BATON ROUGE - The opponent is No. 2 in the nation. It won the Southeastern Conference championship last season and played in the national championship game.
But it is not Alabama, which LSU has lost to seven straight times.
It is No. 2 Georgia, which will be the first No. 1 or No. 2 team to play at LSU that is not Alabama since Oct. 10, 2009, when the No. 1 Gators beat No. 4 LSU, 13-3, in Tiger Stadium. LSU has defeated Georgia in two of the last three meetings, including by 42-10 in the 2011 SEC Championship Game, and leads the series 16-13-1.
Kickoff between the Bulldogs (6-0, 4-0 SEC) and No. 12 LSU (5-1, 2-1 SEC) is at 2:30 p.m. Saturday on WWL-TV
Florida, like Alabama, is basically at LSU every other year, though. The last time a No. 1 or No. 2 team that was not Alabama or Florida played at Tiger Stadium was on Oct. 26, 1991, when No. 1 Florida State beat unranked LSU, 27-16. LSU trails in both of its series against Alabama and Florida.
Georgia, because of the strange SEC rotation between the East and West divisions and the addition of Texas A&M and Missouri to the league in 2012 that caused schedule juggling, will also be making its first appearance in Tiger Stadium since 2008. No. 11 LSU lost to the No. 9 Bulldogs in that CBS afternoon game, 52-38, before the No. 4 Tigers won at No. 14 Georgia, 20-13, in 2009. No. 6 LSU lost at No. 9 Georgia, 44-41, in a classic in 2013, but he game was not returned.
"It's something different," LSU sophomore center Lloyd Cushenberry of Geismar, near Baton Rouge said. "It's exciting. We play the same teams every year most of the time. I like mixing it up and playing Georgia. I remember watching the game the last time they were here in 2008."
Cushenberry was just 10 at the time.
"I remember watching that game, and I watched that 2013 game, too," he said. "It should be a real fun match-up."
Georgia, which lost the national championship game last season to Alabama in overtime by 26-23, will be the highest ranked team to enter Tiger Stadium since No. 1 Alabama won, 10-0, at LSU in 2016.
It's cool when you get a different team like Georgia coming in," LSU junior defensive end Rashard Lawrence said. "And they're the No. 2 team in the country. That's the coolest thing to me. That's motivating, knowing that they're being talked about as one of the best teams in the country. They're a helluva team, so to have that challenge coming into our stadium at 2:30 p.m. on CBS, that's a motivating thing. We haven't played them in a long time. It's going to be real fun. It's a big time game."
The game sold out on Monday, and a capacity crowd of 102,321 human beings is expected - not just 102,321 tickets sold.
"I know it's going to be a great crowd. I'm excited," LSU coach Ed Orgeron said. "I know our guys, our crowd is going to be there to show everybody that Tiger Stadium is the best place in the country to play."
Georgia sees it much the same way.
"It's an awesome opportunity for our team to play in a venue that a lot of Georgia players never got a chance to play in, and some in the future won't get an opportunity to play in," said Georgia coach Kirby Smart, a former Georgia defensive back who was part of a 28-27 win at LSU in 1998 and was LSU's secondary coach in 2004.
"So that part is good," Smart said.
What might not be for Georgia is the fact that LSU will be the Bulldogs' first ranked opponent all season as it has piled up lopsided wins and padded statistics against the likes of Austin Peay (3-3) of the Ohio Valley Conference and Middle Tennessee (3-2) of Conference USA and four SEC victims (South Carolina, Missouri, Tennessee and Vanderbilt) that have a combined record of 11-10 overall and 2-8 in the league.
"Absolutely, I mean the tests are coming up," said Smart, whose team has an open date next week before playing No. 14 Florida (5-1, 3-1 SEC) in Jacksonville, Florida, on Oct. 27. "We've got some tough games. I think we play some good football teams starting this week with what's an extremely physical, well-coached team in a tough place to play."
Meanwhile, LSU will be playing its fourth ranked team and third in the top eight, having beaten No. 8 Miami and No. 7 Auburn before the 27-19 loss at No. 22 Florida.
"You grow up wanting to play in games like this," LSU quarterback Joe Burrow said. "You don't want cakewalks through the whole season. You want to be challenged, and you want to play the best teams that there are. This is kind of a gauntlet we have the next three weeks. We'll have to be ready for it, but I have faith that we will be."
LSU will put its No. 9-ranked offense in the SEC with 392.3 yards a game against the SEC's best defense with 245 yards allowed a game. Meanwhile, LSU's disappointing defense, which is No. 9 in the SEC in total defense with 343.3 yards allowed a game and No. 9 against the pass with 221.7 yards allowed a game, will face the No. 3 efficiency quarterback in the SEC in Jake Fromm.
Fromm, a sophomore drop back quarterback from Warner Robins, Georgia, has completed 83 of 114 passes for 1,200 yards and 12 touchdowns with two interceptions for a 192.5 rating. And Georgia uses another quarterback for dual action in true freshman Justin Fields of Kennesaw, Georgia. Fields has completed 18 of 25 passes for two touchdowns and no interceptions while rushing 17 times for 133 yards and three touchdowns.
Georgia is chiefly a running team and leads the SEC in that category with 245 yards a game as junior tailback Elijah Holyfield has 432 yards on 58 carries for a whopping 7.4-yard average and sophomore D'Andre Swift has another 290 on 59 carries. They run behind an offensive line that returned four starters.
"They're going to line up and try to maul you and run right at you," said Orgeron's whose defense allowed a season-high 215 rushing yards in a 27-19 loss at Florida last week. "And then they have speed sweeps."
On paper, Georgia looks like the best team LSU has played yet with No. 24 Misssissippi State next Saturday at Tiger Stadium followed by No. 1 Alabama on Nov. 3 after an open date.
"We let our hands down against Florida," Orgeron said. "We should've won that football game. I think we got the players' attention. They know it. I think the team is hungry. This is going to be a tremendous challenge for us. I'm glad we have them at home."