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Predictions 101 — Week 10

The Swami AP

Suddenly we’re the pick ‘em equivalent of Texas A&M.

In the first half of the 2011 season, we were 54-26-2 vs. “the number.” Ever since the second half started, we seem like a different team, going 9-15 in the last two weeks (4-8 in Week 9).

If not for our continued success in the “two more you shouldn’t ignore” realm, we’d have nothing to smile about. We’re 14-3 down there, so if you’re into that sort of stuff, you might want to just skip to the bottom where we have more freedom to peruse the board.

But, hey, it’s not like we’re out looking for work. After 108 games, we’re 63-41-2 (two games weren’t on the board), with a straight-up record of 80-28.

TOP 10 GAMES (Sat., Nov. 5)

1) No. 1 LSU at No. 2 Alabama
Sat., Nov. 5 — 8 p.m. ET, CBS

With so much being said about this titanic battle between the Tigers and Tide, here’s an attempt to boil away their similarities and simplify their differences.

LSU (8-0, 5-0 in SEC) is the superior team along all the edges.

Alabama (8-0, 5-0) is tougher through the middle and across the lines.

Even when matching up those strengths against each other, it seems like a draw.

Nevertheless, the thinking here is that Tiger cornerbacks Tyrann Mathieu and Morris Claiborne have a significant advantage in their chess match with Crimson Tide quarterback A.J. McCarron, who doesn’t have the luxury of a “Julio Jones” at wideout. LSU won’t need to offer either of those elite corners much help over the top with a safety. Those guys will be focused on the action in the box, if not already in there.

That’ll make it tougher on Alabama to gain the yards necessary on first down to stay out of predictable down-and-distance situations, that will allow the LSU to turn up the heat.

The Tigers, on the other hand, have Rueben Randle, who can expertly stretch the field from his wide receiver position, and the mischievous nature of Les Miles. Those two men will at some point generate a key set of yards that’ll provide the turning point.

Believe it or not, the visitor in this series is 27-13-1. The home team has captured the last two meetings, but the hosts have never taken three in a row.

Opening point spread: Alabama by 6

The pick: LSU 19-17

Final: LSU 9-6, OT

2) No. 10 South Carolina at No. 8 Arkansas
Sat., Nov. 5 — 7:15 p.m. ET, ESPN

This prediction comes courtesy of Marc Doche (@MDoche) from the P101 satellite office in Burbank, Calif.

It’s not a total surprise to have a pair of top-10 battles featuring SEC squads in the same week, but to see Arkansas and South Carolina involved is rather unexpected. Last year’s tilt between the Razorbacks and No. 1 Alabama was the first top-10 battle in Fayetteville since 1979 and the Gamecocks haven’t been involved in a contest between top-10 teams since the 1987 Gator Bowl when they were defeated by LSU.

Both teams have been prone to slow starts, with Arkansas (7-1, 3-1 in SEC) posting a trio of double-digit comebacks this season and South Carolina (7-1, 5-1) allowing the opposition to score first in each of their eight games this year and the last 11 overall. The similarities stop there.

With a pair of young replacements in the backfield who have led the offense to just 14 points in each of the last two weeks, the Gamecocks have relied on the nation’s top-ranked pass defense to walk away victorious in each of those road contests.

The Hog passing attack (321 yards per game, ninth in the nation), led by junior quarterback Tyler Wilson, has helped the offense put up at least 38 points in each of its five home victories. Efficiency is the key, as Wilson has not thrown an interception in his last 176 attempts, spanning 18 quarters, while having four of the top-10 receivers in Razorback history at his disposal.

Additionally, Arkansas ranks second nationally with three kick returns for scores and its ball-hawking defense has snagged an interception in each of the last four games.

It all adds up to Razorback Stadium hosting its sixth consecutive Homecoming victory and the Gamecocks falling for the third straight time there to snap a six-game road winning streak.

Opening point spread: Arkansas by 5

The pick: Arkansas 33-17

Final: Arkansas 44-28

3) No. 17 Kansas State at No. 3 Oklahoma State
Sat., Nov. 5 — 8 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN2

Three is the loneliest number in the BCS. To the top two go the spoils. The team slotted third — where the Cowboys currently find themselves — is left to wonder what might have been (and complain about the system along with the rest of us).

Since No. 1 and No. 2 are going to butt heads on Saturday, Oklahoma State (8-0, 5-0 in Big 12) is a virtual lock to move into the “championship game zone” if it can get past visiting Kansas State (7-1, 4-1).

The Wildcats had their bubble burst last week by Oklahoma, which rolled up 690 total yards against K-State in a 58-17 rout. They’ll have their hands equally full with the Cowboys, who have a wicked offense led by quarterback Brandon Weeden, with assistance from running back Joseph Randle and wideout Justin Blackmon.

Oklahoma State’s defense doesn’t get the highlight coverage, but it’s dangerous as well, leading the nation with 29 takeaways, which supports a national-best turnover margin of +2.38.

After bottling up Baylor, 59-24, there’s no reason to think that the Cowboys won’t do something similar to the ‘Cats.

Opening point spread: Oklahoma State by 21

The pick: Oklahoma State 52-27

Final: Oklahoma State 52-45

4) Texas A&M at No. 7 Oklahoma
Sat., Nov. 5 — 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN2

The Sooners might want to let the Aggies run out to an early lead.  All three of Texas A&M’s losses this season (including last week’s 38-31 loss to Missouri, which P101 correctly tabbed to require overtime) have been of the come-from-ahead variety, leading by a combined 46 points at halftime.

A more likely scenario involves Oklahoma (7-1, 4-1 in Big 12) leaning on quarterback Landry Jones even more than usual with the absence of tailback Dominique Whaley (fractured ankle) to shred the porous Aggie pass defense (dead last in the nation).

Texas A&M (5-3, 3-2) beat the Sooners last year in College Station, but have historically performed poorly in Norman, where the Sooners will be focused on starting a new home winning streak.

Opening point spread: Oklahoma by 13 1/2

The pick: Oklahoma 42-31

Final: Oklahoma 41-25

5) No. 6 Oregon at Washington
Sat., Nov. 5 — 10:30 p.m. ET, FSN

This prediction comes courtesy of Shane Hedani from the P101 satellite office in Maunawili, Hawai’i.

Most of the country looks at Stanford and Oregon as the clear elite teams in the Pac-12 North, but we don’t want to overlook the Huskies. They got taken to the woodshed by Stanford on “The Farm,” 65-21, but get to host the Ducks in an emotional home game that’ll be the last played at the current Husky Stadium.

The key for Washington (6-2, 4-1 in Pac-12) is running back Chris Polk (1,016 yards on the ground), who has been showing that he is the one with “BEAST MODE” in town. Only Cal has held him under 100 yards rushing this year. He provides the balance the Huskies needs for quarterback Keith Price to be successful. But, Oregon (7-1, 5-0) has the talent in the secondary (No. 8 in pass efficiency defense) to focus on slowing Polk down.

On the other side of the field, Washington defensive coordinator Nick Holt now has to be prepared for multiple offensive units. Any combination of Darron Thomas, LaMichael James, Kenjon Barner, De’Anthony Thomas and Bryan Bennett can be in the Oregon backfield, all bringing something a little different to the table.

The rust will be dusted off and the Ducks will be in “BEAST MODE” to make sure they leave UW with the W.

Opening point spread: Oregon by 15

The pick: Oregon 45-34

Final: Oregon 34-17

6) No. 23 Cincinnati at Pittsburgh
Sat., Nov. 5 — 7 p.m. ET, ESPNU

There’s a vast difference between how these two teams spent last week.

Cincinnati (6-1, 2-0) rested up and crafted its plan to stay undefeated in Big East play.

Pittsburgh (4-4, 2-1) was fully engaged in a 35-20 victory over Connecticut, which came at a supreme price as superstar running back Ray Graham tore ligaments in his right knee on the fourth play of the game. With Graham on the shelf, the Panthers turned to uneven quarterback Tino Sunseri and he responded beautifully with a 29-of-42 outing that resulted in 419 passing yards.

Sunseri also accounted for three touchdowns against the Huskies, but don’t count on him having that same type of night against the Bearcats, who have the type of defense that will easily stonewall the Graham-less running game and focus on making life miserable for the Panther triggerman.

Opening point spread: Cincinnati by 2 1/2

The pick: Cincinnati 34-23

Final: Cincinnati 26-23

7) Texas Tech at Texas
Sat., Nov. 5 — noon ET, FX

The Red Raiders are a picky bunch. They only pay attention to big fish. Iowa State? Nah, let them go.

Texas Tech (5-3, 2-3 in Big 12) is only interested in bagging trophies like Oklahoma.

Although Texas (5-2, 2-2) isn’t on the Sooner scale this season, its big brand name means the Red Raiders will be there for a full fight.

Opening point spread: Texas by 10

The pick: Texas 31-28

Final: Texas 52-20

8) No. 4 Stanford at Oregon State
Sat., Nov. 5 — 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC

The Beavers specialize in traps like this.

While we doubt that the Cardinal, who can turn on the brute strength and turn to Andrew Luck, are going to get toppled, it would be foolish to not think that there will be a letdown between the emotionally draining three-overtime victory at USC and next week’s showdown versus Oregon.

The Trojans know all about scenarios like this. In 2008, top-ranked USC, fresh off a huge victory over No. 5 Ohio State, got bushwhacked by the Beavers, who were a 25-point underdog.

Granted, Oregon State (2-6, 2-3 in Pac-12) isn’t as talented as that squad three years ago, but it is speedy enough to take advantage of some of the weaknesses that Stanford (8-0, 6-0) exhibited last Saturday at the Coliseum.

Opening point spread: Stanford by 20 1/2

The pick: Stanford 42-27

Final: Stanford 38-13

9) Notre Dame at Wake Forest
Sat., Nov. 5 — 8 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN2

November is here and Irish eyes are smiling.

Last season, Notre Dame (5-3) was 3-0 in November, extending Brian Kelly’s personal 11-game winning streak during the month, which extends back to his days at Cincinnati.

The Irish begin this month’s three-game ACC test drive at Wake Forest (5-3, 4-2) and should go 3-0 before getting crushed at Stanford on Nov. 26.

The Demon Deacons are not well at this point in the season, having just committed five turnovers en route to a 49-24 loss at North Carolina. That sort of thing should sound all too familiar to the Irish.

Opening point spread: Notre Dame by 13 1/2

The pick: Notre Dame 31-27

Final: Notre Dame 24-17

10) Army at Air Force
Sat., Nov. 5 — 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS

The Black Knights got a lift from backup quarterback Max Jenkins in last week’s 55-0 drubbing of Fordham. Subbing for an injured Trent Steelman, who had started the previous 32 games, Jenkins rushed for a pair of scores while triggering an attack that rolled up 514 rushing yards.

Considering the Falcons’ familiarity with this sort of attack, Army (3-5) might need a little more than the 30 yards of passing offense that Jenkins provided against the Rams.

Air Force (4-4, 1-3 in MWC) had a similar afternoon last week as Conner Dietz came on in relief of an injured Tim Jefferson and piloted a 42-0 victory at New Mexico.

We’ll have to side with a fired up Falcon squad playing at home with the chance to clinch their second consecutive Commander-in-Chief Trophy with a victory.

Opening point spread: Air Force by 15

The pick: Air Force 34-13

Final: Air Force 24-14

TWO MORE YOU SHOULDN’T IGNORE

Louisville at No. 24 West Virginia
Sat., Nov. 5 — Noon ET

The Mountaineers and Cardinals have played the same teams — Syracuse and Rutgers — in their last two games.

West Virginia (6-2, 2-1 in Big East) got stunned by the Orange, 49-23, and then struggled mightily against Rutgers before pulling out a 41-31 victory (much to P101’s chagrin).

Louisville (4-4, 2-1), on the other hand, turned around what was a 2-4 season with back-to-back wins over Rutgers (16-14) and Syracuse (27-10).

That doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re riding with the Cardinals here, especially in Morgantown, but we like what their freshman quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has cooking and the defense has a strong backbone.

Opening point spread: West Virginia by 12 1/2

The pick: West Virginia 24-20

Final: Louisville 38-35

Purdue at No. 19 Wisconsin
Sat., Nov. 5 — 3:30 p.m. ET

Who would have thought two weeks ago — or ever — that the Badgers and Boilermakers would be tied in the standings of the Leaders Division at this point in the season.

There are now two things that we know about Wisconsin (6-2, 2-2 in Big Ten). First of all, if a game comes down to defending against a desperation pass, the Badgers are in deep trouble. Secondly, they are not the same team away from Madison.

That’s not good news for Purdue (4-4, 2-2), which is fresh off a sound 36-14 whipping at the hands of Michigan in Ann Arbor and has lost its last 13 road games against ranked opponents.

Opening point spread: Wisconsin by 26 1/2

The pick: Wisconsin 42-10

Final: Wisconsin 62-17

Week 10 record: 11-1
Total: 91-29

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33 Responses to “Predictions 101 — Week 10”
  1. southernpatriots says: Nov 2, 2011 1:48 PM

    John: You have your head out there on alot of games this week. We will go with you this week. Of course, we like your reasoning and score for the LSU v. Alabama game and hope you are right on this one, at least. Anxiety levels are beginning to build.

    Our prediction: 27 – 21 LSU.

    We are either going to be right or wrong with you John. We have those games similarly, the ones we know enough about to even predict a winner. The only upset we see in the making may be Texas Tech over Texas. Texas may not start as slowly as did Oklahoma but Tech may well pull this one off by another method.

    We wish all the players safety this weekend, that none would suffer serious injury.

    Allons les Tigres!

  2. Walk says: Nov 2, 2011 2:11 PM

    Something i noticed multiple times a game for both lsu and bama per game is that they seem to like to tackle high and go for the ball. Great play if you get some strips. However both have been prone to give up yac that they should not because of this. I cant remember the bama db but a reciever ducked and both db’s hit each other the one back was lost for the game a couple weeks back. This is going to be a close game and may very well turn because a strip is made or a reciever breaks a play because of it.

  3. mydixienormus says: Nov 2, 2011 2:13 PM

    What, no prediction the Florida vs. Vandy dog fight?

    Two SEC basement dwellers duking it out.

    UF can take one more step toward being bowl eligible…

    Or will they make it 5 loses in a row?

  4. Jason M. says: Nov 2, 2011 2:27 PM

    Gamecocks losing 33-17? They’ll probably lose, but give the beasts upfront on the d-line some credit. The last time the Razorbacks played a defense this athletic and fast, they got pounded 38-14. Mark Ingram is going to score in this game–mark my words.

  5. southernpatriots says: Nov 2, 2011 3:14 PM

    We are posting this for all CFT bloggers:

    “Chefs John Folse and Rick Tramonto with football legend Bob Baumhower to set Guinness World Record for largest pot of gumbo, raise funds for Tuscaloosa tornado victims

    BATON ROUGE – Renowned chefs John Folse and Rick Tramonto, in light of the catastrophic tornadoes that ripped through Tuscaloosa, Ala,, on April 27, have partnered with longtime friend Bob Baumhower, an Alabama football legend and former Miami Dolphins nose tackle, for a special event.

    Together with Baumhower, the chefs have created a high-profile charitable event to assist those in communities still suffering and rebuilding from the tragic losses. On Nov. 5, the day of the LSU-Alabama football game, the chefs will kick off the first-ever “LouisiBama Gumbo Bowl” at the University of Alabama, next to Bryant-Denny Stadium. Tickets are being sold in advance, and may be purchased here.
    The centerpiece of the day-long Gumbo Bowl extravaganza will be the creation of the world’s largest pot of gumbo by chefs Folse and Tramonto, along with Baumhower and his Executive Chef Steve Zucker, which will be post-certified by Guinness World Records.

    The team will create a monster pot of gumbo, using a 300-year-old cast iron pot from the sugar cane fields of South Louisiana. The World’s Largest Gumbo recipe calls for 750 pounds shrimp, 450 pounds catfish fillets, 100 pounds claw crabmeat, 50 pounds white crabmeat, 200 pounds alligator meat, and 25 pounds Louisiana crawfish tail meat.

    The recipe will include 200 pounds of diced onions, 75 pounds of diced celery, 100 pounds of diced green bell pepper, 150 pounds of sliced okra, 50 pounds of dehydrated garlic, and 20 pounds of butter. After simmering for three hours, the pot will be weighed via a forklift. Then, the delicious, steaming contents will be doled out to hungry football fans during the pre-game tailgate.

    The day’s events will also feature the “Gumbo Bowl” Tailgate Cook-Off, a highly competitive gumbo cooking competition. Four LSU fans and four Alabama fans will square off over their cast-iron pots in a heated culinary battle for gumbo supremacy. The winner will take home the coveted Gumbo Bowl Tailgate Cook-Off Grand Champion trophy. With sports greats such as LSU legend A.J. Duhe and Alabama star Kenny Stabler, as well as Alabama Executive Chef and Great American Seafood Cook-Off winner Jim Smith judging the challenge, the stakes are high.
    Finally, during the game, Folse, Tramonto, Baumhower and Zucker will present a check for the proceeds of the gumbo sales to representatives of both charities.

    The 116-year-old rivalry between the two schools will be set aside temporarily, as Louisianans and Alabamans come together in friendship to raise money for

    Nick’s Kids Fund,

    http://www.nickskidsfund.com,

    and Caring Days Adult Day Care, http://www.campaignforcaring.org,

    two local nonprofit organizations that are working hand-in-hand with the greater Tuscaloosa community to restore areas and services that were hit hard by the tornadoes.

    Nick’s Kids Fund, an organization created by University of Alabama Football Coach Nick Saban and his wife Terry to promote and support children, family, teacher, and student causes, is working with several partner organizations to rebuild homes in Holt, Ala., a farming community just outside of Tuscaloosa. Nick’s Kids Fund is currently in the process of building 13 homes.

    Since 1997, Caring Days Adult Day Care has provided services to enhance quality of life for individuals with memory disorders, their caregivers, and other related populations. In the 2011 tornadoes, many services for dependent adults in West Alabama were wiped out, creating an even greater need for the organization’s services. Caring Days is currently in the process of building the new Mal & Charlotte Moore Center, named for University of Alabama Athletics Director Mal Moore, whose beloved late wife, Charlotte, suffered from early onset Alzheimer’s for nearly 20 years.

    The new center will allow Caring Days to expand their services to serve more clients in the Tuscaloosa area.

    For sports fans, food lovers, and Tuscaloosa community members alike, this will be a festive, heartfelt day not to be missed.

    For more information, and to purchase tickets to the LouisiBama Gumbo Bowl, please visit http://gumbobowl2011.ticketbud.com/tornado-relief.”

    Our family knows the chefs involved as well as the charities. We are supporting the effort by purchasing tickets which we will keep as souveniers and not redeem.

  6. Deb says: Nov 2, 2011 3:27 PM

    Oh thank you, Swami, for picking LSU over Alabama. I like my teams playing from the underdog position. Please tell me you are also taking Baltimore over Pittsburgh :D

    But in a perfect world, Julio would be in this game for the Tide … and my Big Wolverine LaMarr Woodley would experience a miracle recovery come Sunday.

  7. lucky5934 says: Nov 2, 2011 3:27 PM

    I have asked this question many times throughout the season and yet I never receive an answer. WHY should we not ignore a predicted blowout between Purdue and Wisconsin? It would seem you would want to select games that should be competitive when saying we shouldn’t “ignore” them.

  8. dkhhuey says: Nov 2, 2011 3:35 PM

    Who gives a s@#$ about Notre Dame playing anybody? They are a non story for about the 20th straight year.

  9. parkcityute says: Nov 2, 2011 3:55 PM

    I am a Ute in Utah, living and working. Our media runs something on Dame about every week, whether they win or not. What’s up with that? We don’t hear anything about the top teams but we hear about Dame. Disgusting. Is it a NBC thing? A Chicago Tribune thing?

  10. Deb says: Nov 2, 2011 4:17 PM

    @southernpatriots …

    We used to drive through a trailer-community in Holt every holiday season to see the light displays. You’d see car after car winding through the neighborhood to look at the show. It was a poor community, but they went all out for Christmas. That little neighborhood was wiped off the map. Through a program at their school, my niece and nephew “adopted” two children from the community who had both lost their mothers and their homes in the tornadoes.

    I’m so glad to hear these events will help relief efforts in that community. We’ll be heading there for Christmas and I dread seeing how much has changed.

  11. southernpatriots says: Nov 2, 2011 5:19 PM

    Deb: The tornadic activity earlier this year was devastating in a belt across the South, with what seemed to be the most devastating areas in and around Tuscaloosa up through northwestern Georgia. It took our collective breath away as we watched the first still pictures and then later the videos. It reminded all our family of the devastation following Katrina. So much of south Louisiana and Mississippi still bear the scars of that terrible lady.

    Christmas we will be in Appalachia again this year. We have been requested to help provide emergency transport vehicles for some rural areas to help transport the infirmed to clinics and hospitals, so we are working that coordination out. We will try to direct our return so we can go by Auburn to see how things are going there on the efforts to save the trees and then to Tuscaloosa and Holt areas to see the progress since we last we saw it, even in person after the storms eliminated streets and everything along them, and as you indicated this poor community along with others.

    Most did not have insurance to rebuild so Habitat for Humanity along with Saban’s charity, Samaritan’s Purse (Franklin Graham, Dr. Billy Graham’s son), Operation Blessing, local, regional and national church groups and charities, and other groups, are active there to help rebuild.

    Our sister sends her greetings to you. She is recuperating from one root canal surgery, which was very traumatic for her. She has at least one more to go through, but her oral surgeon is waiting until the infections have been eliminated from that area before surgery.

  12. Deb says: Nov 2, 2011 5:57 PM

    @southernpatriots …

    Oh please tell her I said hello and I’m keeping her in my prayers. I hope she gets through this ordeal soon and can enjoy the game this weekend … but not too much ;)

  13. normtide says: Nov 2, 2011 9:06 PM

    I think my Tide will win, 21-17. Looks to be a great game, like it usually is. The game has been well dissected by the media, but I think it will come down to the QB’s.

    For Bama, McCarron needs to be very prepared. He also needs to make some early completions for our balanced offense to have a chance. I don’t see any team beating LSU by just running the ball.

    For LSU, Lee will be facing his first really good, really complex defense since his revival. Pressure was his weakness in his “Mr. Pick Six” days. For Jefferson, will any rust show if he is forced to throw the ball consistently. His legs allowed LSU to win last year, I am not sure that will work against this years Tide.

    Balance will be key for both offenses.

    Want to add, the lead up to this years game is a nice change of pace. Usually, this would be a bitter two weeks between the fan bases. This time it is #1 vs #2, for the right to control your own destiny, not to mention the Saban angle, plus that this was already a very intense rivalry. It seems both fan bases respect the other team. (There is a fringe element on both sides, I tend to ignore them)

  14. southernpatriots says: Nov 2, 2011 9:38 PM

    normtide: Well stated and posted. We agree with the assessment, though differ on the score and winner, of course. McCarron has never faced a defense like LSU’s either and certainly not defensive backs like Mathieu and Claiborne.

    The fringe elements have almost (not completely, but almost) avoided CFT for this game. This fringe can be found on sports-talk radio in Baton Rouge and Tuscaloosa. One coach or the other, one team or the other, is demonized there.

    May all players, both for LSU and for Alabama, be healthy and remain healthy through the game and afterwards.

  15. Deb says: Nov 2, 2011 10:43 PM

    @normtide and southernpatriots …

    Yes, it’s been pleasant around here so far, though I’m sure the usual basement dwellers will show up. Hope they both remain strong and healthy so the best team can continue to represent the SEC against all comers.

    Wow … my Steelers went 10 years between AFC Championships, 26 years between Super Bowl wins. The Tide went 10 years between SEC championships and 17 years between national titles. But in six, my teams have won three AFC Championships, two Super Bowls, an SEC Championship, and a BCS Championship. And today the Steelers are the top-ranked team in the AFC and the Tide are the #2 college team in the nation.

    After riding out the 26 and the 17, no matter what happens this weekend, I feel truly blessed to have survived my cancer battles and been able to enjoy the last six years. What a gift for a football fan!

  16. neovenator250 says: Nov 3, 2011 12:29 AM

    Well there’s something you don’t see at all. An analyst outside of Baton Rouge or New Orleans picking LSU over Alabama. Watch ESPN and listen to Vegas and you’d think this will be one hell of a one-sided game for the Tide. Its going to be an awesome game no matter what, but LSU needs to pull through. Geaux Tigers

  17. southernpatriots says: Nov 3, 2011 4:23 AM

    neovenator250: You are right. We listen to various Internet streaming of radio stations around the country, especially the South, and you are so right.

    The Yanks up at ESPN central in Connecticut of course are the same as the sports talking heads outside of Baton Rouge and New Orleans and here with John at CFT. Maybe they think that is the “safe” bet with Alabama. LSU is up there at the top because 1. It has won all games so far 2. Played one of the hardest schedules in college football with 3 ranked teams in 4 weeks all away from home and winning all.

    I am going to wait until after (hopefully) LSU beats Bama, and next week I will visit the LSU Athletic Department again with my strong suggestions to schedule Boise State, Notre Dame, Michigan, Stanford, etc. to join Washington, and TCU scheduled over the next couple of years and then Oklahoma which was just scheduled for 2018 and 2019. That kind of OOC scheduling gets national attention. We have to win them, though.

    Allons les Tigres!

  18. rajuncajun28 says: Nov 3, 2011 6:31 AM

    LSU will win. I have no doubt. They are the better team. It will make for quite an event after the game. I can see the headlines in the Tuskey-loser paper: unprecedented number of wife beatings reported in local trailer parks…

    Just my thoughts,
    Little Nicky and the hair plugs

  19. Deb says: Nov 3, 2011 11:57 AM

    Like I said, you know the basement dwellers and bad sports will show up eventually.

  20. maddogblitz says: Nov 3, 2011 2:54 PM

    Alabama is going to win.

    LSU will not be able to run the football.

    LSU will not be able to throw the deep passes
    because LSU QB’s won’t have time, they will be
    under pressure all day because Alabama is going to bring every known blitz and some unknown blitzes.

    I think Bama will throw to the tight ends during this game while their WR’s clear out space. This will be done after Richardson establishes the running game.
    Bama 23 LSU 14

  21. Deb says: Nov 3, 2011 5:50 PM

    Well, maddogblitz, we have no trouble seeing who populates this board, do we? It’s okay for all the LSU fans to make their bold predictions and trashy comments, but heaven forbid a Bama fan suggest the Tide might win.

  22. vie05ua says: Nov 4, 2011 9:08 AM

    @Walk – LSU and Bama both tackle/hit high for about the same reason: stop the BC without extra yards. Yes sometimes that does backfire against a player with good footwork, but it’s also why both teams have top 5 defenses. I have never seen two teams put up such hard hits before. LSU was laying Auburn players out on their back, while Alabama averages putting 4-5 opponent players on the injured bench per game due to the intensity of their hits.

    @rajuncajun – Don’t discount either team. McCarron might be the more inexperienced quarterback on either team, but Richardson and Fowler will help shake up the running game (power up the middle for T.R. and edges for Fowler). With Hanks, Maze, and Williams having almost as sure of hands as Julio Jones. And if you’re going to insult, make sure you get it right. Tuscaloosa doesn’t have the trailer parks, that’s Auburn. Something tells me you’re a little late and with the wrong school on that one.

    All in all, it’s going to be a phenomenal game. This IS the national championship. Sorry to you OU, OK ST, and BSU fans, but from watching your games this year, you’re good, but still not in the league of LSU or UA.

    It’s going to be a game of defenses and special teams. I don’t think either offense is going to do much. Alabama will have the rush game locked down, while putting too much pressure on LSU QB to make any long passes down field. LSU will handle Alabama’s long pass game, but will have trouble shutting down the short playaction/screen plays that UA’s tight ends AND RBs excell.

    Good luck to both teams, but in the end:
    ROLL TIDE ROLL!

  23. southernpatriots says: Nov 4, 2011 8:31 PM

    Deb:

    All the talking heads at ESPN headquarters including Buckeye Herb are all picking Bama for various reasons, some legitimate and some completely erred, but what should we expect from talking heads?

    Should and hopefully will be a great game.

    Best to you and all! Even best to our old coach Saban. We want Miles to beat him again, but best to he and all the Bama team. May all be safe.

    Allons les Tigres! Geaux Tigers!

  24. Deb says: Nov 5, 2011 1:17 PM

    @southernpatriots ….

    Well, there’s your mistake. I never listen to talking heads. Only watch ESPN on Monday Night Countdown :)

    Just want a good, competitive game with everyone on both teams staying safe and healthy … and ready to keep representing the SEC regardless of the outcome. Best to all of you, too. Hope your sister is able to enjoy the game!

    ROLL TIDE ROLL!!!!

  25. southernpatriots says: Nov 5, 2011 3:00 PM

    Deb: You are right. I guess I did have an unrealistic expectation that those spokesmen and women, being commentators. or at least on ESPN, that they would know more than what I (and we) know…but we heard such things as: “LSU has not won at Tuscaloosa for over a decade” well that is completely impossible if LSU has won 8 of the past 11 games between LSU and Alabama (which is very true). “Miles has not ever beaten Saban.” What happened last year? Miles beat Saban, LSU beat Alabama. Miles is 2 – 2 v. Saban, and 4 – 2 v. Alabama.

    Now truly none of that affects who will win this year, even sometimes who wins one week does not indicate who will win the next week…ha. But it just is stated to show many who are on The World Wide Leader, don’t really know what they are talking about.

    My sister underwent surgery again this morning. I did not even know our local hospital or dental surgeons performed surgeries on Saturday, especially this particular Saturday, but at 7 am they performed surgery on her. She is under alot of sedation and we hope she will be under much less and will be able to enjoy the game.

    We are having some ex-Tiger players over and bbqing. Everyone else’s new favorite is Jamaican Jerk Chicken, which indeed is delicious and spicy, but mine continues to be the grilled tri-tips or sirloins or ribeyes. I tend to favor the beef while others seem to favor chicken, so we will have both, having the pulled pork next game and some new Cajun dishes we recently developed.

    May the LSU and Alabama teams enjoy themselves in the game tonight and be safe, coming out of the game with no serious injuries.

    Allons les Tigres! Geaux Tigers!

  26. southernpatriots says: Nov 5, 2011 11:51 PM

    This was one of the best defensive games we have seen so far this season and maybe in many seasons. Two great defenses, evenly matched, evenly matched, evenly matched…we can’t say that enough.

    Alabama has a great team. Saban is a good coach.

    LSU has a better team. Miles is a slightly better coach.

    Congratulations to the Alabama team for a great game.

    Congratulations to the LSU team for a great game and winning. This is the latest step. There are other steps in forthcoming weeks. Other important games are coming. Each one is important. Then the SEC championship game, and then the BCS National Championship game in the Superdome. This is our goal, our vision, as LSU alums and fans, following the goal set down by Coach Miles in Spring practice this year, it will be one game at a time. This is one game down, and more yet to come.

    Congratulations Tigers!

  27. Deb says: Nov 5, 2011 11:54 PM

    Well, I don’t know whether they’ll be updating the site tonight and I won’t be on again late tomorrow afternoon. So congratulations on the win. I had to mute Gary Danielson at the end because he kept carrying on with all those statistics–which mean nothing. Each game is a new experience. And on this one, I felt Les did a fine job. It’s a shame that Mathieu behaved like a thug in the end. Of course, I believe he should be suspended for his behavior going forward. He discredited his coach and his team. When hoping our teams would remain injury-free, it never occurred to me one of ours would be assaulted.

    Otherwise, though, I know the pundits will say the difference was in special teams, but I felt Les called a better game. I was extremely disappointed that Nick let the clock run out on regulation and took the game to OT without making any effort to score. OT wasn’t an option in Bear’s day, but that’s not something he would have done.

    At least we were able to witness one of the all-time great defensive battles. And other than Kirkpatrick, who was injured in Mathieu’s assault, everyone seemed to survive the game okay.

    Congrats!!

    ROLL TIDE!!

  28. southernpatriots says: Nov 6, 2011 12:06 AM

    Deb: We were disappointed and shocked when we saw what Tyrann did as well. We would hope he will be suspended by the SEC, if not by Miles. if it is like the Big 10, Miles wouldn’t do it, but let the SEC do it, but we would rather that Miles would do it.

    A great defensive battle. We were shocked that Saban allowed the time to elapse at the end as well. At first we could not understand what was happening and thought he must have known something we did not know. We don’t think that Miles would have done that. It seemed that Miles was much more relaxed than Saban, but that is probably just their different personalities. Saban was so intense, angry even at times. Miles seemed happy and at peace. It could be it helped him to make better decisions.

    We did not see Miles eat any of the grass. Wing T had told us previously that the grass in Bryant-Denny Stadium was treated. Maybe word got to Miles and he did not eat any…ha.

    We are so glad that LSU extended it winning record against Bama over the past 12 years, to be 9 out of 12, only losing 3 and winning the past two years in a row. Miles now has a record of 5-2 v. Bama and 3-2 head up with Saban.

    Alabama has a great team, especially a great defense. Nothing can change that. This game went a along way to confirm this for the national tv audience which we think may be the highest rated game this year. Bama is for real. The game could not have been more even.

    May somehow, Bama not slip much at all in the BCS rankings and may Bama meet LSU again in the BCS NC at the Superdome. Congratulations to both teams and both coaches for a great game, especially a great defensive game.

    Congratulations LSU! Allons les Tigres! Geaux Tigers! all the way!

  29. Deb says: Nov 6, 2011 12:23 AM

    @southernpatriots …

    Oh, that’s Nick’s personality all the time LOL He makes me think of a crazed Chihuahua … on speed. I can’t help but laugh when I see him like that–so it’s probably as well that I’m not one of his players because I’m sure laughing would not be appreciated :) Les does seem pretty zen. I’ve really come to like and respect him as a coach. I like and respect Nick, too. But I wasn’t happy with his decisionmaking at the end of the game. Not happy at allllllll.

    Can’t remember when I’ve seen two more closely matched teams. Two thoughts that kept going through my head were about tomorrow night’s game between us and the Ravens. One was that (except for that one moment with Mathieu) I thought both teams were so well-behaved in their hits. Tomorrow night, I’m expecting blood :) But the predominant thought was how thankful I am for Roethlisberger. Ben frustrates me a lot and it’s been a while since I’ve stopped to appreciate him. But it would have made a huge difference tonight if either of our teams had that kind of playmaking QB aboard. I’m glad he’s on my team tomorrow night.

    This may not have been a good showcase for Lee, but I thought Jefferson was the better QB. Would like to see what he can do going forward.

    Yes, both teams are so strong. The real shame is if Boise winds up ahead of Alabama. Ugh.

    Pass along my congrats tomorrow if anyone wonders where I am :D

  30. southernpatriots says: Nov 6, 2011 12:40 AM

    Deb: Thank God Ben is Ben…tough and resilient. The game between the Steelers and the Ravens…is a war. No love lost on either side. Really want the Steelers to win and can’t conceive they won’t. The Steelers will remember the earlier game this season and they will NOT allow these dirty Ravens to win this time.

    We sure hope there is a rematch with Alabama, but we have to win out. God forbid, that Boise State goes ahead of Bama. That would make us all sick. We are going to start writing some folks we know to see if they have any influence to stop that mess. God knows there is no comparison of SOS and that should trump the cupcakes.

  31. mdoche says: Nov 7, 2011 10:46 PM

    Looks like the prediction on the Gamecocks game was pretty close to the final, no?

    As far as not ignoring blowouts, it means either the game still has some interest for the reasons described or we feel confident about the pick so you shouldn’t ignore it because you can make $.

  32. southernpatriots says: Nov 8, 2011 8:27 AM

    Well, confession is good for the soul, they say. We predicted 27 -21 LSU over Alabama.

    The only thing we were correct on (thank God!) was the LSU over Alabama part.

    A defensive battle that was even through regulation play coming down to another poor coaching decision, and better special teams’ play by LSU to win it in overtime. Classic defenses. Evenly matched teams. LSU now is 9 wins against Bama in the past 12 games. Miles is 5 – 2 against the Tide, and 3 – 2 against Saban. So far, we have watched the game about 4 times and several plays (the interception on the 1 yard line) more times than that.

    My family and I breathe a collective sigh of relief after that game!

  33. southernpatriots says: Nov 8, 2011 9:54 AM

    Chef John Flose, his Alabama chef friends, and many volunteers, served over 1000 bowls of gumbo from the world record gumbo they prepared in the parking lot of Bryant-Denny Stadium.

    They raised over $25,000 for the respective charities. As detailed above in our previous posting on this thread, the charities will use the monies raised to assist those who suffered from the tornadoes which hit Tuscaloosa and the surrounding areas this past spring. Our congratuations to Chef Folse, the other chefs and volunteers and all those who purchased tickets. We heard the gumbo was great! Bon Appetit!

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