Friday Column: Georgia’s bowl chances, Bama-LSU and SEC picks

Thank God It’s Friday could not ring more true today. On the verge of another weekend, I look at the top storylines from the upcoming slate of games on Saturday. In this article, I look at Georgia’s bowl chances and how they have to win this Saturday, preview the big one – Alabama vs. LSU and give my Week 10 SEC picks. Let’s get started.

Georgia’s Bowl Chances

Georgia has definitely struggled this year under first-year head coach Kirby Smart. They are currently 4-4 and have yet to find any identity and are very inconsistent. Though they have struggles across the board, this could all be somewhat hidden by at least a decent offensive line. That is something the Bulldogs simply do not have. It is one of the poorest units I have seen in Athens, but that’s another topic for another day.

After suffering a double-digit loss (24-10) at the hands of bitter rival Florida last week, Georgia travels to Lexington, Ky., to take on a Kentucky Wildcats team that is FINALLY going to be bowl eligible this year under Mark Stoops (unless they somehow lose to Austin Peay).

Lexington in November is never an easy place to play, particularly considering the way Georgia is playing right now. Georgia’s remaining schedule this year is very tough (at least for this team). Next week is Auburn; that’s a loss. Then, they play Louisiana-Lafayette at home before hosting in-state rival Georgia Tech. Georgia could easily go 1-2 in those games, so a win over Kentucky this weekend is critical to the Dawgs reaching a bowl game.

This is a dangerous team led by quarterback Stephen Johnson, who has thrown for over 200 yards the past two weeks, and running back Boom Williams, who is currently 3rd in the SEC in rushing with 821 yards and three touchdowns. Kentucky has produced more yards per game this year than the Dawgs, but Georgia has the better defense statistically.

If Smart and co. do not beat Kentucky this Saturday night, I do not believe Georgia will reach the postseason. That would make the season even more of a failure (obviously) to Bulldog fans.

Bama-LSU

The big one is here. No. 1 Alabama (8-0) travels to Baton Rouge this Saturday night to take on the No. 13 LSU Tigers (5-2) fresh off a bye week for both teams.

This matchup lost its luster early in the season when LSU was struggling. Since then, LSU fired Les Miles as head coach, and it has paid dividends so far. Fast forward to today, and LSU has a lot of momentum, under the reign of interim head coach Ed Orgeron. They have finally opened up their offense and are thriving. Danny Etling has stepped up at quarterback and is effectively using his multiple weapons on offense.

Combine that with a healthy Leonard Fournette, who rushed for 284 yards and three scores in the Tigers’ last game against Ole Miss and a solid defense, and LSU is a very dangerous team.

The best team to handle LSU, though, is Alabama. They have so much talent on offense. They have a deep wide receiver corps, a stellar rushing duo in Damian Harris and Bo Scarbrough, arguably the best tight end in the conference (outside of Ole Miss’ Evan Engram) in O.J. Howard, a top-five defense in the nation and an excellent (overall) special teams unit.

Add to that mix a true-freshman sensation in dual-threat quarterback Jalen Hurts (who I believe is good enough to win a Heisman at some juncture in his career), and it is just unfair.

Frankly, I do not see anyone beating Alabama this year, at least in the SEC. LSU should offer them a good test, though, on Saturday night in primetime. These are arguably two of the most talented teams in the country. It’s going to be a fun one.

SEC Picks

Georgia Southern (4-4) vs. Ole Miss (3-5)     12 p.m., ESPNU

Winner: Ole Miss

No. 4 Texas A&M (7-1) vs. Mississippi State (3-5)     12 p.m., SEC Network

Winner: Texas A&M

Vanderbilt (4-4) vs. No. 9 Auburn (6-2)     12 p.m., ESPN

Winner: Auburn

No. 11 Florida (6-1) vs. Arkansas (5-3)     3:30 p.m., CBS

Winner: Arkansas

Missouri (2-6) vs. South Carolina (4-4)     4 p.m. SEC Network

Winner: South Carolina

Tennessee Tech (3-5) vs. Tennessee (5-3)     4 p.m.

Winner: Tennessee

Georgia (4-4) vs. Kentucky (5-3)     7:30 p.m. SEC Network

Winner: Georgia

No. 1 Alabama (8-0) vs. No. 13 LSU (5-2)     8 p.m. CBS

Winner: Alabama

*Note: All times Eastern Standard Time

 

That’s all guys. Make sure to follow Fallen Pylons on Twitter to keep up with the goings-on this Saturday and every Saturday during football season. Have a great weekend!

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