LSU / SEC Week 3 Picks

They say we should respect or perhaps even fear USL this week, as the Cajuns are 2-0 and beat a “BCS conference” team last week. Sorry to say, Tiger fans, but if Saturday’s game is anything but a patsy blowout, No. 7T LSU is in trouble.

I’m not ready to call the Tigers’ start a bad one. Opening the season at Washington and following up with an SEC home opener against a supposedly not-horrible Vandy is unusual. We’re 2-0 this season with a combined score of 54-32, which is being viewed poorly. Last year after two games we were 2-0 with a combined score of 82-16 … beating Appy State and North Texas. And Florida is 2-0 this year with a combined score of 118-9 … beating Charleston Southern and Troy. So we can’t view this season’s starts solely by points scored and points allowed. However, loyal Tiger fans will recall 2007, when we opened 2-0 with wins over Mississippi State on the road and Virginia Tech at home … by a combined score of 93-7.

That season is the measuring stick of “damn strong” LSU teams. Clearly we are not there. But there are mitigating factors – the ghost of Jarrett Lee being the biggest one – that would make it a wise move to bring these Tigers along deliberately and carefully. If, of course, that’s what’s happening.

But now is the time to put the spurs to this team. I want to see a lot more this week than we’ve been shown so far. The USL game and Mississippi State next week are the final tune-ups for Georgia, Florida and Auburn (yes, we have to mention the Auburn game now) in October. Blowing out the Cajuns is not just good for team and fan morale, it’s an indicator of likely performance against real SEC competition. In our 2003 national championship season, our patsy games averaged a score of 44-8. In 2007, it was 45-6. Last season, it was 39-14.

And about those Cajuns – let’s not kid ourselves. They beat Southern and a Kansas State team that had a hard time with UMass. And against Kansas state USL managed just 287 yards of total offense and gave up 377 yards. LSU should easily hold them under 200 yards and throw down 450+ on them. Rain or no, this one needs to be ugly.

LSU 48 – 6

Elsewhere in the SEC:

Tennessee at No. 1 Florida. It’s too bad for Gator fans that the Vols couldn’t keep up the appearances of being a good team against UCLA. Maybe that loss and familiar Tennessee problems were anomalies, but we’ll know for sure come Saturday. Florida will be out for blood; the Vols will do well to keep it close.

Gators 52 – 10

West Virginia at Auburn. This game could swing Auburn into the “we’re back” category, swing the Big East back toward legitimacy or end up as something hideous that leaves no questions answered. The War Eagles have to be feeling good – they passed the test against La. Tech and threw a beating down on Mississippi State in their SEC opener. And they are ranked No. 4 in the country in total offense. Beating up on West Virginia would keep their momentum rolling through at least the Tennessee game. But I don’t know that it’ll really prove all that much. We’ll have to see how MSU looks in a couple of weeks, etc. before Auburn’s new offense can really be gauged. But I think things fall their way here.

Auburn 35 – 24

Mississippi State at Vanderbilt. Along with USC at Washington, this is the game Tiger fans will watch this week to see how good we should feel about ourselves. A Vandy win here would make our win over the ‘Dores feel OK. A blowout by MSU and things will be uncomfortable. I’m going with program experience, the home field and confidence on this one.

Vandy 24 – 20

No. 20 Georgia at Arkansas. They say it’s a “trap game” for the Bulldogs. And it could well be. Arkansas has played just one game, a patsy win in which they ran up 591 yards of offense. So I really don’t know what to make of them. Georgia, on the other hand, could be viewed as weak based on their Oklahoma State loss or strong in outlasting South Carolina. But I can’t overlook the Dawgs No. 98 ranking in scoring defense (influenced, of course, by the lack of patsies). If Arkansas’ offense is for real, Georgia could be in trouble on the road. But I don’t feel confident making that assumption. I’m going with trial-by-fire experience here.

Georgia 42 – 38

Louisville at Kentucky. I got nothing here, except that Rick Pitino is an exemplary husband and father.

Kentucky 35 – 10

North Texas at No. 4 Alabama. Our patsy games are the only ones that shall draw deep analysis.

Bama 45 – 13

Florida Atlantic at South Carolina. FAU lost to Nebraska 49-3.

Cocks 48 – 7

Southeastern Louisiana at Mississippi. Wow, SLU has a football team? And they throw a lot and have the No. 4 total offense in I-AA. Good to know.

Ole Miss 52 – 13

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

One Response to “LSU / SEC Week 3 Picks”

  1. TCL says:

    Pretty much same-same, except I have Arkansas 41-38.

Subscribe to RSS Feed Follow me on Twitter!