Weekend Preview: What Georgia Fans Really Want
This is a rough weekend to be an SEC fan believe it or not. Not because of an impending beatdown or anything along those lines, but because there’s very little to get jacked up about until about 8:15 PM Saturday night. There are games that undoubtedly will mean something to someone somewhere for some reason (I’m talking to you Auburn fans who will actually celebrate a win over New Mexico State), but for a weekend this late in the season the conference’s slate is lacking sex appeal.
Vanderbilt is traveling to Kentucky where James Franklin will continue his Compete in 2012 Tour against a Kentucky team whose only victory this season is against the mythical State of Kent. I suspect the Commodores will drive home with a victory and he will scream victoriously, “We’re not the old Vanderbilt anymore! We have three conference wins. Last year we only had two!” while the rest of the conference laughs and the rest of the nation doesn’t notice anything at all.
Tennessee is going to get a win against a team from Alabama, unfortunately it is going to come one week too late and it’s going to come against Troy. This will have absolutely zero impact on Derek Dooley’s job security (or lack thereof) so I’m sure the Vols will win by 50.
Texas A&M will take on Mississippi State in a game that is so important it has been assigned a kick-off time that is just before most college students wake up on Saturdays. With coverage beginning at 11 AM I suspect the “Hail State” chants will have disintegrated into cries of “Hell, State” by the time I’m finished eating brunch. Aggies win.
Missouri travels to Florida where I hope Sheldon Richardson and company wear their really cool, tough and not remotely hilarious shirt that commemorates their first SEC win. Come on guys, ignore the fact that the win was over Kentucky and ignore the fact that their first conference win came one week after their fourth conference loss (three of which were at home and three of which were by more than 20 points). On the radio this week someone mentioned that they thought Mizzou could upset a depleted Florida team this week. Atlanta laughed. Florida wins big.
Arkansas is looking to get back on track once again against the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes who lead Conference USA with a 5-0 record. No game is safe with John L. Smith and his USA-sized budget deficit roaming the sidelines. But I have a feeling the Razorbacks can win this one. (See what I mean about boring games?)
Auburn will be playing host to New Mexico State and the War Ealing Plains Tigers are favored by 22.5 points. How bad is New Mexico State if they are 22.5 point underdogs to a team that only has one win (Louisiana-Monroe) and has only score more than 21 points once all season (against Louisiana-Monroe)? Relative to Auburn they can’t be that bad. I think they cover the spread. But surely, surely, surely Auburn wins, right?
(Dude’s Note: How bad are the games this week? All of the games previously discussed kickoff at 12:30 Eastern Time or earlier. Three are kicking off prior to noon at their respective locales.)
Georgia and Ole Miss get rolling with the 3:30 game, but I’m such a tease you’ll have to go elsewhere to read about that.
And of course, the primetime big daddy game is Alabama at LSU. I am admittedly heavily underversed (I wouldn’t say I’m unversed, but I’m not as versed as I’d like to be. Therefore, I’m underversed.) in knowledge regarding both of these teams. I have seen them both squads play several times (LSU probably more than Alabama just because they’ve had the more challenging/intriguing schedule) but haven’t really analyzed them – it’s like the old teachers’ adage “Are you hearing or listening?” I’ve heard but I haven’t listened. My gut says that Alabama’s defense looks every bit as good as – if not better than – LSU’s and that Alabama’s offense looks much, much better. In that regard I expect Alabama to win handily. But, LSU’s schedule (Florida, South Carolina, Texas A&M) blows away Alabama’s (Arkansas, Ole Miss, Mississippi State). Furthermore, LSU holds what I believe to be the greatest home field advantage in American sports in Baton Rouge. So, it seems like those factors could make it close (or even swing the end result). Ultimately, I do expect Alabama to win though. But again, I don’t know how heavily you should rely on that information – especially when I’m actually agreeing with both Vegas and the national pundits.
At this juncture all that really matters is the games featuring teams ranked above Georgia in the weekly BCS poll (obviously, I’m speaking from a weekly preview perspective, it certainly matters that Georgia continue to win football games). In light of that here is what Kansas State, Notre Dame and Oregon are up to (as LSU and Bama have already been covered):
#2 Kansas State is playing host to 24th ranked Oklahoma State Saturday evening (also at 8 PM). If you have doubts about Kansas State’s defensive capabilities this should be a good game to watch. The Cowboys are averaging 44 points per game (6th in the nation) and have been held under 31 points just once this season. Georgia fans should all be rooting for Kansas State to lose, and I think this game presents as big of an opportunity as any (although TCU and Texas could also pull out upsets later in the year). The irony of OK State (who was shunned by an all-SEC National Championship game last year) essentially eliminating a Big XII team from contention this year and further opening the door for the SEC is not lost on me. I’m taking the upset here. K-State just doesn’t pass the eye pass, and I think they’re long overdue for a letdown game.
Notre Dame (3rd in the BCS) is taking on a Pitt team that is 1-3 in the Big Least Conference. I’ll save my time and yours: ND wins this game.
Lastly, #4 Oregon will square off in LA with 17th ranked USC. If there was ever a time to be a fan of Lane Kiffin it’s over the next few weeks as the Trojans could knock off both Oregon and Notre Dame. I don’t think that will happen this week, however. But boy I’d like to see Oregon out of the way.
Big props to workout buddy (when we actually do that) and DudeYouCrazy reader Jay for this week’s must-miss YouTube. This is the scariest thing you’ll see all week…
You kids have a great weekend.
That’s all I got/