SEC Pigskin Picks 11-5: “Sorry, Robert Frost” Featured game: LSU-Bama

Coach writes a poem to try and apologize to the listeners because the picks have been so terrible this year. Meanwhile, Chely serves on a jury until she find out she may miss the Slobber Knocker Game of the Week, Alabama and LSU.

Georgia vs. LSU: not that big of a deal

Hogwash! Blasphemy! Treason, even! I can hear the Dawgs barking and the Tigers growling.

What do you mean, it’s not that big of a deal? Here you’ve got two top 10 teams with Championship implications on the line. What do you mean?

Let’s examine what’s on the line for Georgia. The Clemson loss knocked the Dawgs out of the NC hunt in week 1. Since that’s not happening, the goal is the SEC Championship. Okay Dawg fans, you’re already mad at me for my NC observation, so let’s just go on and say LSU invades Athens and takes care of business. That gives Georiga their only conference loss. The next three games are at Tennessee, home against Missouri and at Vanderbilt. Georgians have a better chance of getting a share of the Tennessee River than the Dawgs have at losing to either the Vols or Dores. And, Missouri at home will be a double-digit margin.

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Georgia’s only remaining test is at home against Florida. And even that will be an open-book test. Did you watch the Florida-Tennessee game? Florida is not through losing. I will go out on a limb right here and predict Georgia beats Florida worse than it beats Vandy. The match-ups are clearly in Georgia’s favor against the Gators. Then they finish up with Auburn and Kentucky. W and W. And boom, the ticket is punched to the SECCG, even with a loss to LSU. Maybe that guy who cried on the radio call-in show after the Clemson game can take some consolation in this.

The Tigers, on the other hand, come in with a perfect record, meaning they’re still in the hunt to play for the big crystal football. Well, maybe. Even an undefeated SEC team (besides current No. 1 Alabama) would still need two and maybe 3 of the current teams ranked ahead of them to stumble. Have you looked at the remaining schedules for Oregon, Ohio State, Clemson and Stanford? Probably not happening.

So, let’s say the Mad Hatter goes to Athens and runs out of tricks. There’s no reason to throw yourselves to the alligators, Tiger fans. Neither Texas A&M nor Alabama have great defenses, and Mettenberger is engineering more than 43 points a game. You’re going to get either ‘Bama or A&M, maybe both. Here’s the deal: you were the odd-man-out in the west before the season began. Beating Alabama and A&M is what gets you to Atlanta in December. It doesn’t really matter if the ride home from Athens is a long one, if you don’t TCB in the West, you’re out anyway.

But you won’t catch me saying that to an LSU fan late Saturday night.

Until next time, give me 20, slackers.
Coach Billy Jack Hoover
@coachbillyj

The SEC West in 2 minutes…

1. Alabama is going to win the West. There’s not much that could happen that could sidetrack that. I hate clichés, so I’m not going to say “they don’t rebuild, they reload.” But right now, that’s what they’re doing in Tuscaloosa. You know the names; I won’t bore you.

2. LSU has been the forgotten team this preseason with Bama’s dominance and Johnny Namath, uh I mean Manziel’s misgivings (which I will address in a minute). And I’m sure Les Miles loves it. He’s down there in Baton Rouge devising his diabolical plan to win it all. He can’t do it, because a bad case of graduation-itis struck his defense. But he’ll be good enough to finish second.

3. Over in College Station, things are going in a different direction with Johnny Manziel. Last year, we named him our @secpigskinpicks Player of the Year. Well, player of the year he was; but his high flying off-season shenanigans have soured me on him. Did he sell autographs? It sure looks that way. Will he ever step behind center for A&M again? Probably. A slap on the wrist is a likely scenario since the NCAA’s burden of proof goes way beyond reasonable doubt. And, A&M has hired a fancy law firm with NCAA investigation experience to keep him in an Aggie uniform. But he’s a target now, and we know Saban, the Mad Hatter and all the other SECW coaches have been keying on turning him from unstoppable to merely effective. And “effective” isn’t going to get it done in the SEC.

4. Last year, Mississippi State won their first seven games before a loss to Alabama forced the Bulldogs to implode. Tyler Russell still has plenty of weapons, but don’t look for them to get there this year. I’m seeing about a .500 conference record.

5. Ole Miss: heading in the right direction, but not there yet.

6. Arkansas: nope.

7. Auburn: look for the Tigers to be mainstays on their opponents’ highlight reels.

Whenever I’ve got 2 more minutes, I’ll preview the East. And remember to listen to @secpigskinpicks every Thursday night during football season during @thesportsdrive on 101.3 The Buzz!

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