Don't forget 'the other' SEC West showdowns this week
Sure, all eyes will be on the Iron Bowl Saturday afternoon. It’s the biggest Rivalry Week game on the docket, no question. Much is at stake, at least for Alabama. A victory sends the Crimson Tide to Atlanta to face Florida in the SEC Championship Game.
But don’t forget “the other” SEC West showdowns on Saturday night, particularly the Egg Bowl, which kicks off at 7:15 p.m. and features the top two quarterbacks in the SEC. Also starting approximately 15 minutes later is a game between Texas A&M and LSU with a couple of fascinating story lines.
Yes, they’re “Must-See-TV” too.
If the Iron Bowl didn’t involve one team playing for the SEC West title, it would probably be third in order of drama and intrigue among the three SEC West games on Saturday. Oddsmakers have installed Alabama a two-touchdown favorite over Auburn. According to them, this won’t even be close.
But if the unthinkable does happen and Auburn pulls the upset, Starkville will have the attention of the entire Deep South, if not the rest of the country. College football fans nationwide would be tuned to the Egg Bowl because then an Ole Miss victory would send them to Atlanta to play Florida for the SEC championship.
Regardless, even if Alabama takes care of business, the Egg Bowl offers a rare treat. Ole Miss QB Chad Kelly leads the conference in passing with 3,504 yards this season. Mississippi State QB Dak Prescott is second with 3,159 yards. If you enjoy fireworks, this is the game of the day for you.
With two games still left on its schedule, including an eventual bowl game, Ole Miss has already scored a school-record 444 points this season. They lead the SEC in scoring, averaging 40.7 points per game, and are tops in the conference in total offense, averaging 518 yards per game.
With the conference’s top quarterback, it’s not surprising that Ole Miss WR Laquon Treadwell leads the SEC in both receptions (72) and yards (1,060).
Ole Miss is a 1-point favorite over the Bulldogs, but Prescott will have something to say about that. He leads an offense second in the league with 455.9 yards per game, and fourth in the SEC in scoring (33.5 points per game).
Remember to also keep one eye on the battle in Baton Rouge, where LSU takes on Texas A&M.
It’s the coaches on the sidelines from each team, rather than players on the field, that provide the drama. Texas A&M defensive coordinator John Chavis returns to his old stomping grounds, where he championed top-notch defenses down on the bayou and left last season in a bitter breakup that involves lawsuits and accusations.
What was likely the last press luncheon for Les Miles as LSU's coach is over.
— Glenn Guilbeau (@LSUBeatTweet) November 23, 2015
His timing, however, appears to have been impeccable. More and more media reports indicate that the Les Miles era is coming to an end at LSU. In fact, some are saying that Saturday will be Miles’ last at Tiger Stadium. It should make for a surreal 60 minutes of football and one that shouldn’t be missed.