November 20, 2003 at 2:14 PM CST - Updated June 25 at 6:17 AM
Just in time for Iron Bowl week, the Journal makes a strong showing. Only missed one game last week in the SEC (Vandy, of course). Also picked against Troy State out in Utah. (I thought it would snow). The updated season stats: 59-24 in the SEC (71%). 74-50 overall (60%).
Usually, the Iron Bowl is always the biggest game in the SEC this week. It will ALWAYS be the biggest game in our state, but beyond our borders, everyone's talking about LSU vs. Ole Miss - the unofficial SEC West Championship game. So let's get that one out of the way, before we start talking Iron.
LSU (9-1) at Ole Miss (8-2) - The Bengal Tigers' defense is terrific. They've given up only 89 points all year. But the Rebels are playing at home, their kicker never misses, and Eli Manning is the best quarterback in the country. Ole Miss 27, LSU 21
Kentucky (4-6) at Georgia (8-2 ) - Dawgs vs. Cats. Kentucky's coming off a loss to Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt! Georgia's still enjoying the victory over Auburn. Remember all that pre-season talk about how the Bulldogs' would struggle because their entire offensive line had graduated. For all of his faults, ol' Neil Callaway can flat-out "coach 'em up." Georgia 31, Kentucky 17
Vanderbilt (2-9) at Tennessee (8-2) - Back-to-back SEC wins for the Commodores? Not in my lifetime. The Vols win the state championship. Tennessee 42, Vanderbilt 14
Mississippi State (2-8) at Arkansas (7-3) - The bowl folks say the Razorbacks are most likely headed to Shreveport to play in the Independence Bowl. Like an old WSFA sports guy once said, they might want to take a good book, because there's "NOTHING to do in Shreveport." Arkansas 49, Mississippi State 7
Clemson (7-4) at South Carolina (5-6) - A contract extension this week for Lou Holtz. I hope he coaches until he's 90. He's great for college football. Speaking of contracts, Tommy Bowden saved his gig by beating "Daddy's" Florida State Seminoles. Can Tommy make it two in a row against the game's legends? The Journal says no. South Carolina 24, Clemson 23
Louisiana-Monroe (1-10) at Troy State (5-6) - An early kick-off will allow Trojan fans to watch this game, then get home in plenty of time to see the Iron Bowl. Troy State evens its record at .500 by pounding one of the sorriest teams in the country. Troy State 38, Louisiana-Monroe 17
Alabama State (6-4) at Texas Southern (5-5) - With a win, the Hornets will earn a trip back to Birmingham to play in the SWAC championship game. With that for an incentive, expect ASU to come out stinging. Alabama State 41, Texas Southern 28
Alabama (4-7) at Auburn (6-5) - Just doesn't seem right typing in those records. 4-7 for Bama? 6-5 for Auburn? No wonder there's so much talk about coaching changes. So let's take the players' advice and "throw out the records." The visiting team has won the past 4 years. It should be a treat just to watch the "Battle of the Backs" - Carnell vs. Shaud. If it's allright with you, I'll save my Iron Bowl prediction for our Iron Bowl preview on WSFA Friday night at 8 p.m..
Hope your team wins the "Showdown on the Plains" Saturday night! Remember, it's just a game. Yeah, right. If I don't see you at the game, I'll hook up with you next week in the Journal. God bless - Jeff