Dye-Gest: No Margin for Error

College Football Hall of Fame coach Pat Dye writes about key games in the SEC this week.

LSU should have plenty of motivation on Saturday when Coach Les Miles' team plays Alabama in Baton Rouge in what is a must-win game for the home team if the Tigers want to get back to Atlanta to defend their Southeastern Conference Championship.

As poorly as LSU played in the rematch last year in the BCS Championship Game you would think the Tigers will be highly motivated on Saturday night.

Defensively, I think LSU can give the visitors trouble playing at home on Saturday night, but I don't believe the Tigers have enough firepower on offense to give Alabama its first loss this season. LSU's quarterback hasn't been playing at nearly the level that Alabama's has and that is something LSU must overcome.

LSU has also been the more mistake-prone football team this season. Alabama has done a good job of taking advantage of mistakes by its opponents and has not played a bad game this season.

The winner of this game will likely be the SEC West team in the SEC Championship Game. Georgia, with its victory over Florida, has the inside track into the championship game to represent the East, but the Bulldogs, like LSU, do not have any margin for error.

When Ole Miss comes to Athens on Saturday, on paper, this looks like an easy win for Georgia with the Bulldogs being at home and having many more talented players than the Rebels have.

I think Georgia will win, but this could be an interesting game because Coach Hugh Freeze has got his Rebels playing really well on offense. Ole Miss has speed at the skill positions and a quarterback who is making plays for them. If Georgia isn't ready to play on Saturday this could be an interesting game.

Another SEC game of interest features a pair of teams exceeding expectations as 6-2 Texas A&M travels to play 7-1 Mississippi State. In the two games the Aggies lost to Florida and LSU they were competitive for four quarters. This could be a close one, too, and the way that quarterback Johnny Manziel is playing he will be difficult for the Bulldogs to stop.

On the national scene a pair of unbeaten teams with BCS title aspirations play ranked teams this week. Oregon is at Southern Cal while Kansas State is at home vs. the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Both of these games should give the poll voters a better read on how to rank Kansas State and Oregon.

Closer to home the Auburn Tigers are back at Jordan-Hare Stadium for Homecoming on Saturday vs. New Mexico State. In addition to both teams needing a win to break losing streaks, it will be interesting to see how the Tigers do going with quarterback Jonathan Wallace, a true freshman in his first college start.

(If you have a question or a subject you would like me to write about in future columns, you can email it to PatDye@autigers.com.)

Editor's Note: This is part of a series of columns that College Football Hall of Fame member Pat Dye is writing for AUTigers.com 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 AUTigers.com--The Dye-Log, the Dye-Gest and Pat's Picks.

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