In 264 BC, the first of three Punic Wars were fought between the Roman Republic and Carthage began. There’s a convoluted backstory to what led to the battles, but it boils down to the fact that the expanding Roman Empire did not like the fact that Cathage, the older and more established empire in North Africa was starting to expand into Siciliy and make political alliances with everybody except for Rome.
Rome’s involvement in the war was heavily debated by the Roman Senate, but the war was fought and it was a beatdown by the Roman Empire, nearly an across the board domination of Carthage that lead to their surrender.
And then one of greatest tacticians in the world rose to power for Carthage. Hannibal and his army famously invaded Rome from the north, which meant traversing the Alps. Hannibal crushed the Roman army in a show of pure force that all but conquered Rome. However Hannibal spent too much time in Rome and despite the battles won, the Roman Armies were able to cut off his supply line and salvage a victory in the Battle of Zama to formally end the war.
It’s my destiny to overthrow those on top of me.
Doesn’t that sound oddly familiar? A rising empire threatened by a more prominent, established one that showcases domination over the opponent until they enemies fall under the command of one of the greatest leaders ever who enacts a domination of our intrepid, rising empire? Because it should.
Nick Saban pulled LSU out of the dark ages and in order to do so LSU had to beat Alabama, the most established team in college football, and they did for five straight years between 2003 and 2007.
What followed was Saban returning to college football and taking the position as head coach of Alabama. After splitting the meetings for the next four years, Nick Saban and Alabama beat LSU in the 2012 BCS National Championship game. Since then, Alabama has matched LSU’s winning streak from 2003 to 2007.
This game is our Battle of Zama. This is where we LSU stops the bleeding and breaks free of the domination of Alabama, breaking the supply line and forcing a counter. I know it seems like a long shot, but Rome was all but conquered and out of options when they played their hand and forced the Battle of Zama.
We don’t need a key, we’ll break in.
And that’s what LSU has to do in order to beat Alabama: sell out. In order to beat Alabama, you have to do either one of two things: play a perfect 60 minutes or get extremely lucky, sometimes both. Ohio State beat Alabama outright (and even that was close), Ole Miss got lucky via a fumble and extremely lucky via a helmet bounce, while Auburn had one more prayer answered in the form of a kick six. For years Alabama has been operating at a level that nobody else has been to run at over a consistent level.
I tell you that to tell you this: out of all the programs in college football, LSU is one of the five or six that are talented enough to run with Alabama. For the most part, LSU has roped off all of Louisiana, which doesn’t produce as many blue chippers as Texas or Florida, but produces arguably better athletes. And this current class has had the same thought on their mind for years now: beating Alabama. In the past that has maybe cost LSU their seasons, but we’re in a new era of LSU football and this is the perfect time to break through and set a new standard in the dynamic of the SEC West. Alabama can’t outclass LSU like they can for eight or nine other opponents on their schedule, this is a game that Alabama has to earn with every ounce of energy in their body.
Your momma called the law and they’re gonna take me away; down so far where even the devil don’t stay.
When Alabama and LSU finally square off, it will be Saturday Night in Death Valley. If you think those five words don’t scare those in crimson and white, you’re mistaken.
Nick Saban has won three game in Death Valley as head coach of the Tide by a combined margin of 17, and two went the overtime with the other one coming from a last second touchdown. Alabama has a true freshman quaterback in Jalen Hurts who has been impressive so far this season, but he’s still a true freshman making a start in Death Valley at night. This will be the hardest test of his career and he will make mistakes. And that’s before LSU’s defense is added to the equation.
Death Valley is the great equalizer in this equation. The chance of rain will be never, it will be haunted, and it will be loud. It will be the hardest place to play in not just college football, but the world. Nothing will be given, everything is to be earned under the watchful eye of 102,000.
I’m done with it. This is the start of how it all ends, they used to shout my name; now they whisper it.
Between the second and third wars, there was almost nothing between Rome and Carthage. Rome was busy with conquests elsewhere and Carthage was just trying to recover their lost assets from the Battle of Zama.
But the threat of Carthage rebuilding and coming back after paying their debt to Rome was enough for some prominent Romans to advocate for one final siege on Carthage. One final siege to end their arch rivals and to claim total victory.
Cato The Elder was one such Roman Senator. After every speech, regardless of the topic, Cato would end with “Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam”, often shorted to “Carthago delenda est”.
Carthage must be destroyed.