Couch Potato: Bama-LSU will be closer than people think - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

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Couch Potato: Bama-LSU will be closer than people think

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CB Deion Belue intercepted a pass in Alabama's romp of Tennessee earlier this year. LSU plans to attack the perimeter this week, coach Les Miles said. (Source: Alabama Athletics Communications) CB Deion Belue intercepted a pass in Alabama's romp of Tennessee earlier this year. LSU plans to attack the perimeter this week, coach Les Miles said. (Source: Alabama Athletics Communications)
Quarterback Nick Marshall has been a big part of Auburn's turnaround season. (Source: Todd Van Emst/Auburn Athletics) Quarterback Nick Marshall has been a big part of Auburn's turnaround season. (Source: Todd Van Emst/Auburn Athletics)
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  • Hot Reads: Up is down, down is up in SEC this week

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    Thursday, September 4 2014 8:00 AM EDT2014-09-04 12:00:24 GMT
    Texas A&M was a surprising team in its first game, but that may not be such a good thing. On the other hand, an Alabama squad that was just blah is likely headed in a more positive direction.
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(RNN) - The first real opportunity for Alabama's season to be destroyed presents itself Saturday when LSU arrives with nothing to lose. And we have more Saban to Texas rumors! Well, the same one, just more of it.

Auburn goes up to Tennessee like Miley Cyrus rides a wrecking ball and Johnny Manziel plays a team with a defense that might be as wretched as his.

Vanderbilt and Florida clash in a desperate, lower-rung battle royale, and if you are in the mood to watch somebody get hurt there's Missouri at Kentucky.

This week, instead of giving hate fodder to college football chat room weasels, we quote Inglorious Basterds.

Shoshanna: Marcel... burn it down.

Marcel: Oui, Shoshanna.

Auburn at Tennessee

Noon ET, ESPN

Auburn runs for more than 300 yards a game, and Tennessee's run defense is worse than the Obamacare website.

Auburn should cruise, but that's what we thought when South Carolina went up to Knoxville earlier this year and found 20 different ways to lose. The Vols play better at home, and they're just good enough to beat you if you have a bad day.

You keep hearing "Auburn" and "overrated" used in the same sentence. Well, here's another chance to stop that seditious talk and prove the Gus Bus is rolling toward a showdown with the hated Tide – right after this and the hated Georgia.

If Tennessee hangs in for more than a quarter, it will be a challenge to Couch Potato's whole paradigm. Auburn seems more like the team that will destroy seasons rather than have its season destroyed. They are invulnerable to November. These guys are good and have nothing to lose. They were 3-9 last year and now they're 8-1. Win or lose, this season's a peach.

Col. Hans Landa: Monsieur LaPadite, to both your family and your cows I say: Bravo.

Vanderbilt at Florida

Noon ET, FSN

A clash of 4-4 teams battling for a postseason trip to Shreveport and Will Muschamp's mortal soul.

Lt. Aldo Raine: You know, fightin' in a basement offers a lot of difficulties. Number one being, you're fightin' in a basement!

Mississippi State at Texas A&M

3:30 p.m. ET, CBS

Johnny F. Football ushers in the holiday season by lighting up Mississippi State. It's probably the last home game for Johnny Manziel and Mike Evans. Respect, Aggies.

Donny Donowitz: We punch those goons out, take their machine guns, and bust in there blasting!

LSU at Alabama

8 p.m. ET, CBS

For the past few years, Alabama-LSU has been hyped out of sight, but we're not feeling that Game of the Century vibration this season.

LSU has lost twice and looked awful against Ole Miss, whom Alabama annihilated. Nick Saban's engine of destruction is methodically annihilating everything in its path, and one senses this might not be much of a contest.

But wait…

The Vegas line opened with Bama a 9-point favorite and shot to 12 like an Indian Mars probe. What that means is that a lot of big-time gamblers were standing at the bet window waiting for the line to drop so they could plunk down a wheelbarrow full of Kruggerrands on the Tide to cover.

People who make big enough bets to move the opening line three points in a nanosecond are regarded as the "smart money." And you have to admit, guys who'll roll up to the casino on Sunday afternoon and plunk a few hundred grand down on a college game take what they do very seriously.

So that's a good sign for Alabama if you trust gamblers – the best of whom are right a little more than half the time.

History tells a different story. The last time Alabama beat LSU by 12 or more points was 31-0 in 2002, and LSU's coach was … Nick Saban. Alabama's then-coach Dennis Franchione poked a finger at him and yelled after the game because an alleged tape transcript surfaced that week of Saban callling Alabama everything but children of God.

Nowadays, Franchione has a sparkling 29-26 record as the Texas State mentor, and Saban loves Alabama so much he'd never leave, unless it was to go to Texas, as his agent Jimmy Sexton told a UT regent in January of this year, according to the Associated Press.

Since he came to Alabama in 2007, Saban has won four of seven meetings with LSU, which includes the 21-0 stomp in the 2012 BCS National Championship Game.

LSU has the road-field advantage, having won seven of the last 10 meetings in Tuscaloosa, dating back to 1993.

Last year, Zach Mettenberger had his best game and threw for nearly 300 yards and completed two-thirds of his passes after hitting fewer than half until then.This season, he's been that good most of the time – but when he wasn't, LSU lost. Zach needs to throw it to Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry and not to guys in red shirts.

Les Miles thinks he's up to it.

"We like the matchup," he said of  LSU's wide receivers and Bama's secondary. "We think that we give them some challenges on the perimeter."

Beckham and Landry combined for about 150 yards against Alabama last year and the Tide has been vulnerable to deep passes this year.

AJ McCarron could make a Heisman statement if he does something awesome like he did last year. At the very least, he sets himself up for a more enduring prize - three rings.

McCarron led Alabama's comeback, driving his team down the field hitting out patterns to Kevin Norwood, bip, bip, bip, before flipping a scoring pass to T.J. Yeldon with seconds remaining. Afterward, he broke down in tears on the sideline.

A few weeks later, he was dating the astonishing Katherine Webb.

You think that was a coincidence? Not a chance. Supermodels dig winners who cry.

Col. Hans Landa: I love rumors! Facts can be so misleading, where rumors, true or false, are often revealing.

The other ones: Missouri at Kentucky, Arkansas at Ole Miss, Applachian State at Georgia.

Lt. Aldo Raine: You know how you get to Carnegie Hall, don't ya? Practice.

Copyright 2013 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

  • Pulse Poll

  • Who do you think will win the only Week 11 primetime SEC contest?

  • Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:

    No. 1 Alabama
    70%
    1037 votes
    No. 13 LSU
    30%
    449 votes
  • Southeastern ConferenceMore>>

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    Two top 10 teams were upset this week, and to the surprise of few, they were Southern Cal and Georgia.

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  • No. 24 South Carolina upsets No. 6 Georgia 38-35

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    Saturday, September 13 2014 10:09 PM EDT2014-09-14 02:09:54 GMT
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  • USC season on line; UGA looking to break bad; Vols face tough road test

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    Georgia can establish itself as a top-tier beast if it gets by South Carolina this weekend - and USC would drop to 0-2 in the league with a loss. Tennessee travels to Oklahoma, where Coach Bob Stoops doesn't believe the SEC is all-powerful.
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