published Thursday, December 1st, 2011

Paschall's Picks: UGA, LSU could meet in 2012, too

In this Nov. 5, 2011, file photo, Alabama running back Eddie Lacy (42) is tackled by LSU linebacker Karnell Hatcher (37) and defensive tackle Josh Downs (77) during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Tuscaloosa, Ala. They are two of the nation's toughest defenses, so don't expect a lot of points when top-ranked LSU meets No. 12 Georgia in the SEC championship game. (AP Photo/Butch Dill, File)
In this Nov. 5, 2011, file photo, Alabama running back Eddie Lacy (42) is tackled by LSU linebacker Karnell Hatcher (37) and defensive tackle Josh Downs (77) during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Tuscaloosa, Ala. They are two of the nation's toughest defenses, so don't expect a lot of points when top-ranked LSU meets No. 12 Georgia in the SEC championship game. (AP Photo/Butch Dill, File)
Photo by Associated Press.

LAST WEEK

Winners: 20

UK offensive plays: 5

Pasquali is now 256-69 overall (78.8 percent) this season.

Georgia and LSU will play Saturday in the SEC title game, and they could meet again next December.

The Bulldogs do have to play at South Carolina, but they will return quarterback Aaron Murray, tailback Isaiah Crowell and their top five receivers. Their top defensive player, outside linebacker Jarvis Jones, has said multiple times that he will be back.

LSU has seven sophomore starters defensively and will not need much assistance in offseason hype.

"The thing with us is that we recruit you, and then you come in to make a contribution," LSU coach Les Miles said. "If you're talented or capable as a freshman like a Tyrann Mathieu or a Patrick Peterson or an Anthony Johnson or a Kenny Hilliard, we send you to the field and we expect you to play great. There is an implied peer pressure of 'This is how we do it' and 'This is what we do.'"

With the final Saturday of the season upon us, here are other SEC-related nuggets to consider:

* Kentucky's 26-game losing streak to Tennessee that ended last Saturday was the longest active skid in an annual series in the Bowl Subdivision. Now the longest streak is Kentucky's 25-year futility against the Florida Gators, who have won the past four meetings by a combined 200-36 and will host the Wildcats in 2012.

* Tennessee has lost 27 games the past four seasons after losing 22 during the 1990s.

* Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen is 3-0 in Egg Bowls but 0-12 against the rest of the SEC West.

* Finally, South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw threw for 210 yards, rushed for 107 and accounted for four touchdowns in last Saturday's 34-13 defeat of Clemson. In the opener, Shaw completed 3 of 9 passes for 21 yards and was replaced by Stephen Garcia as the Gamecocks fell behind East Carolina 17-0.

It took seven years, but Steve Spurrier may have found his quarterback in Columbia.

Pasquali's Pix:

UCLA at Oregon: Friday night's inaugural Pac-12 title game is historic, all right. The Bruins are 6-6 with lame-duck coach Rick Neuheisel, and they are 31.5-point underdogs -- the largest spread in college football history for any championship game or bowl game. Ducks 52, Bruins 7.

Southern Miss at Houston: The Cougars concluded their regular season with seven consecutive wins of 30 or more points against Conference USA foes. Cougars 33, Golden Eagles 24.

Georgia vs. LSU: LSU will wear white and Georgia will wear red, and if the Bulldogs can't establish the run, they soon will be dead. Tigers 30, Bulldogs 19.

MTSU at North Texas: Vols fans aren't alone in longing for better days, as the 2-9 Blue Raiders are experiencing their worst season in more than 30 years. Mean Green 27, Blue Raiders 20.

New Mexico at Boise State: Only one more blowout for the Lobos to endure before the Bob Davie era begins, not that there won't be more. Broncos 59, Lobos 18.

Clemson vs. Virginia Tech: Dabo Swinney's Tigers certainly could have used one of those NBA-shortened seasons. Hokies 24, Tigers 13.

Michigan State vs. Wisconsin: There were upper-level tickets to the first Big Ten title game available Wednesday for $10 on StubHub.com. The cheapest nosebleed seat for the SEC title tilt was going for $118. Badgers 31, Spartans 16.

Oklahoma at Oklahoma State: A resounding win by the Cowboys still wouldn't change the fact that the team they beat lost at home to Texas Tech. Sooners 38, Cowboys 31.

about David Paschall...

David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...

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Stewwie said...

[The Bruins are 6-6 with lame-duck coach Rick Neuheisel, and they are 31.5-point underdogs -- the largest spread in college football history for any championship game or bowl game.]

Wasn't Texas a 40-point favorite over Colorado for the 2005 Big 12 Championship Game? The Longhorns won that game 70-3 and then upset USC 41-38 for the national championship.

December 1, 2011 at 1:01 p.m.
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