David Paschall: LSU again has 11 wins in its sight

David Paschall: LSU again has 11 wins in its sight

November 15th, 2012 by David Paschall in Sports - Columns

LSU coach Les Miles speaks to reporters at the Southeastern Conference NCAA college football media day in Hoover, Ala.

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

OTHER PICKS

Missouri 30, Syracuse 20

South Carolina 31, Wofford 16

Texas A&M 56, Sam Houston 21

Kentucky 22, Samford 15

Virginia 23, North Carolina 20

Florida State 55, Maryland 12

Va. Tech 30, Boston College 13

Miami 27, South Florida 14

Notre Dame 39, Wake Forest 7

Georgia Tech 34, Duke 18

Clemson 45, N.C. State 24

Kansas State 36, Baylor 23

Oregon 49, Stanford 26

MTSU 32, South Alabama 10

Ohio State 20, Wisconsin 17

Oklahoma 48, West Virginia 35

Nebraska 43, Minnesota 14

There are plenty of reasons to appreciate the grass-chewing, grammatically challenged Les Miles.

Miles is 83-20 in his eighth season as LSU coach, and his Tigers have developed a track record of playing just as well when a Southeastern Conference title seems out of reach. The Tigers are 8-2 this year and 4-2 in league play, with their only hope of reaching the SEC title game hinging on an Auburn upset of Alabama.

"Mathematically, we still think we have an opportunity at the SEC West, and certainly if that happened we would love to play in the SEC championship game," Miles said Wednesday. "But our football team really needs to take stock in the fact that they're improving and that they have an opportunity to be a great football team. We need to play well against quality opponents, and certainly Ole Miss is that this week.

"The goal is still a tangible one, and that's to be a dominant football team and enjoy the end of each week with victory."

Should LSU triumph this Saturday, next Friday at Arkansas and win its bowl, the Tigers would amass 11 victories for the sixth time under Miles. The only SEC coach with more 11-win seasons is Bear Bryant, who had nine in his 25 seasons at Alabama.

Pasquali's Pix:

Arkansas at Mississippi State: The Razorbacks have won 15 of the last 17 in this series, with Hogs quarterback Tyler Wilson throwing for 365 yards in last year's game. Bullies 24, Hogs 16.

Western Carolina at Alabama: You can not give Nick Saban this much time to prepare for an opponent. Crimson Tide 59, Catamounts 0.

Jacksonville State at Florida: Not having quarterback Jeff Driskel this week due to a sprained ankle won't matter, but it could factor into next week's game at FSU: Gators 38, Gamecocks 9.

Alabama A&M at Auburn: This is brilliant scheduling by Auburn, as it allows the Tigers a chance to claim a state championship before the Crimson Tide. Tigers 37, Bulldogs 14.

Georgia Southern at Georgia: If Georgia plays Alabama for the SEC title, the Bulldogs would be ready if the Tide ever decided to switch to the triple-option. Bulldogs 40, Eagles 7.

Elon at UTC: The Mocs will close out their third 6-5 season in four years. The Mocs will be predicted to go 6-5 again in 2013. Mocs 31, Phoenix 13.

Ole Miss at LSU: The Rebels need a new memory in this rivalry after Zach Mettenberger took a knee multiple times during LSU's 52-3 laugher a year ago. Tigers 31, Rebels 10.

Tennessee at Vanderbilt: If this season's trends continue, Vanderbilt will have a higher average home attendance than Tennessee within a decade. Commodores 29, Volunteers 28.

Last week:

Winners......................19

Flying headsets..........6

Pasquali is 208-67 overall (75.6 percent) this season.