No, the game won't be as competitive.

No, it won't matter much in the grand scheme of the final standings for the Crimson Tide.

No, my opinion doesn't matter any more on this subject than it does on any other slanderous take the good people at Tide 100.9 allow me to spew.

But Alabama needs to play LSU, and LSU needs to play Alabama.

Throughout the past few days, the speculation that LSU doesn't want to even play the game has been rampant. Just as well, Alabama fans, justifiably or otherwise, have expressed either disinterest in the game or frustration at those very rumors concerning the Bayou Bengals.

For me, it's been a week filled with disappointment as it pertains to the situations surrounding this one football game. I'm aware of the implications of the pandemic. I have been on the side of caution from the beginning. If the Tigers cannot play the game safely, postpone the game. But the talk of cancellation and forfeiture must stop.

Far be it from the SEC to fail to have a backup plan if a team was forced to miss its two biggest rivalry games of the season. In August, even before the narrative of the struggling Tigers was written by a mirage Mississippi State offense, the idea that any team would be forced into a situation such as Ed Orgeron's program is experiencing now was unthinkable. But here we are. LSU faced serious COVID-19 outbreaks prior to its two biggest rivalry games: Florida and Alabama.

The SEC and the entire family of conferences that make up college football should have the flexibility to make its games happen. LSU v. Florida has been moved to a sort of buffer week after the conclusion of the scheduled regular season. The following week is set to host the SEC Championship in Atlanta. It too will have to be postponed. But not just to appease one game, but the near entirety of this week in SEC football.

For many, if not most, Alabama fans, THE rival is Auburn. For others, THE rival is Tennessee.

For me, and many younger fans, THE rival is LSU.

My brother is an LSU fan. If not for out-of-state tuition, I likely would have gone to LSU instead. The game provides an atmosphere of respect with equal parts hatred due to lasting success, similar to my Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens. This is my favorite and most looked-forward-to game of the entire football season, both collegiate and professional.

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But the fact remains, this sport we love so much has proven to be within the capacity of being played safely. The same can be said for postponed games. We've all had to deal with irregularity because of this pandemic. Hell, the IRON BOWL isn't the final regular-season game for Alabama. That's blasphemous enough.

But just like it hasn't mattered that Tennessee has been a sad excuse of a team for well over a decade, it should not matter that LSU is a bad team in 2020.

Make a way SEC suits.

Play. The. Game.

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