Alabama week starts now.

LSU football coach Les Miles, speaking during his weekly Monday lunch press conference, said the open week came "at exactly the right time" as the No. 10-ranked Tigers prepare for Saturday's Southeastern Conference game at No. 1 Alabama. (Click here to listen to the entire Les Miles press conference.)

Miles said he enjoyed spending last weekend watching his children play games on their respective teams.

But now it is time to prepare for Alabama in earnest after LSU (7-2, 3-2) had three practices last week.

"We look forward to preparing for this next opponent," Miles said.

There is no mistaking the rivalry between Alabama and LSU in recent years. LSU defeated Alabama 9-6 in overtime in 2011 only to lose to the Tide 21-0 in the BCS Championship game in New Orleans.

Alabama rallied for a 21-17 victory against LSU in Tiger Stadium last year.

"(For the players) it's a little more energy in their step and their attention to detail is greater," Miles said. "I enjoy it very much."

Alabama (8-0, 5-0) has allowed a total of 26 points in six games since a 49-42 victory at Texas A&M on Sept. 14.

"I think they have a real comfort in how they play defense," Miles said.

Alabama averages 41 points and 460 yards total offense per game. The Tide, who had an open week last weekend, defeated Tennessee 45-10 in their last game on Oct. 26.

Miles praised the play of Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron.

"I think A.J. is a great within-the-scheme playmaker," Miles said. "He is a tremendous leader."

When asked if Alabama coach Nick Saban was one of the greatest college football coaches ever, Miles acknowledged that there was "an argument to be made."

"He does a wonderful job of recruiting and putting together offense, defense and special teams in an effective manner," Miles said.