Thor Burk, he of the fantastic Still Saturday in Our Hearts, fills in for our humble absentee blogger.
Week 8: LSU. The Bengals won a pedestrian game over McNeese State, 32-10, putting up only 282 yards of offense with 103 in the air. But what did you expect? I jokingly predicted the final to be 22-10, which actually was the score until LSU hit a field goal with 9:32 left in the game and scored a TD right at the end. Miles and company should have obliterated this team while getting their backups lots of playing time; they won pretty comfortably, but didn’t go much further than the two deep. Expect LSU to be ready when they walk into Jordan-Hare this Saturday. Expect us to handle them.
Worry Level: Enigmatic, with a hint of corn dog.
Week 9: Ole Miss. The Rebels looked stronger in a loss to Alabama 23-10, or did Bama look weaker? The Rebels held the tide to only 319 yards of offense and Ingram to only 60 yards on the ground. It’s no secret that the Rebels are getting better as the year progresses, but they still make a lot of stupid mistakes. We should be able to get a win in Mississippi.
Worry Level: Up a bit from last week, due only to their confidence level.
Week 10: Chattanooga. The Mocs beat a strong Georgia Southern team to push their win streak to 4. Next week, they’re on the road to face the Paladins that used to be the Furman University Christian Knights, which just looks bad on a sweatshirt. Jeff Sagarin currently has the Mocs at 107 as his poll starts to even out. His formula doesn’t start to look realistic until each team has played 7 or 8 games.
Worry Level: Nil, but the Mocs are looking good for their level of competition.
Week 11: Georgia. Manhandled Vanderbilt in Sanford Stadium, 43-0, and it could have been worse since Richt called off the dogs in the 4th quarter. UGA racked up 547 yards of offense and held Vandy to 140. That’s pretty impressive, but this week they travel to Kentucky. Let’s see what they’re really made of.
Worry Level: Up some, but simmer down, they’ve beaten the two worst teams in the SEC. In Athens.
Week 12: Alabama. We all assumed Bama was going to kill Ole Miss. Instead, they pillow fought the Rebels into submission with some help from their special teams (199 yards) and the refs (12 Ole Miss penalties) on the way to a 23-10 win. The South Carolina game was not an aberration; this team actually may not be any better than anyone in the SEC. They held a bad Ole Miss team to 243 yards and 10 points, but only scored 23… Ole Miss had been giving up 32.6 ppg, and the defending national champs only put up 23 points in their home stadium?
Worry Level: Down to a winnable level.
THE CONQUERED (AND THE CONQUERORS)
Arkansas St. (2-5) Lost a tough one on the road to Indiana, 36-34. This week they host the Florida Atlantic Owls.
Mississippi State (5-2) Dan Mullen and the Bulldogs went down to Gainesville and beat the Gators, 10-7, in a beautiful defensive struggle. The Gators missed two field goals down the stretch including one that would have sent the game to overtime, but give State credit — they ran all over Florida and pushed them around in the second half. Florida couldn’t stop then when they needed to. The Bullies racked up 212 on the ground and held on at the end. Good for State.
Clemson (3-3) Kyle Parker is still hurt and playing terribly (7/20 passing), but Clemson still whipped Maryland 31-7.
South Carolina (4-2) lost a 31-28 heartbreaker on an INT with seconds left on the clock. This is why Spurrier is always angry with Senor Garcia; he needed to throw that ball away if his man were covered, then they kick the field goal and go to OT. Garcia’s insistence on always trying to do everything himself loses games.
Louisiana Monroe (3-3) beat Western Kentucky, 35-30. WKU is still new to the FBS and may be the worst team in the country (yes, even worse than Eastern Michigan).
Kentucky (4-3) beat South Carolina, 31-28, in Lexington, now they host the Georgia Bulldogs. If UK wins they are in the mix for the SEC East.
THE OVERALL PICTURE
After scoring 65 points against Arkansas, Auburn fans have to be feeling good right now. LSU’s offense may seem terrible, but they are 68th in total offense, not in 100’s as I was expecting. Their defense is good, but Auburn has chewed up other good defenses this year and I don’t see anything different happening this weekend. If our defense can get some 3 and out’s, this game won’t be in question. If we make their terrible QB look like Drew Brees, it’ll be another 4 hour score fest.