Friday, September 19, 2008

Auburn vs. LSU: Round Three

Prayers of the Faithful
It’s late. I’m watching West Virginia blow it against Colorado. The more luster WVU loses, the less pressure they’ll be under later, but that game is weeks away.

A friend of mine at work grew up in the Bronx at 157th and Melrose. He’s a Mets fan. For those of you, like me, who are unfamiliar with the Bronx, my friend grew up four blocks from Yankee Stadium. When he talks about the Mets these days, my friend references what the New York press refer to as the Russian Roulette Bullpen. Since Billy Wagner, the Mets closer, went down, Mets fans have been hoping to survive every game. Every time a reliever comes out, Mets fans say a prayer.

And that’s where Auburn fans are right now…we’re saying a prayer. We know we have the tools to win the game vs. LSU, but we have no idea what’s going to come from the Auburn offense. Will we survive or will we shoot ourselves? We tried hard to do the latter in the game vs. Mississippi State, but still managed to win. (Thank you, Defense!) I think we will move the football enough to win the game, but that first trip in the Red Zone will say all. Still, I’ll look for other signs: cloud formations, dogs and cats holding town hall meetings in my backyard, and Bo Jackson movies. (The last time I saw one, Auburn smoked LSU by a score of 31-7 two days later.)

Yet they built those hotels
I’ve tried to take the pulse of the non-passion crowd for this game and I’m confused. Most of the columnists I read are giving it to Auburn in a close one. However, Vegas has the line at LSU by 2.5. More fascinating is the over/under. Vegas isn’t known for making stupid bets. The oddsmakers set a line so that half of the money bet will fall on each side of the line. The losers pay a surcharge. On this surcharge, hotels are built. The over/under for this game is 38. Combined with 2.5 point spread, this means the gamblers are expecting a score around 20-18 or 21-17. The combined games scores of LSU’s last two visits to Auburn totaled 29. (The score was 10-9 in 2004 and 7-3 in 2006. Yes, I do remember LSU’s 30-24 win last year. I’m sure ESPN won’t let us forget it.)

Still, with both defenses considered among the best in the nation and both offenses unproven, the 38 seems high. Granted, what do I know, I don’t live in Vegas.

War Damn Eagle!

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