Crawley: Forecasting Tennessee Football And The SEC

Odds Against Vols Pulling Off Upset In Baton Rouge

  • Wednesday, September 21, 2005
  • Stan Crawley

Add up all the intangibles, and it sure doesn't look like Tennessee can upset LSU on Saturday night in Baton Rouge.

Just the travel plans will make it tough on the football Vols, who will leave Knoxville by the middle of Saturday morning and arrive before noon central time in Baton Rouge. They will try to rest in hotel rooms until time to leave for the stadium.

At the stadium, the always energetic LSU fans will be at fever pitch because ESPN's College GameDay with Chris Fowler, Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit will be broadcast from the campus.

Also, Tiger football fans will have a new and exciting way to tailgate at the new Tiger One Village. This will also add to the atmosphere with a live band, concessions, event marketing and autograph signings by other Tiger teams.

Said an LSU official, "This is a unique way to enchance the game-day experience and celebrate the pride, passion and pageantry of LSU football and we think fans will be excited by the new opportunities leading up to the game.''

And there there is Hurricane Katrina. The LSU team will be be inspired as the Tigers play for all the people in Louisiana harmed by the storm.

"This football team feels drawn to play for the state of Louisiana, if not every year then certainly this year,'' LSU football coach Les Miles said.

LSU players also expressed their sentiments.

"We have so many players from New Orleans. It's always in the back of our minds,'' running back Justin Vincent said.

Said offensive lineman Andrew Whitworth, "I think it is going to be something special for sure. I think it's something this team is ready for. It's something I can't wait to experience and the people of Louisiana can't wait to experience.

"We're going to prepare and we're going to be ready to put on a show.''

Not good news for the Vols.

PICKING WINNERS

Tennessee at LSU (7:45 ET, ESPN) Other than the Tennessee fans, everybody in America will be cheering for LSU. Not many folks picked UT to win last year at Georgia, but don't look for another upset like that one. LSU by 7.

Arkansas at Alabama (12:30 ET, Jefferson Pilot): Alabama hasn't been 4-0 since 1996 under Gene Stallings. The Crimson Tide will be again after this one. Alabama by 28.

Western Kentucky at Auburn (2:30 ET, no TV): Western Kentucky may be a little better than in 2003 when it lost to Auburn, 48-3. Auburn by 28.

Florida at Kentucky (3:30 ET, CBS): Florida has an 18-game winning streak over the Wildcats. It will continue. Florida by 13.

Wyoming at Ole Miss (7 ET, no TV): Wyoming won by 37-32 last year in Laramie. It should be close again. Ole Miss by 4.

Troy at South Carolina (7 ET, pay-per-view): Not much visor throwing expected in this one. South Carolina by 17.

Richmond at Vanderbilt (7 ET, no TV): A good friend poked fun at me last week for picking Vandy over Ole Miss. Undefeated Vanderbilt by 10.

Georgia at Mississippi State (9 ET, ESPN 2: Bulldogs will prevail, but it won't be easy. Georgia by 9.

Last week 6-2 (.750); Overall 20-6 (.769)

(E-mail Stan Crawley at wscrawley@earthlink.net)

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