BATON ROUGE, La. — The traffic jam Friday on Highland Road near campus was a reminder of the gridlock we've come to expect whenever Alabama plays Louisiana State in football.
It's always going to be a grind.
The Smoothie King at the corner of Highland and State Street heralded Alabama's arrival with the obligatory marquee greeting: "Beat Bama." Across the street, "Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers" sponsors a giant "FEAR the Hat" billboard in honor of LSU Coach Les Miles.
The campus was abuzz in advance of the third meeting in "The Trilogy" that started last November in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The schools had a very unusual split in 2011.
LSU took a bone-jarring 9-6 overtime win at Alabama in the regular season en route to a 13-0 record and Southeastern Conference championship.
Alabama didn't even win the SEC West, but got a rematch in the national title game when the Crimson Tide finished No. 2 in the final Bowl Championship Series standings. And Alabama then dominated that game, 21-0, not allowing LSU's offense to cross midfield until the fourth quarter.