The Dye-Gest: Looking Ahead At Big Games

Hall of Fame coach Pat Dye writes about the Auburn Tigers and other SEC football teams in this week's Dye-Gest column.

Although the regular season is almost finished and this is not a very exciting week for SEC football with no compelling matchups on the schedule, there are still interesting games left on the schedule. One of the games I am excited about seeing is Auburn's regular season finale at home vs. Alabama.

I know Alabama is going to have every incentive in the world to come into Jordan-Hare Stadium and do everything it can to try to dismantle Auburn. I want to see if Auburn's young players will stand up and fight, fight and fight for the full 60 minutes.

If the Tigers do that I won't be overly concerned about the score. What I want to see is a football team that is trying to win every time a player's foot hits the ground.

Another SEC game I am looking forward to seeing will take place a day before the Auburn-Alabama game on the Friday after Thanksgiving with Arkansas traveling to LSU. LSU is ranked No. 1 and is undefeated, but Arkansas may be able to go into Baton Rouge and pull off the upset with its ability to score a lot of points.

Coach Bobby Petrino has had some success vs. Les Miles going 2-1 vs. LSU since arriving in Fayetteville and the loss was by three points in overtime. Another victory for the Razorbacks over the Tigers could happen this year.

In my opinion the only big advantage LSU has in this game will be the fact it is being played in Baton Rouge. Of course, that may be enough along with the fact that LSU has a great football.

The question going into that game for Arkansas is can it keep LSU from successfully running the football? If Arkansas can't, LSU will win. If the Razorbacks force LSU to have to win the game by passing the football, they are going to have an excellent chance to head back to Fayetteville with a victory.

While it is still to be determined who will represent the SEC West in the conference championship game, I believe Georgia will be waiting in Atlanta with a chance to knock off whoever they face.

In my opinion if the Bulldogs can play with the same focus and discipline they showed last Saturday against Auburn, they are going to have a chance against LSU, Alabama or Arkansas because of how well Georgia's quarterback is playing.

I also believe Georgia is good enough up front defensively to stop, or at least slow down, the SEC West champion from running the football. If Georgia makes the SEC Championship Game into a contest in which the quarterbacks have to convert third downs to win, the advantage goes to the Bulldogs.

(If you have a question or a subject you would like me to write about in future columns, you can email it to

Editor's Note: This is part of a series of columns that College Football Hall of Fame member Pat Dye is writing for about the game he played and coached. An All-American player at Georgia and one of the top head coaches in SEC history at Auburn, he also served as a head coach at East Carolina and Wyoming. Dye participates in the Legends Poll, a Top 25 rating of the best teams in college football as determined by a panel of all-star former head coaches. Dye writes three columns for Dye-Log, the Dye-Gest and Pat's Picks.

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