#6 Aggies v. #12 Bulldogs
This game has already begun, with Mississippi State currently up 28 to 10. The Aggies came into Starkville with an undefeated record, and, prior to last week's overtime win against the Razorbacks, their closest game had been a 24 point victory over South Carolina. If the current score against the Bulldogs holds, the Aggies will be at risk of falling behind in the SEC West; after all, their next two games are against Ole Miss and Alabama.
As for Mississippi State, a win against Texas A&M would signify next week's game against Auburn as the week's marquee match-up. More interesting, however, is the potential for what this year's Egg Bowl could mean. If Mississippi State and Ole Miss survive the gauntlet that geography and television markets have laid before them, then their end of the season meeting could take on the intimacy and might of a Faulknerian crisis. Most likely, though, I just jinxed that possibility and both teams will ride into the ol' Egg Bowl with their legs plastered in concrete.
#3 Crimson Tide v. #11 Rebels
The Egg Bowl's potential significance could be all but cracked and fried if the Rebels don't disrupt Saban's reign of terror. Since Saban's return to the SEC from the NFL, 'Bama has outscored Ole Miss 206 to 78. But Ole Miss' suffering precedes Saban: the team hasn't beaten Alabama since 2003. That's over a decade of defeat. Alabama owns the all-time series as well, but, in light of recent history, digging into the archives for an Ole Miss fan is a practice in masochism, in proving human lives the play things of historical forces. A win today would be more than an upset--it would be something on the verge of historical revolution. And, it would make the latter half of the SEC season a lot more fun and a lot less predictable.
|The last people to celebrate an Ole Miss win over 'Bama.|
Of course, all that is to step outside the lines of today's game. Inside today's field of play is Alabama's offense, currently scoring at a record pace, and Ole Miss' stalwart defense, who have allowed only two Red Zone touchdowns all year. There's history and there's football. This game features both.
Commodores v. #13 Dawgs
I'm going to keep this one short: I fully expect Todd Gurley II to flirt with the 200-yard meridian for the second game in a row. If he does, then the state of Tennessee, the state of Cormac McCarthy's childhood, should build a statue of Gurley and call it: "Judge Holden Pays the 21st Century a Visit."
#15 Tigers v. #5 War Eagle
A win by LSU would increase the chances for chaos within the division, within the conference, within college football's first playoff chase. Because of that, I'm partial to the purple and yellow in today's game. However, playing on the road while starting a freshman quarterback (Brandon Harris) doesn't seem to be a recipe for success, not to mention Auburn will be looking for its ninth straight SEC victory. The last time the Tigers lost was also to the Tigers, so today's game is also a matter of revenge--or something like that.
Gamecocks v. Wildcats
By the time Spurrier's squad kicks off against the boys from Lexington, our heads should all be swimming in the boozy smoke of the day and our hearts will have exploded, too, in the bourbon barrel's fire. We'll have nothing left. We'll be exhausted. We won't care about a cockfight between a chicken and a kitten.
But, rather than seeing this game for what it is--a potential USC doomsday--we will probably all have devolved into wondering why LSU and Auburn are the only two teams in the SEC West that don't wear some shade of maroon. Seriously, how does that happen?
|An older version of this portrait hung in the Mr. Haircut barbershop in downtown Athens, where as a kid I would walk from the old First Presbyterian Church to get a buzz cut. That's all folks.|