Jeff's Journal #2 - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

June 20, 4:35 p.m.

Jeff's Journal #2

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    Jeff's Journal - #4

    Jeff's Journal - #4

    Now that Miami and Virginia Tech are part of the Atlantic Coast Conference, don't look for the ACC to stop now. They need one more team to get to the magic number of 12. That's how many teams you needMore >>

Auburn will play seven teams that played in bowl games last year (plus Alabama, which would've gone to a bowl game if not for probation). Non-conference games against Southern Cal and Georgia Tech have Tiger fans looking forward to the first two weeks of the season. And it's not only fans who are excited about the schedule.

Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville says, "This schedule, looking over the past couple years, has helped us recruit a lot of the players we've gotten, especially from out-of-state. They wanted to play against Southern Cal and Georgia Tech. A tough non-conference schedule has paid dividends. Now we've got to play those games."

Coach Tuberville adds, "A tough schedule helps you, but it also hurts you in the fact that, if you want to win a national championship in the way that we pick it now, without a playoff, then every game is real, real important."

One thing I've learned in 12 years at WSFA. I'm a lot more accurate at describing what HAS happened than in predicting what's GOING to happen. I usually try to leave the forecasting to Rich, Jeff and Ryan in the Storm Center. But with the season opener a little more than two months away, it's time to take my best shot.

Aug. 30 - SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA - Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Heisman trophy winner Carson Palmer is gone, but Coach Tuberville is still expecting a fight. Tuberville says, "USC will be as good as we are coming in. We'll have the home-field advantage. It's tough to travel that far and play an opening game. That's very tough. This will be a tough place for them to play. It'll be a fun atmosphere."

If Carnell Williams cramps up like last year, the Tigers can throw Ronnie Brown, Brandon Jacobs and Tre Smith at USC.

AUBURN 28 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 20

Sept. 6 - GEORGIA TECH - Atlanta

Break out your "Wreck Tech" t-shirts from the '80's. The Tigers escape Atlanta, with Philip Yost getting his first chance to kick a game-winner.

AUBURN 17 GEORGIA TECH 14

Sept. 13 - VANDERBILT - Nashville

With two big non-conference wins in the bag, it's on to the Music City for the SEC opener. Vandy was 0-8 in the conference last season.

AUBURN 24 VANDERBILT 10

Sept. 27 - WESTERN KENTUCKY - Jordan-Hare Stadium

After an off-week, Auburn gets a chance to rest the starters in the second half. They'll need to be at their best next week - when Tennessee comes to the plains.

AUBURN 42 W. KENTUCKY 6

Oct. 4 - TENNESSEE - Jordan-Hare Stadium

The Vols see all that orange in the stands and think the crowd is on their side. Then the Tigers emerge from the smoke and Tennessee realizes, "we're not in Knoxville anymore." Auburn grinds it out against a relatively inexperienced UT defense, and Auburn's D keeps the heat on Casey Clausen. The Tigers beat the Vols for the first time in 15 years.

AUBURN 28 TENNESSEE 21

Oct. 11 - ARKANSAS - Fayetteville

Sky-high after beating the Vols to go 5-0, and ranked in the top 5 , Auburn gets a chance for some payback. Remember last year, when Arkansas came to the plains and Fred Talley ran all over Lee County? Karlos Dansby, Dontarrious Thomas and DeMarco McNeil do.

AUBURN 21 ARKANSAS 20

Oct. 18 - MISSISSIPPI STATE - Jordan-Hare Stadium

Nothing Tuberville and Co. like better than beating up on Jackie Sherrill and the Bulldogs. It'll take all the self-control Tubby can muster to avoid an on-sides kick with a 28-point lead. Run out the clock? Yeah, right.

AUBURN 38 MISSISSIPPI STATE 7

Oct. 25 - LSU - Baton Rouge

This is where it gets tricky. LSU is out for revenge , after losing big on the plains last year. Fans in Death Valley are treated to overtime, where Brandon Jacobs makes a name for himself, scoring 3 straight touchdowns, including the game-winner. Auburn is 8-0.

AUBURN 34 LSU 31 (3 OT)

Nov. 1 LOUISIANA-MONROE Jordan-Hare Stadium

After a triple-overtime thriller, it's time to empty the benches and let the walk-ons play.

AUBURN 56 LOUISIANA-MONROE 7

Nov. 8 OLE MISS - Jordan-Hare Stadium

Another close call. Eli Manning gives the Rebels the lead in the 4th quarter. But Ronnie Brown saves the day with a 50-yarder for the win.

AUBURN 31 OLE MISS 28

Nov. 15 GEORGIA - Athens

Auburn takes a 10-0 record and #2 ranking to Athens . Georgia's entire offensive line is gone from 2002, but the Bulldogs still have quarterback David Greene and he's only getting better.

GEORGIA 35 AUBURN 31

Nov. 22 ALABAMA - Jordan-Hare Stadium

The perfect season is over, but beating Alabama at home takes away almost all of the sting. The Tiger upperclassmen remember two years ago, when Coach Fran came to the plains and Santonio Beard turned Jordan-Hare into his playground. The Home team wins the Iron Bowl for the first time in 5 years and Coach Tuberville celebrates his first Jordan-Hare victory over Alabama. The Tigers win the SEC West, and look forward to a rematch with Georgia.

AUBURN 27 ALABAMA 21

Dec. 6 - GEORGIA - SEC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME - Atlanta

I'll make my prediction for this game when it gets here. An 11-1 regular-season record puts the Tigers in a BCS bowl win-or-lose.

Next week, I'll step out on a limb again with predictions of the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Now it's your turn. If you'd like to give your opinion, the feedback forum is ready to listen to what you have to say. See you next week! God bless - Jeff

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