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Alabama, LSU, or The Field?

 MrSEC.com asked several media members from across the SEC for their take on the following question: If you had to pick an SEC champion now, would you pick Alabama, LSU, or The Field?

Alabama Gets LSU This Time

 Larry Glover

It’s late September but we’re already thinking of early November, November 5th to be precise.  That’s the day that Alabama hosts LSU to see which team gets to be the favorite in the BCS championship game.

I think Bama survives the Tigers in their regular season meeting but will they defeat LSU the second time around?  Confused?  Don’t be because if the Tide wins on their home field in a close game they may have Les Miles and company waiting for them in the National Title Game.  To make matters worse, The Crimson Tide would have to beat LSU again, this time in New Orleans.

Rematches are not popular.  Critics of this position will point to Ohio State and Michigan not getting a rematch a few years back but that was the Big Ten and this is the SEC.  The rules are different when you win the National Title five years in a row.

A rematch is only possible if Alabama wins.  The Tide won’t deserve a second shot at the Tigers if they can’t win on their home field.  I don’t think that a narrow defeat wouldn’t drop the Tigers far in the BCS poll.  Still, LSU would need some help but not much.

First things first, LSU would have to run the table.

Secondly, Oklahoma would have to lose somewhere.  They’ve got Texas in two weeks and two remaining road games against ranked teams so it’s not hard to imagine the Sooners dropping a game.

Stanford is unbeaten and most of their tough games remaining are at home, including Oregon on November 12th.  Their most dangerous game may be a visit to Los Angeles to play USC on October 29th.  If the Cardinal get by the Trojans, it will be a surprise if they’re not unbeaten at the end of the season and that scenario would eliminate any chance for LSU.

Also, the Tigers would need Oklahoma State and the Big Ten champion to fall somewhere along the way.  I know what you’re thinking…what about Boise State?  Sorry but there is no way that the Broncos stay in front of a one loss LSU in the BCS poll if that one loss is a close one at Alabama.  No way.

The showdown in Tuscaloosa will be a good one but a rematch would be better and it could happen.

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Larry Glover hosts Larry Glover Live weeknights from 6-8pm on 590, WVLK in Lexington and on statewide television on the Wazoo Sports Network.  The show is available for download on his website www.larrygloverlive.com.

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Joker’s Seat Is Warming Up

Joker Phillips is 2-1 this season at Kentucky and is coming off a bowl appearance in his first year as the head coach, yet he finds himself on the hot seat.  Maybe not with the administration but the support among the fan base is drying up fast.

That may surprise some considering UK’s lack of success in football historically.  However, Phillips is unique because he is the only coach in generations to inherit a Wildcat program that wasn’t saddled with a string of losing seasons or probation.  He inherited a healthy program with expectations and so far his program is not living up to the new standard.

Kentucky went to a bowl game last season but an uninspired effort left the Cats with a blowout loss to Pitt and its first losing season in five years. UK is 2-1 currently but with games against Florida, LSU and South Carolina looming it’s hard to imagine they won’t be 2-4 at the midway point.  Even their wins over Western Kentucky and Central Michiganwere far closer than they should have been.

The tipping point for the fans might have been the lackluster performance against Louisville.  The rebuilding Cardinals came into Commonwealth Stadium last Saturday and snapped a four-game losing streak to Kentucky after pushing them around for 60 minutes.

Fans are always going to be angry when you lose to your rivals but when they get discouraged watch out.  Right now, Kentucky fans sound more discouraged than angry.  They were hoping that Joker would build on Rich Brooks’ modest success but now they’re just hoping that the program doesn’t bottom out.

If the regression continues the remaining support of the fans will dissipate.  When you lose the faith of the fans, it’s only a matter of time before you lose your job.

Joker can certainly turn it around because there is precedent for a coach losing the fan base and then winning them back over.  His mentor Rich Brooks did it at Kentucky five years ago.

Larry Glover hosts Larry Glover Live weeknights from 6-8pm on 590, WVLK in Lexington and on statewide television on the Wazoo Sports Network.  The show is available for download on his website www.larrygloverlive.com.

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