Good morning and War Eagle. I just finished watching the ESPN College Gameday package on today’s game in Auburn. (I can’t believe I’ve had this on all morning.) How big is this game? I haven’t the faintest clue what we’re cooking. Yea, I woke up with no idea or food stuffs in the pantry. It’s already “crazy” and I didn’t intend for it to be.
My gut tells me that we’ve seen our one “crazy” game of the year. Scoring 60+ points on another SEC team because you have to to win is crazy. I feel fortunate that we escaped last week. I’m sure Arkansas is still scratching their heads. I am.
The down side to last week’s win is the media discussion regarding Cam Newton: “is he stoppable?” It’s clear to me that after watching the ESPN package, that LSU players are confident they have answers and are hungry for respect. (Note to self: add Advil to shopping list.)
The hype on today’s game is “best offense vs. best defense”. Personally I don’t think that’s where the game will be won or lost. Earlier this week, I posted my gut feelings on the passing game. Regardless of YTD stats, LSU will move the ball through the air and once rolling will present a balanced attack that’s hard to stop. That’s the real story to me. Will Aubrun’s defense sell out to the run 100% of the time?
On to some other games:
- Wouldn’t it be nice for Rocky Top to get their first conference win today? The Volunteers were close in Baton Rouge only to make a blunder in the end. Word from Knoxville is that practice has been good and the seniors are stepping up their game. I’ll paint my kleenex box orange. I don’t think it stops the bleeding. Bama should eek out a win 17-10. BUT don’t be surprised if McElroy can’t secure the win in the 4th quarter.
- The word on Georgia is that they are back on track and could win the East. Huh? Their road goes through Lexington, Kentucky today. I don’t know much about the Dawgs but my stomach feels empty at the thought Georgia wins this game. The Wildcats beating of South Carolina after losing such a close game to Auburn tells me that team may have something to say. I look at this matchup as “up and coming coach and team” against “established, maybe it’s time to move on coach and team”. Up and coming wins this week: Kentucky 24, Georgia 21.
- I recall wondering where the football was when we moved to St. Louis in 2007. Grocery stores sell Cardinals cookies in November there. The Mizzou shirts only come out for big games. One man in the office however wore his Mizzou tie each Friday and I’ll never forget him. I wish I had Schlafly at LAN HQ just for the Tigers in Black and Gold today because I think they’ll need it. Sooners cookies are sold year round in Oklahoma and that group won’t be the third #1 ranked team to go down on the road for the third straight week. Sooners 31, Missouri 27.
- Other noteables: I’ve read all week that Vanderbilt controls their own destiny. Vandy has never controlled their destiny but a Chicken Curse could help. If South Carolina fails to get a running game going look for Vanderbilt to upset the Gamecocks. The most interesting game in the SEC may be Ole Miss at Arkansas. I don’t think Ole Miss is that bad and Houston Nutt’s return may give that group an edge. Look for a Arkansas letdown today. I like the Wisconsin Badgers’ head coach. He’s a solid midwesterner with a Hawkeye tatoo. Iowa always manages to choke. This could be the game today.
Back to the Plains and then I have to run for the market… I would be surprised if:
- Auburn wins the game with a last minute drive.
- Auburn wins going away.
I wrote last week that an Auburn loss is inevitable. Historically this is the type of game Auburn losses. Two undefeated teams, lots of media hype, and an opponent looking for respect. I would hate for today to be the game.
If memory serves me correct, 2004 was the last time these two teams met with so much on the line. It took a miracle 4th and long passing coversion from Jason Campbell before the go ahead touchdown to win that one. You may recall the referees had something to say in that game too. Auburn missed the extra point after that TD but a personal foul was called on LSU giving Auburn a second chance and the go ahead point.
I don’t think my heart could take that kind of game again but my gut is telling me “here it comes.” These teams don’t like to play in the same sandbox. It’s a matter of who is bully enough and who can hit harder in the end.
My brain is telling me Auburn loses this one and not by a close margin or a missed field goal. Defense and grinding out the run game does win championships here in the SEC. Auburn leads the league in rushing but with a QB. Quietly standing on the other sideline today will be the league leading RB rusher Stevan Ridley of LSU. I expect him to get his carries.
My heart is telling me however this could be a game very similar to last year’s Iron Bowl. Auburn used misdirection to attack an aggressive defense and led early. On defense they sold out to stopping the run and did so. Passing and balance won it for the bammers in the closing minutes. I feel a similar game coming on today. The difference today being…
LSU gets a score late to send it to OT. Once there, Auburn wins: 24-21.