Friday, December 05, 2003

SEC Week 15 picks

Well, not a lot of games to pick this week … just that one here in Atlanta.

Georgia’s a better team now compared to our Sept. 20 game, mostly because they’ve gotten over the injury hump. But LSU has probably improved even more, given the emergence of our freshmen running backs – giving us 5 high-quality backs to throw in the mix – the adjustments forced on the defense by Florida’s ability to crack our pressure and the trials by fire against Florida, Auburn, Ole Miss and Arkansas.

UGA would have been better served to not play Vandy, UAB, Kentucky and Georgia Tech as 4 of their last 6 games.

This game should be a great SEC contest, pitting the 3rd (LSU) and 5th (UGA) ranked offenses in the conference against the 1st (LSU) and 2nd (UGA) ranked defenses.

We score 35 a game and give up 10.5. UGA scores 27 a game and gives up 11.8.

So how does it shake out? A defensive struggle is likely, and the game will probably come down to a big play near the end.

Of course I’m taking my Tigers. I’ll go LSU, 17 – 10

On a semi-related note, the effort by myself (and apparently a bunch of other LSU fans) to convince AP voters to not automatically pick USC as the No. 2 team has succeeded in spurring football writers to address the question.

And that’s all I asked – don’t just vote USC No. 2 because they’re No. 2 right now and didn’t lose. There’s a case to be made for LSU passing them if both teams win Saturday. The least the sportswriters can do is mention that possibility.

In today’s Advocate (The Baton Rouge daily, not the national gay newspaper), Scott Rabalais wrote a piece specifically about the AP voters and their thoughts on the No. 2 question going into the weekend. Scott gives a lot of play to the email campaign in his story.

Yesterday, AJC writer Tony Barnhart, whose piece that failed to even mention the possibility of LSU passing USC in the polls sparked my own little crusade, wrote a piece about the AP struggles and why USC is still considered the “right” pick for No. 2.

Over the course of a couple of days, I got replies back from about a dozen AP voters, all of whom seemed to appreciate the fact that my email was a original, hand-crafted piece (not a form email as most were). Most of them seemed open to the idea that a 12 – 1 LSU might be a better No. 2 than an 11 – 1 USC, so we shall see.

One jackass replied “Beat Georgia, then start your advertising campaigns.” To that I replied a) Saturday night would be too late to ask that you not blindly keep USC No. 2 and b) if the sportswriters were expressing any thoughts that a 12 – 1 LSU might be better than an 11 – 1 USC, the “advertising campaign” would not be necessary.

I got no reply to that.

Geaux Tigers!


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