bruces1g's Football Blog
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Week 12 in the SEC brings us some grudge matches, bowl possibilities, and other teams hoping not to get caught looking ahead. Not a heavy-duty weekend, but possibly some interesting games.

Once again the Wadester will be contributing his opinions. Last week, he smoked his Dad by going 9 of 9. If he does that again, I am going to get his picks THEN write my blog.

As always, the oder of the picks are based on kickoff times.

GEORGIA at AUBURN: The Dawgs come into Tiger Stadium in their annual grudge match against a struggling Auburn team. The Bulldogs could be a might tired though after their slug-out with Kentucky last week.  Georgia had several key players banged up in that game, including more nagging injuries to an already thin offensive line.  But they will be facing an Auburn D that has also been wore down over the course of their disappointing season. Offensively, and I mean really offensive, the Tigers come into the game ranked 100th in the NCAA in total offense. I think that the Georgia defense should have little trouble in containing the Auburn attack and that Stafford and Company will be able to generate enough offense against the fading Tiger's defense to get the comfortable win. However, as is always the case when these two teams meet, it will be an emotional hard hitting affair. (Wade says that the Dawgs put the bite on the Tigers)

UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA-MONROE at OLE MISS: Ole Miss looks to get their 6th win and bowl eligibility this week. IMO, the Rebels might be the best 5-4 team in the nation as they have played everyone very tough this season. Jevan Snead should have a record day against the Warhawks 108th ranked defense. I think this will be a tune up for Ole Miss as they get ready to make the trip to Baton Rouge next week.  (Wade also likes the Rebels in this one)
 
SOUTH CAROLINA at FLORIDA: The Old Ball Coach comes back to visit his old stomping grounds this weekend and instead of bring a wide-open offense, Spurrier will be bringing one of the best defenses in the nation to the Swamp. And he will need it going against a Gators thrashing-machine that has been blowing up defenses with ridiculous ease lately.  The really tough part for the Gamecocks is that Florida has also been playing some great defense of late. The Gator's D has shut down LSU and Georgia in the past few weeks and both of those teams sport much better offenses than the SC attack. I look for Spurrier to spring some surprises on both sides of the football, and their defense may slow the Tebow Express down somewhat, but it is not going to be enough.  The Gators will get another "W". (Wade is going with the Gators)

MISSISSIPPI STATE at ALABAMA: One of Bama's offensive lineman dubbed this year as the Revenge Tour 09.  And one of those teams high on the Tide's payback list is the Bulldogs, so I don't think this will be a Bama team that is looking ahead. While Mississippi State has been playing well defensively (they rank 19th in total defense nationally), they have been horrid on the offensive side. Bama has been playing pretty good defense this year (ranked 4th in the nation) and this will probably be a long, hard night for the Dogs RBS and QB. I am not expecting this one to be close and I think the Tide will pound it out against the Bulldogs.  (Wade is on record predicting an undefeated run for the Tide, so a win here is a given for him)

TROY at LSU:  This might be a dangerous trap game for the Tigers. Coming off a hard fought loss against Bama last week, and no longer a part of the SEC or national picture, this team could come into this game less than enthusiastic.  With Lee continuing to have problems with opposing team identification, it will be interesting to see how much playing time he sees before the true freshman Jordan Jefferson gets his chance. The LSU defense needs to be wary of a wide-open passing attack deployed by Troy (for those of you keeping score, this is the Tony Franklin offensive system). If LSU doesn't come into this game wide-awake, they could get a rude awakening. It might end up being close, but LSU should get this win. (Wade picks LSU to get the win)

VANDERBILT at KENTUCKY: This is a very important game for Vandy as they strive to become bowl eligible. Kentucky has their 6 wins but if they can pull out wins against Vandy and the Vols, would end up with a very respectable 8-4 for a young team. Vandy has a tougher road with games remaining against the Vols and then Wake Forrest, so that sixth game might still elude them.  After starting off 5-0, the Dores are trying to avoid a total collapse in the second half of the season. The latest was the 42-14 shelling by the Gators last week and Vandy has to be having some confidence issues. I think Cobb and the Wildcats will be too tough for the Dores and they are going to have to look elsewhere for that elusive 6th win. (Wade doesn't think that the Dores have a chance)

 Now for the non-SEC games as chosen by the commenters.  And the pickings are slim for this week with the lack of any big games on the slate.

Once again, I will weigh in on three different matchups that are outside of the SEC. While none of these games are particularly vital to clearing up the BCS picture, there are some key conference games.

OHIO STATE at ILLINOIS: This is an important game for the Buckeyes. If they can get the win over the Illini, and then Michigan next week, they will have secured at least a share of the Big 10 title and a shot at a BCS bowl berth. There is also the revenge factor as it was the Illini that handed the Buckeyes a surprise loss last year that almost eliminated them from the BCS NCG. This year the Illini have struggled with inconsistent play from their star player Juice Williams.  In their loss last week to W. Michigan, he was a dismal 20 of 45 with a pair of picks. This week he is going up against a far better defense and I think the Juice is going to get a serious squeeze. LOL Imagine how the OSU haters will come out of the woodwork if the Buckeyes get to a BCS bowl.  (Wade likes Ohio State in a big win)

NORTH CAROLINA at MARYLAND:  In this game both teams need a win to stay in contention for the ACC title, but the real issue will be which Maryland team decides to show up. The Terps have been playing Jekyll and Hyde all season and I am sure that it is making their fans crazy.  They have been perfect in their home games, but then totally collapsed last week against Virginia Tech.  Meanwhile, the Tar Heels are having their best season since 1997 pulling out several gutsy, last minute victories. Last week they bullied what had been a tough Georgia Tech in an easy 28-7 win. The once-backup-now-starter QB Cameron Sexton has turned in some strong performances since TJ Yates went down earlier in the season. Even though the Terps have been playing well at home, I think that the Tar Heels will pull out yet another tough win. (Wade agrees with me on this one as well)

CALIFORNIA at OREGON STATE:  This is another must win for the Beavers as they try to stay even with USC in the Pac 10. Last week they looked very good in dismantling UCLA and Jacquizz Rodgers continued his running ways in slashing the Bruins for 144-yards.  Sean Canfield has looked good in replacing the injured Lyle Moevao, although it is not clear who will be starting at QB. Speaking of not clear, Cal's Tedford continues to juggle his QB's, naming Riley this weeks starter. Last week, it didn't matter who was the QB as the USC defense body-slammed the Golden Bears. I suspect the same thing this week with Rodgers running wild thru the Cal defense. (Wade is picking the Beavers to get the win)

So there it is, my choices (and Wade's) for this week. Please comment as you like, but respect  the rule of no cheap smack without something to back it up.  Bring some facts. Bring some substance to your position. Demonstrate your football knowledge rather than lack of class.

To all fans, of all teams: Enjoy the weekend. I wish your teams good luck. And let's all show some class and sportsmanship.

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