Auburn Tigers (3-0 SU, 1-2 ATS) vs. LSU Tigers (3-0 SU, 2-1 ATS)
College Football Week 4
Date and Time: Saturday September 21, 2013 7:45 pm EST
Where: Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
by Tim, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Aub. +17.5/LSU -17.5
Over/Under Total: 56.5
Across the LSU promenade arching between the Pete Maravich Assembly Center and Tiger Stadium is the pacing, poised, Bengal Tiger named Mike. LSUs mascot lingers on since 1953 passed down like a gene or family heirloom linking past with present. Pacing his sanctuary, Mike weighs in close to 700 pounds and although catered to, Mike reminds each visitor that he remains the preeminent predator on solid ground. Auburns mascot is also a tiger. But Auburns mascot is dressed in mock polyester, comical stripes, and pulled over the thin skinned coed picked out in a popularity contest. Auburn, for some reason not yet codified and proven, engineered a counter mascot by the name of War Eagle. LSU knows exactly who they are! Auburn is split in personality and performance. This Saturday evening, Mike will remind all Auburn visitors passing through the Tiger Stadium gates, the lethal result of staying true to who you are.
The fact is: the SEC is the class conference of College Football. Traditionally, LSU has been at the top of the SEC class. 2013 was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the LSU but LSU usually doesnt rebuild with the cookie jar recruits they get each and every year; LSU reloads! A mass exodus of juniors on the LSU 2012 squad remanufactured their commitments opting for the NFL Draft instead. Like a good drummer, LSU hasnt lost one beat from the 10-3 2012 season. QB Zach Mettenberger is back and has thrown for almost 800 yards in 3 games completing over 65% of his passes. LSU isnt simply a Just Throw It football team. Head Coach Les Miles knows that winning consistently in the SEC means mixing up the running and passing game. LSU is 43rd nationally in passing and 38th in rushing and, mixed together, equals a delicacy of 12th in the nation scoring points. LSU has not approached the unstoppable like the 2011 and 2007 seasons but an eruption of tough defense suggests an explosive start to LSUs SEC conference play. The Tigers are loaded, cocked, and aimed for the BCS mountaintop and look to be forging the team with each passing game.
Auburn football is a tale of transition. Auburn fired Head Coach Gene Chizik around Thanksgiving Day in 2012. It was a Sunday meant for corpses at Auburn reflecting on the 49-0 humiliation at the dubious hands of arch-rival Alabama. Chizik is out and the Welcome Mat for former Arkansas State Head Coach Gus Malzahn was laid to rest over the whimpers of the War Eagle faithful. Malzahn has brought baggage filled with an up-tempo, spread like peanut butter offense that Sonny Dikes of Cal (former HC at La. Tech) is using so effectively this year. Auburns transition should also include patience with Malzahn. Auburn is 3-0 after defeating a pretty good Mississippi State football team last week on a last second TD pass. Malzahn brings intensity and emotions to the Auburn side in preparation for greater things on the shelves for the Auburn program. Auburns defense has been energized with the addition of longtime UGA Defensive Coordinator and former Auburn grad Rodney Garner. Garners defensive unit is 92nd in total defense in the nation but is 32nd in scoring defense. The transition at Auburn this year appears to be Focus. Auburn does everything at a B average on offense and defense. Look for Auburn to improve as the Tigers change their mindset from Win National Championships to the new Win each down way of competing.
Playing LSU in Baton Rouge is like getting is like eloping with a beautiful girlfriend while her future Father stares from the backseat of your car. Baton Rouge is loud, not Tuscaloosa loud, but certainly scare the gators in the bayou loud! Coming from Arkansas State, Gus Malzahn wears away games like a 5 year old pair of tennis shoes. Malzahns next Home-and-Home game with a top ranked team will be his very 1st reciprocation from a big program. If Arkansas State corralled a Top 20 thoroughbred it was done exclusively with Malzahn on the road. Auburn is outmanned and virtually every position in this game. Les Miles knows how to win at Home. But this isnt the Auburn Im reading them and Im weeping pay the piper team of 2012. A transition is in order in Baton Rouge. Mike the tiger is pacing back and forth sensing unease about this gameanother tiger might be invading his territory. The truth is: This Auburn Tiger is not made from polyesterthis Tiger has teeth!
Tims Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Auburn Tigers +17.5
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