Lucky Les likes lucking out!
Well folks, the last week of the best regular season in sports is approaching, but it goes out with a bang, especially in the SEC.
The SEC has won four consecutive BCS National Championships. Florida won it in 2006, LSU won it in 2007, Florida won it again in 2008 and Alabama won it last season. Auburn is in prime position to join the club after winning many games in the BCS era but always finding a way to fall short of bringing the AFCA Coaches' Trophy to the Lovelace Museum/Auburn Arena Museum.
Auburn is in the best position in the SEC to bring home the National Championship, but they have to go through Alabama in Tuscaloosa to do it.
You have teams trying to stay for the hunt for the BCS title, clinch BCS Bowl at-large positions and get bowl-eligible all in one weekend in the SEC.
Here are my predictions for the Southeastern Conference in Week 13. Will Auburn end the regular season a glorious 12-0? Will there be calls of "Woo Pig Sooey," "Geaux Tigers" or "Roll Tide" in the Super Dome?
These two teams have a lot in common. They have black and gold as colors. They don't have the name of a state in their name. Oh, and they're both dreadfully awful.
If you were to watch Wake Forest this year, you wouldn't believe this is a program that just a few short years ago played in the Orange Bowl.
Vanderbilt has been... well.... Vanderbilt.
But I think I'm actually going to have to go with Wake Forest in this game. WF ends 3-9 and Vanderbilt finds itself 2-10. Wasn't this the Vandy that stood toe-to-toe with LSU for a while?
Wake Forest 24, Vanderbilt 9
Holy Masoli, Batman!
In the traditional Egg Bowl, these two teams have had opposite types of seasons. Mississippi State has had a 7-4 season, once including a six-game winning streak. Ole Miss, excited after the arrival of Heisman contender Jeremiah Masoli, has disappointed with a 4-7 record with that often-talked about loss to Jacksonville State.
It's in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, sure, but that didn't stop Jacksonville State, Vanderbilt and No. 1 Auburn from rolling to victory. Mississippi State will do the same.
Mississippi State 20, Ole Miss 7
Murray isn't furry... he's tough.
After a 1-4 start, Georgia has played better lately, going 4-2 in their last six games and standing toe-to-toe with mighty Auburn for three quarters.
Georgia Tech has had a very bad season considering they won the ACC last season. GT was destroyed by Miami a few weeks ago and lost to Kansas earlier this year. Folks.... KANSAS. Let it soak in... Kansas.
No loss by UGA has been worse than that hiccup GT had at Kansas. Georgia is also at home, and although GT won the last time they played in Athens, this GT team isn't nearly as good as those Jackets were. Georgia wins big at home over the Ramblin' Wreck, and expect the Dawgs and Aaron Murray to be a real player in the SEC come 2011.
Georgia 38, Georgia Tech 24
This is actually the hardest pick of the week for me.
I would like to say Kentucky beats Tennessee to break a losing streak that dates back to the early '80s.
I would like to say Tennessee beats Kentucky and gives the SEC another bowl team.
I must say that the Vols use the hot QB Bray and home field in Neyland to extend their winning streak over Kentucky.
Don't worry, Cats, you'll still be in a bowl, and you'll beat Tennessee next season.
Tennessee 23, Kentucky 17
All the talk around South Carolina lately has been about their SEC Championship Game on December 4th against the tradition-rich Auburn Tigers. They rolled Troy as expected, and have their sights on, with an upset win in Atlanta, a Sugar Bowl berth.
But what folks seem to forget is there's a HUGE rivalry game this weekend in the Palmetto State! South Carolina visits Clemson, who has had a down season but has played well in some losses, including their loss to Auburn.
This game has "UPSET" written all over it.
In an absolute classic....
South Carolina 46, Clemson 44 (3OT)
That's why you never go airbourne in a football game.
The Gators have had some serious struggles in 2010. For the first half of the season they couldn't execute a simple shotgun snap. They were spanked by an overrated Alabama. They've had a senior player ejected for throwing a punch... against an FCS opponent.
The Seminoles have had some struggles, but far more victories in a great first season for Jimbo Fisher.
FSU has been a whipping post for Florida for some time now. Saturday, the best team in Florida in 2010 returns the favor.
Florida State 35, Florida 15
I know I'm about to make some enemies among my readers.
I look at these two teams and how they match up. I see how good LSU is defensively. I see how Arkansas operates its offense. I see how LSU's offense can burn the Hogs' defense.
It's close early, but the better team rises up in the second half and destroys its opponent... on the road.
LSU 41, Arkansas 17
It's here, folks: the 75th Iron Bowl! The two programs combine for 1,507 wins, 154 All-Americans, 90 bowl appearances, 36 conference championships and three Heisman winners (and Auburn is probably about to make it four with Cam Newton).
Will Bama upend Auburn's BCS National Championship hopes?
Here is my prediction:
In the first quarter, Alabama gets the ball first and has to settle for a field goal. 3-0 Alabama.
Cam Newton and Auburn respond. A nine-play, 72-yard drive is capped off by a short TD run by Onterio McCalebb. 7-3 Auburn.
After a stretch of good defense by both teams, Bama breaks through right before the first quarter ends as Greg McElroy finds Preston Dial for a TD. 10-7 Alabama after the first quarter.
In the second, AU responds as Cam Newton throws a short TD pass to Darvin Adams. 14-10 Auburn.
With about two minutes left before halftime, Auburn begins to drive again. From the 31-yard line of Alabama, Kodi Burns takes the snap and lobs it to the corner of the end zone for Cam Newton... and it's CAUGHT! Touchdown, Auburn! Cam Newton catches a touchdown, and Auburn leads 21-10 after the first half.
After Bama's defense bends but doesn't break in the third quarter, Bama sets up a short field goal to cut AU's lead to 21-13.
After another stop, Trent Richardson finds the end zone. Touchdown Alabama! The two-point conversion is good, and it's 21-21.
But Auburn finally gets it going again when a big pass from Cam to Terrell Zachery sets up a field goal by Byrum.
After Demond Washington picks off a horrible McElroy pass, Cam Newton runs it in from 52 yards away to give Auburn a 31-21 lead after three quarters.
Bama isn't going away, however, as a long drive is concluded by a touchdown pass from McElroy to Marquis Maze from 13 yards out. 31-28 Auburn.
But on the very next play after the kickoff, Cam Newton goes play-action against Bama's blitz and he finds Emory Blake across the middle wide-open for a 65-yard touchdown to make it 38-28 Auburn.
After a stop on 4th-and-1 at the Auburn 44-yard line, the Tigers chew out some clock and Cam Newton smashes his way in from two yards away. Auburn runs for 351 yards, yet another 300-yard rushing game from the Tigers.
Auburn finishes a magical season with a win in Tuscaloosa. 12-0, how sweet it is, Tigers!
Auburn 45, Alabama 28