LSU / SEC Week 9 Picks

As I said in the wrap-up from last week, I think No. 9 LSU needs to use the Tulane game as a final tune-up for Alabama a week from now. Call that “looking past”, but it’s more about taking advantage of a situation to continue working on pressing needs.

Tulane is not good. They stand 95th in total offense and 96th in total defense playing a very weak schedule. Defensively the Tigers need to make sure they understand the Greenies’ game, but offensively this needs to be a directed practice of the concepts we’ll employ against the Tide.

If LSU ends up showing a strong passing game and can run the ball inside, I’ll end up feeling pretty good about the Bama game. The passing should happen, but I’m not so sure about the running. But if you can’t succeed with it against Tulane, it should really inform your game against Bama. So we’ll see.

LSU 34 – 10

Elsewhere in the SEC:

Georgia vs. No. 1 Florida. If there’s a spot for hope in this year’s game for UGA, it’s that the Dawgs’ biggest weakness is pass defense, and pass offense is Florida’s problem spot. But if Tebow has been unspectacular throwing the ball this season, meeting up with the squad that made Jonathan Crompton look great might just be what he needs to get rolling again. I think it’s clear that talent and past performance favors the Gators, but if Florida is really on a downswing and UGA had a good open date week of preparations, there could be a surprise in this game. Or the Gators could wake up and make this a blowout. I’m not predicting either of those, though.

Gators 23 – 20

No. 25 Ole Miss at Auburn. A real pivot game for the Rebels and War Eagles. Ole Miss is all but out of the SEC West race after coming in to the season with so much hype. Auburn is trying to salvage what looked for a while like a dream season for its new regime. If Auburn wins, they pull Ole Miss back to their three-loss level in the middle of the West pack. An Ole Miss win would separate the Rebels from the back half of the division and at least keep their season respectable. The big matchup question is Ole Miss’ not-great rush defense (60th) against the only part of the Auburn offense that seems to still work a little bit. I’m going to go with Auburn’s run game here.

Auburn 27 – 24

No. 22 South Carolina at Tennessee. Until last week, when Tennessee took Alabama to the end and South Carolina barely got past Vandy, I would have taken the Cocks here. Yes, Vandy only scored a field goal on offense, but South Carolina showed a disturbing lack of finishing in that game (431 yards of offense, no turnovers … and 14 points?).

Tennessee 15 – 13

Mississippi State at Kentucky. I’ll go with the Bulldogs’ ground game over Kentucky’s lack of a rush defense.

MSU 20 – 17

No. 11 Georgia Tech at Vandy. I pity the Vandy defense.

Ga. Tech 45 – 17

Eastern Michigan at Arkansas. This is the 0-7 Directional Michigan school.

Hogs 63 – 10

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