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The teams began playing each other on an annual basis in 1964, with Alabama playing its home games at Legion Field in Birmingham, and LSU playing its home games on campus at Tiger Stadium. The series has been marked by long stretches where the home team has struggled. Alabama holds a 25–9–2 record against LSU in Baton Rouge. Between 1971 and 1998, LSU was winless in Baton Rouge, going 0–14–1. Alabama has gone 4–11 in games played in the state of Alabama since 1982. In fact, in the series history, only 42 percent of games have been won by the team playing in its home state (excluding ties), although Alabama has won far more games in the state of Louisiana than LSU has won in the state of Alabama. In 1988 Alabama began playing its home game in the series on their Tuscaloosa campus at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
While Alabama controlled most of the series' early history, the intensity and competitiveness has grown during the last three decades. Following Bear Bryant's retirement, the series has been much more even, with Alabama leading 18–14–1. Four games in the last ten seasons have also been decided in overtime. A recent poll of SEC fan bases found that over 60% of LSU fans singled out Alabama as their most bitter rival.
In 2007, the meeting was even more heated following Alabama's hiring of head coach Nick Saban, who had coached LSU to a National Championship; many media outlets dubbed the 2007 meeting the "Saban Bowl." Alabama leads the series 6–3 in the games played so far during the "Saban Bowl" era.
In their 2011 regular season matchup, No. 1 LSU defeated No. 2 Alabama 9–6 in overtime at Bryant–Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, on November 5. Later, during the 2011 post season, the two were selected by the Bowl Championship Series to play each other again in the 2012 BCS National Championship Game, which was the first time since 1986 that the two teams played in a location other than Baton Rouge or Tuscaloosa. Alabama won the game 21–0. The rematch was the first BCS Championship Game to feature two teams from the same conference (as well as the same division), and was also the first shutout of any BCS bowl game in the BCS's 14-year history.