Tiger fans,

I hope you all are having a tremendous weekend!

I’ve broken down this LSU/UGA matchup all week and I have done my best to leave every I dotted and every T crossed, so now it’s time for me to make my pick.

I said earlier in the week that the key for LSU is to win the matchup in the trenches.

If the LSU offensive and defensive lines win, LSU wins. It’s that simple.

And with that being said, I will go with LSU.

I do not know about you guys, but I just heard a ‘click’ last Saturday in the second half against S. Carolina. LSU rode that big, mean, nasty and physical offensive line to victory while keeping the Gamecocks off the scoreboard.

I think LSU probably falls behind early, then just wears out the Dawgs’ inexperienced offensive line late and wins a very similar game to last week’s S. Carolina contest.

LSU 21

UGA 17

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Here are my SEC picks for this week.

Kentucky at Florida – Florida is coming off a bye and is still on a high from its beating of LSU. Gators by 20+.

Duke at Vanderbilt – Vanderbilt is reeling with a handful of losses in a row and Duke is more talented than they usually are. But Vandy wins ugly, 17-10.

Middle Tennessee at Miss State – Too much talent for the Dawgs who have been playing better the last few weekends. 35-17 MSU.

Mississippi at Arkansas – Ole Miss is a good team, gang. Anyone who goes to Florida and wins and has near misses at Bama and at Wake is a good team. Houston Nutt ransacks the team who unjustly didn’t respect his coaching ability. Ole Miss by a lot.

Alabama at Tennessee – Upset alert. Alabama CAN NOT keep playing 15 out of 60 minutes and win. Tennessee always plays well when Phil Fulmer’s head is on the chopping block, so I go with the Vols in a low scoring affair.

Other picks:

Ohio St. 17

Penn St. 6

Texas 48

Ok St 21

Texas Tech 44

Kansas 38

USC 42

Arizona 13

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The big national story coming out of today revolves around the Saints as reports out of Denver say that Deuce McAllister and Will Smith allegedly took ‘water pills’ to cut weight. The problem is that these water pills are on the list of banned substances and if the reports are true, both guys will have to serve a manditory 4-game suspension.

I feel sorry for the team, if this is true, because they are already depleted by injury. But it’s hard to feel sorry for the individuals.

All week long, I heard people say that Cowboys cornerback PacMan Jones was wrong for being suspended for using alcohol after being told specifically not to use it by the NFL.

If Jones is guilty in his case, then Deuce and Smith have to be considered as equal culprits, too, because like Jones they consumed a product clearly on the “DO NOT USE” list.

So if the report is true, I think the NFL is right in taking away their jobs for 4 weeks.

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Game 3 of the World Series is tonight . . . maybe as forecasts have rain in the Philly area that may force the MLB to make a change of plans.

Big game James Shields is going to be on the hill for the Rays opposed by Jamie Moyer for the Phils.

Two things:

1. If the game is playing as scheduled, huge advantage for the Rays. Jamie Moyer is about closer to 50 than he is to 40. And he has not exactly been stellar in his last couple of starts. A patient Rays offense will lace him into the ground.

2. If the game is pushed back, look for the Phils to maybe push Cole Hamels up in the rotation. He is their best shot.

Game 3 pick: Rays in a high-scoring affair.

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It’s almost my favorite time of the year — basketball season.

With that being said, I will give you guys and gals a preview of the LSU teams, starting first with the women and then the men tomorrow.

Women:

The Lady Tigers have been to the Final Four 5-straight years. But gone are stars like Sylvia Fowles, Erica White and Quianna Chaney. Gone are role players like Ashley Thomas, RaShonta LeBlanc and Mesha Williams.

But LSU coach Van Chancellor had a stellar recruiting class and has 4 solid returning players and I expect it to be a fun and exciting women’s basketball season.

Here are some ladies to watch this season.

Allison Hightower

Hightower has been the Sixth player for LSU the last few seasons, but it’s her team now and it’s her time to shine — and she will in a big way.

Hightower is known by a lot of people around the SEC as just primarily a spot-up shooter, but she has great slashing ability and with more offensive freedom this year, she will show a complete offensive game and take the SEC by storm.

Katherine Graham

Graham played only sparingly last season as a freshman, but that was not because she didn’t have skills. That was because she was buried in the depth chart behind the likes of Chaney, Hightower and Marian Whitfield.

When KG did get on the floor last season, she showed a tremendous mid-range game and I think she will emerge as one of LSU’s primary scorers behind Hightower this season in Van Chancellor’s offense.

Kristen Morris

Morris is not Sylvia Fowles, so don’t expect the countless double-doubles and one-handed slam dunks. But LSU’s lone senior is a very, very talented post player and skillful rebounder.

Morris also has a quality game from 12-14 feet around the basket, which will enable her to keep the lane clear when Hightower and the other LSU gunners slash to the cup.

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I refrained from putting any of the incoming freshmen on the list, because it’s really unknown how anyone will shape up into they actually step onto the hardwood.

But I do know LSU had one of the best classes in all of America, so out of those 7-8 players they picked up, I expect at least 5-6 of them to become contributors to aid the above mentioned players, as well as sophomore Latear Eason who will be back in the fold this season after her injury last season.

I did not go in-depth about Eason, because of the injury last season, but she is a quality player. If she proves to be 100%, she will absolutely be in the regular rotation for the Lady Tigers.

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With all of that being said, I encourage you all to go out to the PMAC and watch these ladies play if you have a free evening in the spring.

It will be a struggle for them — especially early in the season as everyone learns their new roles within the system, but I think come Feb-March, you will see a quality ball club out there.

But I’ve been around the program for the past 2 seasons and these ladies deserve all of the success that they have.

Outside of being great athletes, they are also all great students and most importantly, great people.

I’ve gotten to know a couple of the ladies on the team, and they have always gone out of their way to be nice and it just makes it so much easier to cheer for someone who deserves all of the success they have.

So go check these women out if you guys get a free weekend — I know they’ll appreciate it!

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That’s it for me today.

If you’re traveling into BR tomorrow, be safe!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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