Thursday, November 06, 2003

SEC Week 11 picks

With yet another Thursday night game in the SEC, picks are coming a day early.

And away we go ...

My Bayou Bengals are off this week, leaving me with no Tiger matchup to analyze. We LSU fans find ourselves in the very odd position this year of watching what's happening in the BCS - because it actually matters now! - so in place of Tiger thoughts, here are some BCS observations:

No. 1 Oklahoma - The powerhouse Sooners have Texas A&M, Baylor and Texas Tech left on the schedule, then a likely showdown with Nebraska or Kansas State in the Big XII Championship. I don't like their chances of losing one of the last three regular-season games, but the championship game could be interesting if Nebraska gets in (note: Kansas State is a joke ... I have more respect for Vanderbilt football than the always-way-overrated Wildcats). If I were a betting man, I'd say Oklahoma goes undefeated into the Sugar Bowl.

No. 2 USC - The Trogans have a pretty easy route with three games against also-ran Pac 10 (an also-ran conference) teams left. And no conference championship game.

No. 3 Florida State - Look to the Nov. 29 game against Florida as the best chance for a BCS Top 5 upset.

No. 4 Miami - The Canes looked bad enough against Va. Tech that I could see them blowing another game - maybe, but not likely, against Tennessee this weekend or against Pitt to end the season. But it's more than likely that they win out.

No. 5 Ohio State - They are not as good as their ranking, and with Michigan State, Purdue and Michigan still on the schedule, I like the chances that they lose one of these.

No. 6 Virginia Tech - I think the Hokies stay focused after the big Miami win. They have four games left, however, so maybe they stumble.

No. 7 LSU - We've got Alabama, Ole Miss and Arkansas left, then the SEC Championship if we want to play with the big boys in the BCS. More to come in the weeks ahead.

Now to this week's SEC schedule:

Ole Miss at Auburn - Ah, the game to decide who's Number 2 in the SEC West. I'm pulling for Ole Miss in this one in my aforementioned hopes that the LSU / Ole Miss game will be a real showdown for the west race. That said, I think this is the week Eli and the gang get brought back to reality. Auburn, 24 - 17

Tennessee at Miami (Saturday) - I'd love to see the Vols take down the 'Canes and pull them down in the BCS. But I'm not betting on it. The 'Canes will be up for this one after the Hokies loss, and Tennessee just isn't that good. 'Canes, 31 - 20

South Carolina at Arkansas (Thursday) - Kind of a pointless game now. Hogs, 17 - 10

Alabama at Mississippi State - Bama is 3-6, State is 2-6. Yawn. Bama, 31 - 17

Vandy at Florida - Good luck to the Commodores. Florida, 56 - 10

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