Thursday, January 25, 2007

Previewing the Weekend-Saturday Slate

Taking a peak at the conference standings so far, a few things stick out to me. First in the SEC, looking at the East versus the West. The East has Florida at the top followed by three teams closely bunched at 4-2. Two of these teams: Georgia and Vanderbilt are relative surprises considering the manner in which they have gotten to 4-2 with success on the road. Meanwhile, the West is looking like a M.A.S.H unit. Auburn is on top at 3-3... Auburn! You have a jumbo lump crab cake of teams at 2-4 behind the Tigers. No team in the West has won a road game yet. Zero. And now you have got LSU losing at home to Vanderbilt.

The ACC is starting to shake out like most people expected. BC at 5-1 is a small surprise at the top, but they won't be there long with the dismissal of Sean Williams.

North Carolina @ Arizona 1:00 CBS
Big, non conference test this weekend for the Tar Heels as they travel to meet Arizona in Tuscon. The Wildcats are very good at home, but have been struggling recently in the rugged Pac 10. This is a big game for the ACC as well as it needs the Heels to perform well against the 2nd or 3rd best team in the Pac 10. The Wildcats are at a crossroads in their season and need a jump start to get back into the elite group they were in earlier in the year. The only environment that compares to the McKale Center which the Tar Heels have seen is Virginia Tech where they blown out for most of the second half. It will be interesting to see how much this young North Carolina team has matured since that game. Call me a homer, but I see the Tar Heels depth being the difference.
Here is an in depth breakdown of the game.

Wake Forest vs Florida State 4:00 Raycom/Lincoln Financial
FSU can get their revenge for the 30-0 loss suffered at the hands of the eventual ACC Champs this past fall. I never thought I would be making that statement. Wake gave UNC a game for about the first 25 minutes, but their lack of depth showed in the second half. I like the Seminoles on the road.

Auburn vs Florida 5:00 FSN
Once again Auburn has laid title to a crown. They are now the best team in Alabama (in their eyes) after beating Alabama at home, but they were the only team to beat Florida this year in football. The Gators have come dangerously close to being defeated in recent games and Auburn is red hot right now.

Vanderbilt vs Ole Miss 12:00 Lincoln Financial
Vandy has defeated three ranked teams in a row. I think Kevin Stallings may want to recast his top 25 and put Ole Miss in there as well. I was shocked when the Commodores beat LSU in Baton Rouge. Vanderbilt is hotter than the new Paris Hilton video tape and they should win this one.

Miss St vs South Carolina 7:00 FSN
A game between two mediocre SEC teams. The SEC East has dominated the West so far this season, but I like Miss St at home.

Alabama vs Arkansas 3:00 Lincoln Financial
The Tide saw its seven game winning streak over Auburn come to an end this week. Not only do they have endure a football off season, but even Auburn basketball fans are coming of the wood works to let Alabama hear it. I like Nick Saban... I mean Mark Gottfried's club at home.

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