A dessert that describes every SEC opponent in Cupcake Week
This is the week for several SEC teams to have a bye without actually taking the week off.
Yes, it’s Cupcake Week, the annual festival of blowouts seven days before season-ending Rivalry Week.
There are three conference games Saturday (Arkansas at Mississippi State, Missouri at Tennessee, Ole Miss at Vanderbilt). Texas A&M has a tricky opponent in UAB but most of other SEC teams face nonconference patsies. Or should we say pastries?
We decided to compare each upcoming opponent to a dessert. Not just cupcakes, but other tasty meal-enders. Bring your game program and an extra napkin:
Alabama vs. Citadel: Death by chocolate
The sweetest dessert. The Crimson Tide just shut out ranked SEC West opponents LSU and Mississippi State in consecutive games while scoring 20-plus points in each game against two of the nation’s best defenses. Citadel is a Football Championship Subdivision team and not even a good one. The Bulldogs are 4-5. Bama can name the score and ask for seconds.
Auburn vs. Liberty: Bananas Foster
The Flames are 4-5 in their first season as a Football Bowl Subdivision independent. Liberty has beaten New Mexico, Troy and Old Dominion, but should be no match for an Auburn team looking to tune up for the Iron Bowl. Why Bananas Foster for Liberty, a school nowhere near New Orleans? Because, like the Flames, it is a dessert you ignite. Sometimes these things just write themselves.
Florida vs. Idaho: Lemon cupcake
Florida has a bit of a tart atmosphere at the moment, with Gators players telling their own fans to be quiet after touchdowns. So something with lemon flavor fits the bill. If we wanted a savory dish involving pastry we’d have gone with an English pie, which usually has potatoes. Because, you know, Idaho. The Vandals left FBS to return to FCS competition this season and are 4-6.
Georgia vs. UMass: Boston Cream Pie
Like I said, some of these just write themselves. Boston Cream Pie (which actually is more of a cake) is a truly yummy dessert and perhaps the best-known one to come out of Massachusetts. Piece of pie, piece of cake, all of it applies to this game. This will be a romp but UGA fans should watch Minutemen receiver Andy Isabella, who leads the nation with 86 catches.
Kentucky vs. MTSU: Chocolate Elvis cupcake
Thank you. Thank you very much. Kentucky could use a break after losing its past two games, ending its big dreams of an SEC East title and probably a major bowl. The Wildcats could use a banana cupcake with peanut butter and chocolate to satisfy their sweet tooth. But the Blue Raiders are 7-3 (6-1 Conference USA) so, instead of a cupcake, they could turn out to be a tough cookie.
LSU vs. Rice: Pecan pie
We could have gone with rice pudding, of course. But, nah, I took the easy way out on a couple of these already. As a Florida resident, I tend to think of pecan pie as a classic Southeastern dessert. But in Texas, the pecan tree is the official state tree and the State House named pecan pie as the official state dessert. They can fight with Georgia over it. That’s way more complicated than LSU beating an awful Owls team.
South Carolina vs. Chattanooga: Moon Pie
I have a confession that will anger a lot of Southerners. I’m sorry, but here goes: I don’t really care for Moon Pies. The parts all sound fine — Graham crackers, marshmallow, chocolate — yet the end product just does not knock me out. But Chattanooga is famous for ’em so Moon Pies must be the choice. The Mocs are pretty unlikely to be as memorable as an opponent for the Gamecocks.
Texas A&M vs. UAB: Baklava
In JimWorld, baklava is the king of all non-chocolate desserts. There are versions with chocolate in it or on it, but as much as I love chocolate it is not even needed here. For me the best version just has pastry, nuts, cinnamon and honey (or syrup). What does this have to do with UAB? Baklava is extremely labor-intensive — getting all those layers of phyllo to roll out just right, then adding the layers of nuts and honey, is delicate work. And that’s what UAB represents for the Aggies. This matchup is not a cupcake at all.
UAB is 9-1 and has clinched the West Division in Conference USA. It’s an amazing story because the Blazers just restarted football last season after the school dropped the program for a couple of years. Watch out, A&M. If you win this game it will actually feel like a real treat.