Nick Saban picks up off-the-field win in Baton Rouge over IRS: report

Alabama head coach Nick Saban greets LSU head coach Ed Orgeron before the Alabama vs. LSU SEC football game, Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017, at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Alabama coach Nick Saban had plenty of nice things to say about the Crimson Tide's upcoming opponent, Auburn, on Monday afternoon.

The kindest compliment is sure to rub LSU fans the wrong way though.

"This is the best team we've played probably so far this year," Saban said of Auburn. "And this will be the most challenging place we've played so far.

"A real challenge for our players and our team."

No. 1 LSU defeated Alabama earlier this month in Tuscaloosa, 46-41. It's the first time the Tigers have beaten Alabama since 2011.

The win helped seal the Southeastern Conference Western Division for LSU, its first division title since 2011.

The Tide's hopes of making the College Football Playoff rely on them winning at Auburn in the Iron Bowl on Saturday.

If Alabama (10-1, 6-1 SEC) wins, it salvages its chances of making the playoff as a one-loss team that didn't win its conference championship.

The Tide have played in every CFP since the format's inception in 2014.

The Iron Bowl kicks off at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.