LSU players and coaches aren’t paying attention to the betting line in the football game in which they are about to play.
They’re ignoring it so much that a reporter had to tell coach Ed Orgeron the Las Vegas spread for the game against Alabama: 21.5 points.
“It’s the first I heard of it,” a smiling Orgeron said Monday. “Thanks for telling me.”
LSU travels to Tuscaloosa as the biggest underdog in a game in nearly a quarter century. The 19th-ranked Tigers (6-2, 3-1) are more than a three-touchdown dog to top-ranked Alabama (8-0, 5-0) in Saturday's 7 p.m. meeting at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Barring a massive change in the betting line ahead of the matchup, LSU enters the game as the biggest underdog since it was a 27-point dog against Florida in 1994. The Tigers lost that game 42-18.
LSU moved up three spots to No. 20 in the Amway coaches poll released Sunday and four spots to No. 19 in the AP top 25.
“That doesn’t mean anything to us,” Orgeron said Monday citing Syracuse’s upset earlier this season of Clemson. “I mean, it's (the) way you play the game. I think Syracuse didn't listen to that when they played Clemson. It's just the way you play the game. You never can tell. We're going in there with a mindset we're going to win the football game.”
What makes the hefty spread against the Tide more stunning is LSU’s recent history as an underdog. LSU has been a double-digit underdog just once (Alabama -14 in 2013) in the past 212 games, dating back to the 2001 season.
Since now-Bama coach Nick Saban's first game in Baton Rouge, LSU has been an underdog of a touchdown (7 points) or more just 14 times in 228 games. Five of those have been against Alabama and four to Florida.
The last time the Tigers were an underdog this big the R&B vocal group Boyz II Men had the No. 1 single, and juniors like tight end Foster Moreau hadn't been born.
Moreau shrugs off the hefty spread.
Cornerback Donte Jackson began watching more film and took practice more serious.
“I never really understood the whole underdog thing,” Moreau said Monday. “We’re sending out 11 guys. They’re sending out 11 guys. All 11 are fully-functioning, capable human beings. Either side has the ability to get beat.”
- 2016: at Alabama -7
- 2015: at Ole Miss -7
- 2015: at Alabama -7.5
- 2014: at Auburn -7
- 2013: at Alabama -14
- 2012: vs. Alabama -7
- 2009: at Alabama -7
- 2009: vs. Florida -9.5
- 2002: at Florida -8
- 2001: vs. Tennessee -7
- 2001: vs. Florida - 14
- 2001: at Tennessee - 8
- 2000: at Florida -14.5
- 2000: vs. Tennessee -9
Spread stats provided by Covers.com.