Fannation's Number One Braves Blog

It's week 10, and there's kind of an important game happening Saturday, not sure if you've heard about it or not, Hopefully I'll have time to cover Bama-LSU. For DJ, </sarcasm>.  This week has more interesting matchups, which hopefully will make for a better blog. 

First a review of how I did last week.  Aside from the typos, which happened because my Internet Explorer and my keyboard don't sinc up at times.  Hopefully that won't be an issue this week on this school computer, I did predict every game correctly.

Granted it was a fairly easy week to call games, I'm still happy with myself.

But I was off on some things.  I underestimated Vandy.  Yes, Arkansas got the win, but not in blowout fashion like I predicted.  I also severealy underestimated USCw.  I thought Stanford would win easily, I couldn't have been more wrong about that.  But, I was right about UGA-Florida being a close game and Oklahoma winning in a blowout.  I'll take that as a win.

I have a question that I've been pondering, it's half SEC related and half Boise State related that I would love to hear some opinions on.

Would it help or hurt Boise State if UGA wins the SEC East and gets blown out in the SEC Championship game?  If South Carolina wins out, they win the SEC East via tiebreaker, and they have to try their hand against Bama or LSU, and UGA would likely head into their bowl game with just two losses.  Is South Carolina loses to Arkansas or Florida, chances are, UGA will win the east, but head into their bowl game with 3 losses.

As a UGA fan, I want a shot at an upset in the title game however unlikely that would be, but from Boise State's perspective, which would be more prefered?

Let's get to the games.

The Bye Week

Auburn-  They will need the rest.  They still have UGA and Bama to play.

The Why in the Hell Do You have a Cupcake Game so Late in the Seasons


New Mexico State @ Georgia- I'm going to be perfectly honest, I don't know, well anything about this NMST team.  I haven't seen them play a game this season.  All I have to base the prediction on is what I read on the internet.  I see they come to Athens with a 3-5 record, and a 1-3 mark in the WAC.  I see that they have a pretty good passing attack, but have virtually no running game, and a poor defense.  It's come to my attention that the top 4 running backs for UGA have either been suspended for this game, or in Samuel's case. done for the year.  Good think this is NMST UGA is playing, or that would spel disaster.  Look for some endarounds, and Brandon Boykin to be on offense for a few snaps.  Brandon Harton wil likely start the game at RB.  I still think Georgia will have the backups in by the second half in this one.  Murray should have a big game, and with NMST having no run to set up the pass, I think UGA has a big game defensively as well.  UGA wins 49-0


Middle Tennessee State @ Tennessee- At one point in time, a friend of mine, Danny Carmichael was a linebacker for MTSU, but since he has graduated, I haven't been paying much attention to them.  This game is a must win for Tennessee if they want to make a bowl game.  An upset here would kill their chances.  MTSU has a semi-decent offense, but not one that will blow you away, and one of the worst defenses in FBS football.  This will greatly help Tennessee, who needs a game to let their offense shine.  No matter who plays QB for Tennessee, I can't see MTSU pulling an upset.  Tennessee win 45-14


Tennessee-Martin @ Mississippi St- Probably the least interesting matchup of the day.  I know how Mississippi State has greatly disappointed this season, but they are still a decent team.  From my understanding, Tennessee-Martin is an average FCS team, so I really don't have much to say about this game.  Vick Ballard runs wild.  Mississippi State wins 56-0


The Battle of the Losers


Ole Miss @ Kentucky- For the second week in a row, we have two teams playing looking for their first conference win of the season, very late in the season.  And for the second week in a row, Kentucky is one of the teams involved.  Ole Miss is, in my opinion, the worst team in the SEC.  Their defense isn't good, and their offense is just as bad, and they have to travel to Lexington for this game.  With that said, Kentucky might actually have a worse offense.  The passing attacks both rank in the 100's, but Kentucky does have a better running game.  I'm not going to sit here and brag about kentucky's defense, it isn't very good, and the worst in the SEC East by far, but it has shown to be better than Ole Miss's.  The better defense and running game, and home field advantage will get Kentucky its first conference win of the season.  Kentucky wins ugly 21-14


The Mildly Interesting


Vanderbilt @ Florida- Both team sit 4-4, for Vanderbilt, they need this win to have a shot at making a bowl game, and Florida needs this win to still have an outside chance of winning the SEC East.  I will say, I have been impressed by Vanderbilt.  They almost pulled the comeback against Georgia, and they were winning most of the game against Arkansas, and damn near held on.  They are a better team than their conference record would indicate.  Their running game lead by Zac Stacy has been solid all season, and they have Aaron Rodgers' little brother as their QB, and their defense has been one of their strong points.  Don't think for a minute that Florida is going to come out and walk all over Vanderbilt.  With that said, Florida does have brantley back at QB, and while he did have an ugly game against UGA, I expect him to turn things around after shaking the rust off and another week of practice.  Florida's running game has seen better days than the one they had against UGA, but as Brantly gets better, I expect the running game to improve as well.  Vanderbilt's lack of a passing offense will hurt their chances of pulling an upset in the swamp.  Florida does have a solid defense, and I don't think Vanderbilt can rely on the run the entire game and win this game.  Home field advantage pays off, Florida wins 27-21


The Very Interesting


South Carolina @ Arkansas- Both one loss teams ranked in the top 10.  This game is extremely important for both teams.  If South Carolina can escape with the win, their chances of holding on to win the SEC East look a lot better.  If they lose, it would put georgia in the lead with a favorable conference schedule remaining.  If Arkansas wins, they still have an outside shout of forcing a three way tie in the SEC West.  They will need LSU to beat Alabama and they would have to upset LSU.  It's unlikely, but still a possibility.  If they lose, they are out of contention.  With that said, South Carolina's offense looked lost against Tennessee with Lattimore gone.  They have the receivers to win with the pass, but they don't have the QB to make it happen.  When lattimore went down, South Carolina's offense went down with him.  They do have the defense to keep the game close, but Tyler Wilson is an excellent QB with four talented WRs to throw to, and with Lattimore gone, Arkansas will have the better running game with Johnson and Wingo.  It's never easy to travel to Fayetteville and win, and without your most important player, it becomes damn near impossible.  Look for Arkansas' defense to have a big game, and Tyler Wilson @ co to wear down South Carolina's defense and stay in the hunt for the SEC West and severely hurt the chances of South Carolina winning the SEC East.  Arkansas wins 31-17


The Game of the Week, and the most important game of the regualr season


LSU @ Alabama- What a treat we have.  The number 1 and number 2 teams in virtually every poll are playing eachother late in the season.  The hype around this game is the most I can remember for a regular season SEC game in a long time, and the hype is very warranted.  Watching both of these teams play is a thing of beauty.  Both teams play well on both sides of the ball, and both teams have looked dominant most every week.  In my opinion, these are the two best teams in the country playing each other, and the importance of the game speaks for itself.  The winner of the game, in all liklihood is head to the SEC Championship, and after that, a shot at the BCS National Championship Game.  The loser won't be headed to Atlanta, and are virtually eliminated from title talks, and has to settle for a Sugar Bowl bid.  If 2006 taught us anything, a rematch in the National Championship is very unlikely.  Normally a trip to the Sugar Bowl is a big accomplishment, but for both of these teams, it would be a disappointment.  Every college football fan in America will be watching.

On to the game.  This game is in Tuscaloosa, but over the last several years, LSU has faired much better playing at Alabama than they have playing in Baton Rouge.  With these two teams, I don't expect homefield advantage to come into play.  Both are just as good on the road as they are at home.  In a game like this, with two dominant defenses playing each other, time of possession and winning the turnover battle is a must if you're going to win.  LSU has only turned the ball over three times this season, all of them were early in the season.  Their last turnover was a third quarter interception in the Mississippi State game. And they among the leaders in turnovers forced.  Bama has turned the ball over more than a few times this season, but most of them game early in the season as well, and the number is skewed by the five they had in the opener against Kent State.  Bama has forced their share of turnovers as well, but not as many as LSU.   I do expect Bama to turn the ball over at least once in this game.  When it comes to overall defenses, they are basically a wash.  Both teams rank near the top in both scoring defense and yards allowed.  On the offensive side of the ball, Trent Richardson is probably the best player on either team, which does give Bama an advantage in the running game, but LSU's run defense has been rock solid.  Don't expect Richardson to run wild.  When it comes to the passing game, I trust Jarrett Lee over McCarron.  Lee doesn't put up flashy numbers, but one stat that jumps out at you is his 13 TDs to 1 int.  He does what he's supposed to do.  He makes the throws when needed, and doesn't turn the ball over.  I also give LSU's receivers an edge over Bama's.  Reuben Randall is one of the best receivers in the conference, and has a couple of nice receivers to complement him.  LSU coming into this game playing the tougher schedule will help them in this game, they've already been in games with a lot of hype and national attention.  When things are said and done, I like for LSU to win the time of possession battle, and force a game changing turnover in this game.  In a defensive battle, LSU wins 24-21


The Next Best 3


Kansas State @ Oklahoma State- Huge game for both teams.  If kansas State wins, they force a three way tie for first in the Big 12.  If Oklahoma wins, the only real threat to their national championship hopes is Oklahoma.  On offense, Oklahoma State has looked unstoppable.  It's fun to watch.  Arguably the best receiver in the country in Blackmon, and a great QB in Weeden.  Their dominance in the passing game opens it up for the running game.  No, the RBs don't put up flashy numbers because they don't carry the ball much, but they average over five yards per carry.  If Kansas State is going to win this game, they have to hold the passing game in check.  With that said, OSU's defense is a cause for concern.  They give up a lot of points, and Kansas State's offense is capable of putting up big numbers.  with their great running game.  Oklahoma State doesn't have the defense Oklahoma has to stop K State from running the ball, so this could be a high scoring game.  In the end, I look for Oklahoma St to put up big numbers once again, and get a couple of stops on defense to win the game.  OSU wins 58-42


Michigan @ Iowa- Iowa is another team that hasn't lived up to expectations.  I know they are a better team than the team that lost to Minnesota last week, but I don't think they have the defense to stop Michigan or the offense to keep up with them.  Michigan has one of the best running games in the country.  I expect them to put up big numbers in the running department.  Michigan's defense has been great all season, and Iowa has shown to struggle to score against good defenses.  See the Penn State game.  This game could be on upset watch, but I don't see it happening.  Michigan wins 42-17


Texas A&M @ Oklahoma- Texas A&M is a much better team than their record indicates.  All three of their losses have been late heartbreakers.  They were winning most of the game against the number 3 teams, Oklahoma St, but lost in the closing minutes.  Same thing against number 7 Arkansas, and Missouri.  It does show that they have problems closing out games, but the talent that A&M has makes them a contender for an upset.  They have a very balanced offense, very good in both the passing and running game, so Oklahoma won't have such an easy time stopping them like they did against K-State.  A&M's defense has been a cause for concern, blowing big leads and ranking 66th in the country.  That doesn't bode well when you play Oklahoma and their high octane offense.  Oklahoma will give up some points, I'm fairly confident about that, but A&M won't be able to stop their offense.  Lqandry Jones has a lot of weapons to throw to, and Dominique Whaley is a very capable runningback.  Oklahoma wins a high scoring game, 52-38


November 1, 2011  12:04 PM ET

good read. I hope you are right on your picks. GL this week.

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November 1, 2011  01:24 PM ET

Mildly interesting is very accurate description. BSU wants UGA to win all the games it can. I doubt UGA would take a big hit in the polls with a SEC champ game loss.

Comment #5 has been removed
Comment #6 has been removed
November 1, 2011  10:25 PM ET

Go Hogs!

With UGA being my favorite team, and Arkansas being my favorite SEC West team, I can't condone a mere Go Hogs.

It's GO HAWGS!!!

November 2, 2011  01:26 AM ET

Whaley is out for the year, but i don't think it will slow down the Sooners offense

November 2, 2011  08:27 AM ET

Crowell is suspended for this game, Samuel is out for the season, and I don't believe Malcolm will be back. I still think our Dawgs will prevail, especially if J.Jones continues to perform in his BEASTly fashion, but I don't think the score differential will be quite as great as you predicted.

November 2, 2011  08:59 AM ET

Great comparison of Bama and LSU.

Early on, i wasn't sure about the consistency of Jarret Lee. I think it is officially time for me to reevaluate my opinion of him. He's performed much better than I expected.

I love that the top SEC teams don't run the spread and rely on "speed". Both of these teams have complete offenses based upon power and physical lines with great athletes that can burn any defense. Neither relies on the vulnerable read-option all-or-nothing Quarterback.

And New Mexico State is awesome.

November 2, 2011  09:27 AM ET

Quality read about my favorite conference.

I don't think BSU fans have much of a choice. Their only chance of getting to the BCS championship game is for Georgia to run the table, win the east, and upset an undefeated SEC West champion. Even then it isn't a sure thing but at least possible. A blow out in the championship game would not hurt all that much since it would be expected.

One thing you can say about New Mexico St. is that this is their best team in the last several years. They have advanced from one of the three worst teams in the FBS to maybe one of the 15 worst.

I think the Fla/Vandy game could go either way but I like your analysis and think Florida will win. I don't understand why the betting line is as high as it is.

I agree completely with your Arkansas analysis as well.

I am taking Bama though your analysis is sound. For one, I think home field is always an advantage and the recent history of LSU success at Bama may be overstated. I also think that turnovers are critical but they are hard to predict, particularly fumbles. I won't put much weight on turnover tendencies that the two teams have shown so far. Neither has played a team like the other so this is a whole new ball game. I am not confident in my pick in the least but going with Bama because I think they can stop LSU's run game and I'm not sure LSU can stop Richardson.

November 2, 2011  10:37 AM ET

Crowell is suspended for this game, Samuel is out for the season, and I don't believe Malcolm will be back. I still think our Dawgs will prevail, especially if J.Jones continues to perform in his BEASTly fashion, but I don't think the score differential will be quite as great as you predicted.

I guess that's what I get for posting this early in the week. I didn't hear about the suspensions, or Samuel's status until early this morning on Moby in the Morning.

At least it's against NM ST. My prediction won't change though. Brandon Harton will probably be the starter, and I expect some end arounds and Brandon Boykin to be used on offense.

November 2, 2011  11:39 AM ET

Crowell is suspended for this game, Samuel is out for the season, and I don't believe Malcolm will be back. I still think our Dawgs will prevail, especially if J.Jones continues to perform in his BEASTly fashion, but I don't think the score differential will be quite as great as you predicted.

The UGA-NMST game has been updated.

November 2, 2011  12:19 PM ET

Good read. I saw your TD about the Bama-LSU game. I think Bama wins, but I have no beef at all with your analysis of that game and the rest of the games you blogged about.


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