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LCB Picks: SEC Championship Game

December 4, 2010


(2) Auburn v (18) South Carolina @ 4:00 on CBS
Langston: It's been a historic week, from the discovery of a massive amount of red dwarf stars (dramatically increasing the chances of finding extraterrestrial life) to the unearthing of a new life form. One would think with developments like these that nothing else would be much of importance, but one would be wrong. There was the guy who ate his cocaine to get out of a minor traffic ticket and Cam Newton's being cleared to play. These are things that matter. Many propose that the NCAA opened the floodgates to latch-ons, hang-arounds, and general slimeballs by clearing Cam Newton to play. Supposedly, they've done this thanks to a lack of damning evidence, even though poppa Newton admitted his intent to milk his sons talents for all he could. He gets off, for now, with a wag of the finger. Mississippi State gets off with a minuscule breakup. I still wonder why all of the question marks surround Newton and not State. Their institution had Kenny Rogers bargaining on their behalf with Cecil Newton? Do you really think they report this to the SEC if Newton signs with State? Fuck and no. But I digress. Cam is cleared and now we can focus on arguably the biggest game in both schools histories.

South Carolina has never won an SEC Championship or played in a BCS bowl, their lone conference championship came in the ACC, in 1969. On the other hand, Auburn has gone undefeated  five times, yet only one of those years ended with an AP National Championship. That was in 1957. This game could turn the tide for the Spurrier era in SC, taking it from underachieving to the most successful in the programs history. Auburn, with a win, would finally get the BCS National Championship bid it earned in 2004 and set up for their first National Championship in the modern-era.

South Carolina's chances lie in the legs of Marcus Lattimore, their true freshman RB. In their three losses, Lattimore didn't touch the ball enough. Against Arkansas he only had 11 carries, as Spurrier tried to keep up with the Hogs pass heavy offense at the same time forgetting that he has maybe the best back in the country. Against Kentucky, he touched the ball 15 times. And in their first loss of the season, against Auburn, he had just 14 carries. After this game, I commented that it's clear Spurrier has no idea what to do with a back as talented as Lattimore and I'm still not sure he knows how to best utilize his star back. Comparatively, in their three wins against ranked teams he carried the ball 40, 23, and 37 times respectively, this includes their biggest win of the season over #1 ranked Alabama. If SC has any shot in this game, Lattimore will have to touch the ball early and often. And even if Spurrier has it figured out, I still don't know if it will be enough.

Cam Newton is a freight train. On every play, you can guarantee every defender keeps one eye on the phenom, and yet he continues to make big plays throughout. And that gives reason enough to like Auburn, they make up for getting robbed in 2004. (Coincidentally, they lost their bid to a team (USC) who ended up getting stripped and could presumably follow in their footsteps.) Nick Fairley will hit Stephen Garcia, maybe even questionably, throughout the game. Spurrier's visor will hit the ground a minimum of three times. And Cam will grow his legend. Auburn 42, SC 34.

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