Will the extra week cool off a hot LSU squad?

LSU played one of its most complete games of the season last Saturday in its 45-10 dominant victory over Auburn.

Quarterback Jarrett Lee completed 70 percent of his throws with two touchdowns and no interceptions, Michael Ford and Kenny Hilliard paced a rushing attack that didn't miss a beat without suspended running back Spencer Ware, and Ron Brooks made up for the loss of two suspended cornerbacks, including Heisman Trophy contender Tyrann Mathieu.

The Tigers, quite frankly, were ready for their much-hyped SEC West showdown with Alabama.

Les MilesICONLes Miles and the Tigers will have an extra week to prepare for Nick Saban's Crimson Tide.

But Les Miles' squad will have to wait an extra week before traveling to Tuscaloosa, as the Tigers are on a bye this weekend.

Will the week off affect the Tigers, considering they have built up so much momentum after rolling through their conference schedule up to this point?

Not likely, especially because Alabama will be on bye this weekend as well. So both teams will be on a level playing field, so to speak. Plus, with so much buzz around this game, it's likely that remaining focused would be difficult no matter when the game was being played — this Saturday or November 5.

In reality, both teams could use the extra week of rest heading into a game in which many have labeled the de facto national championship contest. Just don't use that phrase around Oklahoma State, Stanford or Clemson, three teams with designs on earning a berth in the title game.

For the Crimson Tide, getting their offensive line healthy is the number one priority, as Barrett Jones and Anthony Steen have recently been shelved. The extra week off will also help the Tide regroup from their sluggish first half against Tennessee, as Nick Saban's squad found itself in a 6-6 tie with the Vols before dominating the second half.

For players on both teams, the mental break could be just as beneficial as healing the bumps and bruises from the rugged SEC schedule.

But it will be interesting to see how LSU comes out offensively in its showdown with the Tide, because receiver Reuben Randle is playing the best football of his career and backup signal-caller Jordan Jefferson is becoming more comfortable after his suspension for the first half of the year. While much of the talk this season has been about LSU's stout defense, particularly its deep and talented line and secondary, this is an offense that continues to grow each week. And with Russell Shepard and Odell Beckham capable of making a big play in the passing game, this Tigers offense is more than capable of moving the football against an equally stout Tide defense.

For fans in Baton Rouge, the hope is that the extra week off won't stunt that growth a bit against 'Bama.

Email dave.miller@nationalfootballpost.com or follow me on Twitter at Miller_Dave

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