There is one thing that is very comforting about last week’s loss to South Florida: Our defense freakin’ rocks. We handed the ball over to USF at least 5 times within our own 40 yard line, and USF came out with next to nothing. ZERO POINTS OFF OF 5 TURNOVERS! That is ridiculous. If our defense plays the way they did against South Florida, whose offense is one of the best in the nation, I believe that despite our currently deficient offense, we can hang in there with anyone in the nation. At some point we need to force some more turnovers (our DBs probably have about 50 knockdowns with maybe 1 interception) and let our offense score a few points, but if we keep the other team off the board, we are still in the game. But points will come; our offense won’t get any worse. Our offensive line was unrecognizably good Saturday against USF compared to their performance against Kansas State, and they will keep getting better. Despite the two fumbles, Auburn’s running game was almost back to par with almost 150 yards. Quentin Groves is a freakin’ menace. That sentence is as short as it is correct. And Tray Blackmon didn’t even play Saturday. Get that guy some Neosporin.
Auburn currently has a struggling offense, but Mississippi State’s is struggling even more. Mississippi State probably has one of the most underrated defenses in the nation, but Auburn’s is still much better. Based on the Bulldog offense I saw during their bout against LSU, they have some serious turnover issues (enough to make Brandon Cox look like as good as Courtney Cox… but for different reasons… I’m not backspacing). It makes you wonder what the real cause for all the interceptions was…
According to the weather experts, it's going to rain. Good, let’s keep the ball on the ground (not literally, that would be insinuating a bunch of fumbles). Brandon Cox will have his chance to gain back the respect of the few Auburn fans who annually ditch their quarterback (but they are always the loudest people… there aren’t too many people screaming “Give Cox a chance!” around campus)… next week. This game will be won by controlling the clock and working the running game. Mario Fannin and Ben Tate will both be spectacular and turnover free (you know they’ve been doing ball handling drills all week). Our offense will still be a good ways away from perfect, but will get the job done this time around.
Our defense will do what they do best: everything. Mississippi State will be shying away from the pass, so our defensive line and linebackers will be doing most of the grunt work to keep the Bulldogs scoreless through the first half, and maybe allow a last-ditch effort field goal slip by in the fourth quarter. The Auburn defense will give their offense room for error as they win a low scoring 17-3.
Other Predictions: Currently 9-3 (Not including the literal prediction of Miami “knocking out” Oklahoma… I thought they would really get in a fight…)
Notre Dame vs. Michigan
Normally one the greatest games of the year between two of the most historically successful programs in the nation, will be a battle for who blows the game more. There should be a name for such an event. Toilet-Bowl 2007? Suck-Fest XXVII? Who am I kidding, I’m still going to watch this game for all the same reasons I love Adam Sandler movies. Notre Dame out-sucks Michigan 23-33.
Tennessee vs. Florida
I hate Tennessee, but I also hate Tim Tebow. I guess I shouldn’t let my opinions influence my predictions… Florida wins, but Tebow gets 2 concussions, one right on top of the other… because that’s possible apparently. Florida 27, Tennessee 19.
USC vs. Nebraska
USC will win, but not by enough to convince pollsters to keep them at the #1 position. Nebraska will play great defense, but will struggle on offense. USC will do the exact opposite, allowing Nebraska to score more than usual on defense, while lighting up the scoreboard on offense like they always do… wait, I just completely contradicted myself. USC wins 38-28.
Arkansas vs. Bama
Bama faces their first opponent with the intent to win. Saban and Bama know how important it is to win this game if they want to be taken seriously, but so does adrenaline junky Houston Nutt. I know, he came in and embarrassed us last year by using midget-based trick plays, but you have to love that guy. Not only does Bama not have any friends in the SEC, but now they have literally doubled their number of rivals over the offeseason. Arkansas will be the first in line of SEC teams to try to knock Saban down a notch (a very expensive notch… probably made of diamonds and authentic fur). Casey Dick and JPW are essentially worthless in this game, and even though Bama’s defense is better than the Razorbacks’, they will still give up one touchdown too many in a close, but classic 24-17 loss.