defense and Tennessee can stop the Chiefs offense.

Gary Laney
  (3:01 PM)

I think you're saying the SEC is as strong as the AFC West and NFC South? Let's not go crazy

Jose Juan (Memorial City)

I want to go see that game, but I might put up a roadblock at the state line instead to keep Ricky Seals-Jones and Tony Brown from going. They need to stay here. Gig 'Em.

Gary Laney
  (3:03 PM)

That'll be kind of an awkward little roadblock on I-10, wouldn't you think? I'm sure LSU would show them the back route through Johnson Bayou.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

How confident are you that Zach Mettenberger will be able to make the one or two critcial pass plays necessary for the Tigers to win Saturday Night?

Gary Laney
  (3:06 PM)

One thing I agree with Zach and other LSU folks on is a lot of the issues that are stopping them are all LSU. If Alabama plays 1-on-1 on the outside, that's advantage WR. Given time, they should be able to get open and Zach should be able to make the throw and the receiver should be able to make the catch. More often than not, one part of what "should" happen, doesn't. If LSU does everything it "should" do in executing its passing game, they should complete enough passes to get Bama out of 8-man fronts. But "should" and "will" are far, far different things.

Jim (NELA)

Gary. I will be pulling big time for the Tigers to pull off the upset of the Sabanites this week. I just want to say with the level of future possible recruits attending tomorrow's game, how about we as fans stay classy and support the team no matter what happens. Some people don't realize that acting negative hurts recruiting. With that being said, do you think the offense was able to work out the kinks in the passing game?

Gary Laney
  (3:08 PM)

Jim, I suspect -- don't know, because we don't see practice, but suspect -- that most of the problems that plague the passing games on Saturday aren't nearly as evident on Mondays and Tuesdays on the practice field. For the passing game, I think it's just a matter of everybody getting it done with the lights on on the same night, from the protection, to the QB, to the receivers. That hasn't happened yet this season. I'm sure they worked diligently at it during the off week and this week.

Gary Laney
  (3:08 PM)

Jim, I suspect -- don't know, because we don't see practice, but suspect -- that most of the problems that plague the passing games on Saturday aren't nearly as evident on Mondays and Tuesdays on the practice field. For the passing game, I think it's just a matter of everybody getting it done with the lights on on the same night, from the protection, to the QB, to the receivers. That hasn't happened yet this season. I'm sure they worked diligently at it during the off week and this week.

Derek (Opelousas)

What's it like out there today? I bet it already feels like game day. I'm coming tomorrow. Can't wait. Geaux Tigers.

Gary Laney
  (3:11 PM)

Right now, it's 82 degrees, hardly a cloud in the sky and reasonable humdity. Tomorrow, the high is 84 dropping to 60. In other words, it's beautiful. Perfect football weather. Perfect tailgate weather. And the town seems to feel that. There is definitely a buzz. I expect it BR to be at the top of its game for this one.

Joe Dirt (Denham Springs)

When Barrett Jones and Freak Johnson lock up, who will win?

Gary Laney
  (3:13 PM)

Don't know how often that's actually going to be the matchup, but I suspect both will have their moments. I think it would be huge for LSU if a DT, whether it be Downs, Johnson, Logan or Ferguson, start winning the battles up front and get Jones -- the brains of the OL as the center who calls all the protections -- preoccupied with his own little turf war and maybe become less engaged in the big picture of the whole line. Then you might see some breakdowns.

Shaq (Retirement Castle)

How excited is the fanbase about the recruits Johnny Jones is bringing to the Bayou? It's about time someone learned to recruit like my man Dale Brown.

Gary Laney
  (3:15 PM)

Johnny's getting some studs to walk into that building behind your statue, Shaq. I haven't heard this kind of excitement in a long time. I think the community is still honeymooning with Jones AND he's bringing in the players. Brady had good recruiting classes, but I don't know if the community ever really embraced him. Given that, I think the lovefest with basektball right now is the greatest its been in quite some time. I wouldn't say it's greater than the last Final Four season ... but as far as pre-seasons go, it's probably the best.

Jim (NELA)

In your opinion, what are the keys to LSU pulling an upset?

Gary Laney
  (3:18 PM)

Two things: Completing the passes, particularly the deep passes, you brought up earlier. And winning first down on defense. On offense, they have to get Bama out of 8 and 9-man fronts. On defense, Alabama is so efficient and a big part of that is the Tide stays "on schedule," so to speak, as in they are always working on second-and-5 as opposed to second-and-10. If LSU can find a way to create third-and-7s instead of third-and-4s for the Alabama offense, I think McCarron and Co. will be prone to turning it over just like anybody else.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

Will the be an prominent Alums attending the big game? Shaq, the newly crowned 2012 World Series Champion SF Giants (Wilson, Theriot, etc)?

Gary Laney
  (3:21 PM)

I'm hearing it's going to be a who's who, and not just of former LSU alums and such. Rumors are out about Hollywood types, hip-hop artists, etc. that are planning to come to the game. Celebrity watch will be on full effect.

Jerry Simmons (Franklinton,La.)

Do you think we will ever see LSU or Alabama switch to the pistol offense as Oregon and even Texas AM does now. Would create more exciting foootball. I know LSU and Alabama would be able to defeat these teams most all the time with strong defense, but would create higher scoring games.

Gary Laney
  (3:23 PM)

I'm skeptical as long as these two guys are coaches. They know they can recruit the kind of athletes to defend that kind of offense -- big, fast, physical kids. As long as they can recruit the defensive players, they are going to play an offensive style that fits: Conservative, ball-control, field-position stuff. Makes sense.

Jim (NELA)

Should LSU be worried that RSJ was wearing A&M gloves at his last game?

Gary Laney
  (3:25 PM)

Honestly, I think LSU has approached itself as the underdog for RSJ's services from the get-go, so they aren't shocked. I do think his reaction after this game will speak volumes after that. LSU's going to be fresh on his mind. Does he respond in that way, or will he still be showing his Aggie colors?

Joe Dirt (Denham Springs)

Can we put a fence around Dutchtown High?

Gary Laney
  (3:28 PM)

Landon Collins' mother might have thought there was one... Actually, I do think in-town kids might be trickier to recruit than out-of-town, in-state kids. Dutchtown's in the Baton Rouge suburbs. Some kids are ready to get away from where they've been their whole life when they go to college. If you're Desean Smith out of Lake Charles, going to LSU accomplishes that. If you're from Dutchtown, LSU might not accomplish that. We're seeing this from Tim Williams, the DE who goes to school on LSU's campus at University Lab. He's expressed an interest in getting away from home.

Big R in Lafayette (Wrecking Rams)

Micah Eugene going to be a stud?

Gary Laney
  (3:32 PM)

He's well on his way. He is that dime back in the LSU Mustang package and he's shown a pretty good nose for the football. He has a few sacks and makes good plays on the ball. In a couple of years, if the starting safeties are Ronald Martin and Micah Eugene, I think LSU fans would be fine with that.

Gary Laney
  (3:33 PM)

Sorry folks...having some browser issues...hang in there...

Joe Dirt (Denham Springs)

Do you go ahead and start the freshman at running back? I think he's their best one.

Gary Laney
  (3:34 PM)

Interesting question, Joe. I do think he's a great talent, but I also think he benefits from the same thing that Kenny Hilliard benefitted from last season and Spencer Ware the year before: fresh legs.

Gary Laney
  (3:35 PM)

To build on that, he not only didn't carry much early in the season, avoiding the mileage on the tires, so to speak, he also tends to work into the rotation later in games. Ware starts, Hilliard comes in, Ford is sprinkled in, then here comes Hill, nice and fresh and ready to break off a 50-yard run against a tiring defense.

Joe Dirt (Denham Springs)

Hill or Lacy?

Gary Laney
  (3:37 PM)

Good question. Right now, probably Lacy. Over the next 5-10 years? Probably Hill. I think Hill will be a good pro because he has good size and speed. I do think he might be the best pure runner of LSU's backs. Ware might be a slightly better all-around RB.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

What is the coldest game that LSU will play this season?

Gary Laney
  (3:39 PM)

Chris, you must have been a left fielder in your baseball days because that's where your questions seem to come from sometimes...I'm guessing the season finale at Arkansas on the day after Thanksgiving will be a bit nippy. Considering that bowl games are played in warm weather or indoors, that's going to be your winner unless Baton Rouge gets a freak early cold snap in the next couple of weeks.

Jim (NELA)

Do you think Les has some wrinkles to throw in the game plan like some wildcat formations or fake kicks? Are the Bummer fans trying to hijack or chat again? Don't want to make them too mad. They may poison our trees or try to (burger reference) us.

Gary Laney
  (3:42 PM)

Jim...had to do a quick edit there...careful buddy, we're a family chat. Bama fans have been pretty quiet today, to be honest. I do think LSU will show something Alabama hasn't seen. Saban made the comment that LSU ALWAYS does something they haven't seen on film. It might be something subtle that you don't recognize, like a change in a blocking scheme or something like that, but I'd be shocked if LSU does things exactly the same way it's been doing all season.

Sammy (Alabammy)

We're here. We're just watching and laughing.

Gary Laney
  (3:44 PM)

Not buying it Sammy. Looks like an LSU fan plant.

Joe Dirt (Denham Springs)

You wrote about defensive tackles coming to this games. Which one's the best?

Gary Laney
  (3:48 PM)

I'm not sure who's best, but I do think Greg Gilmore would be the priority. He's been higher on LSU than others, like Justin Manning. If LSU can't land Gilmore, I think they'd be having to rally from further behind to get the others.

Mike (NOLA)

How much louder is Death Valley than the next closest stadium you have been to?

Gary Laney
  (3:50 PM)

To be honest, I thought the Swamp this year was LOUD, in the same ballpark as LSU. I do think Tiger Stadium was louder at times for the Florida game in Tebow's senior year

Holden (Houston)

I'm neutral and I think the 10-point spread is about right. What do you think?

Gary Laney
  (3:52 PM)

That's a fair spread. LSU would need those intangibles -- crowd noise, etc. -- to pull off the upset, I'd think. One thing LSU has in its favor is upside. I think Alabama has played far closer to its optimal level than LSU has. I think LSU's potential is close to Alabama's when it comes to pure talent. But LSU is also younger. If some of these guys take a significant developmental step this week, sure LSU can give them all they want.

Jim (NELA)

I am an SEC fan all the way but if Alabama was to go all the way to the NC and play somebody like Oregon, I would pull for the Ducks. Bummers are way too arrogant and need to get a dose of reality. Hopefully the Tigers will accomplish that tomorrow. I'll keep it cleaner.

Gary Laney
  (3:53 PM)

Jim, lots of people are tired of SEC dominance. Let me ask you this, if LSU wins and a one-loss SEC champion (whether it be LSU, Florida or Georgia) fails to make the BCS championship game, would you be OK with that?

Joe Dirt (Denham Springs)

Who's better, Alabama's offensive line or LSU's defensive line?

Gary Laney
  (3:56 PM)

I thought LSU's defensive line had a slight edge last year. That takes some explaining. Alabama had a decent offensive game in the BCS title game, but I thought it was much like LSU's game with Florida this year -- LSU's offense was so incapable of keeping its own defense off the field, the defense wore down. LSU lost Brockers, but now Anthony Johnson's coming into his own. Given that, I think LSU's defense will hold its own at the line of scrimmage.

Jim (NELA)

A one loss SEC definitely deserves to to be in the NC game regardless. It is by far the best conference. I just wouldn't pull for them if that team happened to be Alabama. I would pull for any other SEC team.

Gary Laney
  (3:58 PM)

Jim, I would think any of the big three unbeatens from outside the SEC would finish ahead of a 1-loss SEC champion, although I'd like the SEC team's chances at beating any of them. The big three being K-State, Notre Dame and Oregon.

Joseph (Charlotte)

We're all behind you, Tigers! Because if you win, maybe we'll get an Oregon-Kansas State title game and be rid of that boring SEC football in the BCS championship game.

Gary Laney
  (4:00 PM)

Boring, but pretty darn effective, wouldn't you say, Joseph? I actually kind of like it because it brings football back to its roots. It's physical. It's basic. It's strong fundamentally. I'd much rather watch an SEC team struggle to put together a drive against an SEC defense than watch a Big 12 defense struggle to tackle somebody (hear me, Mack Brown?).

Joe Dirt (Denham Springs)

You haven't given us a score yet. You like the 10-point spread?

Gary Laney
  (4:02 PM)

Sorry again folks...the coffee shop wifi is acting up...

Gary Laney
  (4:04 PM)

Joe, I'm going to pick LSU to cover. I'm saying Bama 16-14. In an election poll, that puts me within the margin of error. So if LSU wins, I'm still right, right? What a cop-out answer, isn't it?

John (Baton Rouge) [via mobile]

Is Johnny Jones done recruiting or is there another big name recruit there looking at?

Gary Laney
  (4:06 PM)

John, look out for Keith Frazier, a shooting guard out of Dallas Kimball who's a four-star ranked No. 21 in the ESPN 100. LSU's behind on him, but if Jones can pull off some more magic -- and don't forget, Jones' has strong ties to the DFW area -- then this will be one of LSU's all-time great recruiting classes. Also look out for Brian Bridgewater, the forward out of Scotlandville High in BR. His stock has dropped, but if LSU gets him, he'll be a great program player with upside. Also could eventually be a good tight end on the football team.

Gary Laney
  (4:07 PM)

That's my time folks. We've got 28 hours until kickoff. Catch me on the GameDay chat during the second quarter tomorrow night and, as always, follow me at @glaneyespn on Twitter. See ya!