Wednesday, November 26, 2003

SEC Week 14 picks

Yes, the 4th-straight football blog ... it's a short and busy holiday week, and LSU ball is getting too interesting to focus on much else at the moment. Sue me.

And, being Thanksgiving week, the wife and I are not only heading out of town tonight, but Ole Miss plays Miss. State tomorrow, meaning extra-early picking.

But first ... Friday at 2:30 eastern it's LSU and Arkansas in Tiger Stadium. Not much on the line besides the SEC West championship and LSU's continued Sugar Bowl hopes ...

The Hogs, and especially their lanky white-guy quarterback, can run the ball, and they've rung up a bunch of points this year - against Tulsa, Texas, North Texas, New Mexico State and Mississippi State. They were held to 3 points by Auburn and 7 by Ole Miss. So they're up and down, to say the least. But they've got their running backs off the injured list now, so they've got ground-game potential.

Shall I remind all that LSU has the country's best run defense and holds opponents to 9 points a game? Keeping that lanky white guy in check may be tough, but he'll have to make a whole lot of big plays for the Hogs to pull this out.

And after being kicked aside by Arkansas last year and with USC's blood in the water, LSU should be well-focused on the task at hand - beat Arkansas to get to the SEC Championship and keep the BCS hopes alive.

Our offense, of course, will have to play better than it did against Ole Miss. We know what we did wrong in Oxford, and Saban should have the fixes in place. LSU, 31 - 20

Elsewhere, Florida State visits Florida in a key game for mid-level BCS rankings. As a potential foe in the SEC Championship, I have to pull for Florida here, and I think they pull it out. Crocs, 28 - 24

Tennessee at Kentucky - Please, J-Load, pull an upset here and put Florida in the SEC Championship. Will it happen? Probably not. But for the sake of good gris-gris and self-preservation, I'm picking the Cats. Kentucky, 28 - 27

Georgia at Georgia Tech - If the Dawgs beat the Jackets on North Avenue, they probably get to play a week later just down the street at the Georgia Dome. UGA, 24 - 10

Ole Miss at Mississippi State (Thursday) - They call it The Egg Bowl. Not sure why. This year it's also known as Sherrill's Last Stand. He'll finish out like Custer. Rebels, 38 - 13

Alabama at Hawaii - Bama's pacific trip is a bowl-substitute for the Tide, and a win over the "Warriors" will help LSU by dropping USC's strength of schedule. Count on it. Bama, 28 - 21

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