Friday, November 21, 2003

SEC Week 13 preview

Week 13? We play Ole Miss for the SEC West title in week 13? 13?!?!? Jesus, man, you might as well just break all the mirrors in the locker room before the game.

Actually, I guess the odds are 50/50 that the bad luck is for Ole Miss, not us. So I shall not get too worked up about it.

But this is it. The big showdown. The first LSU / Ole Miss game to mean something in about 45 years. The winner - barring letdowns next week - gets a trip to Atlanta for a shot at the SEC Championship and, in LSU's case, continued hope for a national title.

Anyone who gives a damn knows the breakdown of this game - LSU has the country's best defense, Ole Miss has the SEC's best offense. Ole Miss has a decent run defense and a horrible (300 yards a game) pass defense. LSU is unforgiving against the run (60.8 yards a game) and also gives up less than 200 yards a game in the air.

Ole Miss is the sentimental favorite and should play with a lot of emotion. LSU is the budding powerhouse with everything to lose.

So what happens? LSU can't count on the standard strategy of stop the other team early, score early and grind it out from there. Eli is too talented and the Rebs can score way too quickly for that. So the Tigers have to gear up the offense a bit, stay aggressive and exploit the many weaknesses in the Rebel defense.

Ole Miss needs a Heisman-winning game from Eli, a lot of LSU mistakes and the game of a lifetime from their defense to take this particular showdown.

I think the Tigers are too damn close to the prize to have a letdown now. Saban will have them ready for the game. Eli will have his moments, but it won't be enough. LSU, 38 - 31

Elsewhere, Alabama visits Auburn for their annual battle. What's on the line this year? Tuberville's job and not much else. Auburn, 24 - 20

Kentucky at Georgia - Hmm. Cats lose to Vandy and now have to play Georgia and Tennessee to wrap up the season. Sorry to hear about that. Maybe J-Load has a 1% chance of coming out firing and taking down the Dawgs®. Georgia, 24 - 16

Mississippi State at Arkansas - Hasn't Jackie Sherrill left yet? His Bulldogs come around to stink up yet another SEC city this weekend. Arkansas, 35 - 17

Clemson at South Carolina - The fabled Palmetto State rivalry. Who cares? Clemson, 21 - 17

Vanderbilt at Tennessee - The fancy folks from Nashville pull on their sequined gold caps and $200 jeans and head east. They've got a better chance of finding an indoor toilet in Knoxville than Vandy has of winning there tomorrow. Vols, 41 - 13


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