Saturday, October 20, 2007

Game Day: Auburn

Yet another fateful day is here, and today marks the 2/3 mark of the season for us. Game 8. It's also, needless to say, Auburn. Everyone with a lick of sense holds a special place in their hearts for hatred of Auburn.

But it's going to be a long day before we get to Auburn. There are only three SEC games on television this week, which is a mild disappointment, especially since USC vs. Vandy is not being televised. Here're my plans for the day:

Now until 11:30am: Various chores and activities, including a trip to the Kentuck Art Festival with my family. There will possibly be a trip to the library as well, and likely a short jaunt to the grocery store to buy milk and other household supplies.

11:30am - 2:30pm: Tennessee at Bama, Lincoln-Financial. If it's not over at 2:30, and if it's still competitive, I'll keep watching. I think Tennessee is the better team, which is strange because I wouldn't have said that two weeks ago at this time. If there is any trend you may notice from my writings, it is that I do not believe the better team necessarily wins every game, and these teams are close enough in talent that you really couldn't make a confident prediction. Plus, Bama's at home, and they hate Tennessee more than the Baptists hate to drink in public. Bama's problem here is that Tennessee's offense is pretty darn explosive. It's also very balanced. They can run with Lamarcus Coker and Arrian Foster, and it can pass with Erik Ainge, who is quietly having the kind of season that might normally make someone a 1st Team All-SEC quarterback. Too bad for him there's a guy named Woodson and a guy like Tebow stealing all the headlines. Bama's defense has been surprisingly good at times, and got something of a preview of this kind of offense when it went against a surprisingly dynamic Ole Miss team. They didn't have much success defensively against Ole Miss though, so they'll have to improve a lot from last week to this week. Bama can win, but it will be tough. They'll need Tennessee to be flat.

An interesting point: If Bama loses to Tennessee, they STILL control their destiny in the West. They will have two SEC losses, but both to Eastern Division opponents. If they win out after that, both Auburn and LSU will have at least two losses, at least one of which will be against a Western Division opponent. Bama would win the West. Further, a win here won't really help Bama in the SEC West, as they'd still have to probably win out in order to win the West.

2:30pm - 6:00 pm: Florida at Kentucky, CBS. I think Kentucky has a real chance here. And yes, I think that in part because of how they played us. They showed real character in beating us. It will be an uphill climb, but I think they got a lot of confidence from that win. Florida's secondary is young, and Kentucky's quarterback is great. That's a recipe for success if you're Kentucky. If Kentucky can bring the physical play the way they did last week on the defensive side of the ball, they're a very good football team.

7:00pm - 8:00pm: Michigan at Illinois, ABC: Go Fightin' Zooks!

8:00pm - midnight: Auburn at LSU, ESPN. Obviously, this is a big game for both teams. I don't think the loser has a prayer in the SEC West, and the winner has a very good chance of holding onto the top spot. Right now, only LSU, Auburn, and Bama control their destinies in the West. Arkansas, Ole Miss, and MSU have no real chance. I think the LSU/Auburn/Bama round-robin that occurs in the next several weeks decides the West, and that LSU and Auburn are both a little better than Bama at this point.

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