We’ve broken down the LSU/ASU game the past few days here at the LSU Sports Palace.

Today, we will continue to do so by breaking down the offensive and defensive line matchups.

Offensive Line:

LSU – LSU has an absolutely beastly offensive line with four returning starters and a potential blue-chipper replacing the one lineman to depart. It is interesting to note that so far in fall practice, the offensive line has been the group that has handled the heat the best. You’d think big, strong 325+ lb guys would fade in the hot weather, but the LSU big boys have gotten stronger as practices have progressed and I can see the Tigers’ offensive line completely wearing down the Appalachian State defensive line.

ASU – The Mountaineers do not have the size the LSU offensive line does and they do not matchup well man-to-man with the LSU defensive line. But they execute very well their zone blocking scheme to open holes for Armanti Edwards and Co. It will be interesting to see how they perform against the best defensive line they have seen possibly in their school’s history.

Adv: LSU

Defensive Line:

LSU – What do Al Woods, Rahim Alem, Drave Nevis and Tremaine Johnson have in common? They all are not capable of starting on the LSU defensive line. That is no knock on those four guys as they are all tremendous football players, but the Tigers’ are deep and strong at all four defensive line positions, which is important, because those four guys will need to generate pressure on Armanti Edwards to allow LSU to drop guys into coverage to defend the passing game.

ASU – Again, it is sort of difficult to judge the Apps defensive line, because they are not an SEC line in terms of strength and size. But the Mountaineers have a quicker, speedier front that takes care of opponents their own size in their conference. The problem is there is no one Herman Johnson’s size in D-II. The Appalachian State defensive line has 3-4 able bodies. But they will need 6-7 able bodies to withstand the LSU offensive line and the heat on Saturday.

Adv: LSU

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We’ve also broken down all of the other SEC action in the past few days. Today we continue to do so with a few other game previews.

vs. 6:00 CDT

Keys for Auburn:

1. Stick to the system – Auburn is going to a new offense — the spread in hopes of finding the magic that teams like Florida and others have found in the past few seasons. But the spread takes a while to master, so if things go bad early, Auburn needs to be patient and stick with it.

2. Stay a mystery – If possibly, Auburn would like to keep all their wrinkles anonymous for as long as possible with an early matchup with LSU on the horizon.

Keys for ULM:

1. Remember the Bama gameplan – ULM beat Alabama by playing steady defense and by playing penalty-free football. ULM is in the same boat again and will need to play near-perfect football. But “impossible” was already achieved once by the Warhawks.

2. No big plays – The spread is predicated to get players in space and to break big plays. ULM must prevent Auburn from having 20, 30 or 40 yard plays as those will prove disastrous.

Vegas thinks: Auburn by 26.5
I think: It will be close to that spread. I am torn here, but I would go with ULM to beat it.

vs. 6:00 CDT

Keys for Ole Miss:

1. Find a back and stick to him – The Rebels lost BenJarvis Green-Ellis and he was their all-everything. Houston Nutt likes to be creative and likes to gameplan for offense. But without a running game, any plan will be in the garbage.

2. Play with fire – Memphis and Ole Miss has become quite a fierce rivalry with recruiting wars hanging in the balance. This is the equivalent of an SEC game for the Rebels, so they need to treat it like one.

Keys for Memphis:

1. Silence the Rebels – Ole Miss’s crowd will be revved up. Memphis needs to avoid a first-round TKO and take the Rebel fans out of the game early.

2. Finish the game – Memphis has been eerily close to closing the deal against Ole Miss so many times in this series in the past few seasons but always came one or two plays short. They need to finish the deal this time.

Vegas thinks: Ole Miss by 8.5

I think: The Rebels have a hard time covering and an even harder time winning. I like Memphis to win this one.

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Daily Dime:

Boo-yeah. Another 2-0 day brings me above .500 for the year. No looking back now as we head into Monday with hopes of taking a big lead on the standings.

Total: 10-8

Sure things: 6-3

Upsets: 4-5

Here is today’s picks as we attempt to win 12 of our first 20 here in this game.

Sure thing of the day:

Twins – 200 vs. Mariners – I doubted Liriano last time out and he burned me. So I will go with him and the red-hot Twins today over the hapless M’s.

Upset of the day:

Houston + 200 vs. the Mets – I have no clue why the lack of love for Houston in this series. The Mets have been big favorites every day. I see the Stros stealing this one.

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I began my NFL preseason picks game yesterday. Let’s continue it today with 2 more teams.

NFC South:

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NFC North:

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NFC East:

Philadelphia Eagles – 7-9 – When Donovan McNabb gets injured this season, where will the Eagles turn? Kevin Kolb maybe? I just don’t see it with this team. Westbrook is good, but how much can he do all by himself?

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NFC West:

Seattle Seahawks – 10-6 – The Seahawks are getting to be an old, stagnant, stale team. They remind me of the Cowboys before Troy Aikman retired in that they have enough talent to be decent, but not enough talent to win the big one. Expect the usual winning season, then early exit for the Hawks in Holmgren’s last season.

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AFC North:

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AFC South:

Tennessee Titans – 7-9 – How the Titans have been winning the past few years is beyond me as they have done absolutely nothing to help Vince Young. With even shoddier receivers this year, lady luck will not be as kind to Tennessee and they will drop out of the playoff chase.

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AFC East:

Miami Dolphins – 4-12 – I like some of the things Bill Parcells has done. But signing Chad Pennington was not one of those things. With a roster full of 20-somethings, why hinder their development with a veteran when the team will stink anyway?

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AFC West:

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More blanks removed tomorrow.

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Top 10:

There are three guys to go in our Top 10 list, but I will hold off on that until tomorrow and give a mini Top 5 list all today — The Top 5 storylins of the 2008 Olympic Games.

5. Walsh and May-Treanor win gold again – Is there a better beach volleyball team ever than these two chicks? These two girls are unreal and it was a treat to watch them roll through the Olympics.

4. Bolt “bolts” to 3 golds – I like this guy. Sure, he is cocky, sure he is arrogant. But he can afford to be. He is that much better than everyone else.

3. Chinese gymnast scandal – Those kids are not 16. The IOC can take their investigation and shove it. Those kids are not 16. But they are still amazing, regardless of their age and they put on a show

2. Team USA takes back the gold in men’s hoops – What a game. Spain was a more than worthy challenger. But with the game on the line and the weight of the world on his shoulders, the world’s best player took the game over and rode the Redeem Team home.

1. Phelps wins 8 golds – From blowouts to .001 second wins, Phelps won every way imaginable and stole the show and became the star of these games.

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Headlines:

Umenyiora tears meniscus, done for season – Any chance Michael Strahan comes and rescues the Giants?

Redeem Team takes home gold in shootout with Spain – Kobe Bryant is the best player in the world. Period. It’s really as easy as that. With a team full of stars and all of the pressure in the world on Team USA, guys like LeBron James and Chris Paul deferred to Kobe and he took over and won it for the USA.

Singh beats Garcia in playoff in PGA Tour “playoffs” – Garcia holed about a 25-footer that seemed to seal the win in the first playoff hole, but Vijay matched his putt and then won on the following hole making Garcia the bridesmaid again.

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YouTube Video of the Day:

Encore on Saturday?

The Apps think so.

That’s all for me. Happy Monday, all!

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