Couch Potato: Greatest week of SEC TV football ever! - Tucson News Now

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Couch Potato: Prepare for greatest weekend of SEC TV football ever!

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Auburn's Nick Marshall will have to pass effectively if the Tigers are to upset No. 1 Alabama. (Source: Todd Van Emst) Auburn's Nick Marshall will have to pass effectively if the Tigers are to upset No. 1 Alabama. (Source: Todd Van Emst)
Alabama's defense has given up five touchdowns in its last nine games. (Source: Alabama Athletics Communications) Alabama's defense has given up five touchdowns in its last nine games. (Source: Alabama Athletics Communications)
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(RNN) - Everything is everything and nothing is the same. The final weekend of the SEC regular season is Ball-On-TV Paradise.

Couch Potato has taken a militant stance to avoid being disturbed by family, friends, neighbors, zombies, creditors, aluminum-siding salespersons and law enforcement serving warrants, subpoenas or both.

The domicile has been converted into an impervious doomsday bunker. Have established the perimeter using 5,000 yards of high-tensile, hot spring steel barbed tape electrified by two dozen truck batteries attached by 2.54mm pitch jumper cables.

Excavated 15' wide by 6' deep trenches around front and back doors then reinforced the sides with 1/2-inch rebar grid before pneumatically projecting wet-mix shotcrete onto the walls at a minimum of 2,500 psi. Once set, they were lined with plastic and filled with hydrofluoric acid - that's what Walt and Jesse used to dissolve the bodies in Breaking Bad. Nobody's getting past that.

Supplies have been laid in, including abundant quantities of 10-year-old fermented corn beverage, a quarter-ton of ice, a multitude of raw oysters, cocktail sauce and a keg of barley pop.

Again this week, instead of predicting scores – which now more than ever would incite obscene retorts from the lamebrains who infest college football chat rooms – we will quote the most appropriate movie possible for this situation: Gladiator.

Gracchus: The beating heart of Rome is not the marble of the Senate, it's the sand of the Colosseum.

Thursday

Ole Miss at Mississippi State

7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

After a failure to thrive against Missouri last week, Ole Miss can still take over state gridiron dominance with a victory.

Well, it's something.

Mississippi State needs a win to go to a bowl, any bowl, and for Coach Dan Mullen to avoid more pressure than he's already under.

This game rests squarely on the shoulders of Mississippi QB Bo Wallace, and as we know from experience, that's no done deal.

Sometimes he's like Ronnie "Sunshine" Bass in Remember the Titans and sometimes he's more like Veronica Lake in This Gun for Hire. Both, like Bo, have perfect, golden, flowing hair – but Veronica Lake threw fewer interceptions.

Maximus: At my signal, unleash hell.

Friday

Arkansas at LSU

2:30 p.m. ET, CBS

After stomping Johnny Football last week, the Tigers should be in a blood frenzy and prepared to inflict woe on the Razorbacks, who are on the verge of a particularly tragic season in the SEC, that is, not one single conference win.

John Smith won two last year. Yeah, that John Smith.

Proximo: We mortals are but shadows and dust. Shadows and dust, Maximus!

Saturday

Florida State at Florida

12 p.m. ET, ESPN

Last week, incredibly, Florida lost to Georgia Southern, which failed to complete a single pass. A team built on defense gave up 444 rushing yards to an FCS school. And lost. At home.

Well, if you're embattled Gator mentor Will Muschamp, here's some more bad news:

Chances are, FSU will complete many passes, even with Jameis Winston having his mind occupied with a certain litigation possibility that is growing more heinous with each passing day.

The Swamp is going to be full of angry Gators, and they'll all be in the stands.

Lucilla: Is Rome worth one good man's life? We believed it once. Make us believe it again. He was a soldier of Rome. Honor him.

Gracchus: Who will help me carry him?

Georgia Tech at Georgia

3:30 p.m. ET, ABC

After all Georgia has suffered this year, will fate allow them the final indignity of a loss to Tech?

Redshirt junior quarterback Hutson Mason takes over for Aaron Murray, who tore his ACL last week, capping the billion other injuries that befell the Dawgs this season.

If Mason gets hurt, his backup is Brian Griffin, the cartoon dog on Family Guy – no, wait. This just in...

Quintus: People should know when they are conquered.

Maximus: Would you, Quintus? Would I?

Alabama at Auburn

3:30 p.m. ET, CBS

Here's Auburn's chance to get even for the trees.

The winners of this year's Iron Bowl will play either Missouri or South Carolina for the SEC Championship. The losers will hear about it until the day they die.

Alabama is ranked No. 1 and Auburn is No. 4, the highest rankings for Iron Bowl contestants since the Big Bang.

Coaches be like, oh, yeah, it's a big game, they're all big, but different, like snowflakes. And it's not about winning, we're just here to make a difference in young people's lives.

Yeah.

When Gus Malzahn took over after last year's dreadful 3-9 season, he said it wouldn't be long before Auburn would be right up there with Alabama. He delivered faster than Federal Express.

Gus says his team is all level-headed and not overwrought, and win or lose, they all get ice cream. I made up the part about ice cream.

Nick Saban is a guy you can actually believe when he says he takes each game one at a time and this is just another game because he's really weird that way.

But this week, even Saban showed some emotion - you just have to know how to read him.

In his Monday press conference, Saban called Auburn a "very, very, very good team" on first reference and a few minutes later said they were "very, very good. "

Five "verys" and two "goods" is a new Monday record.

Here's what it boils down to: Alabama's got to play assignment defense against Auburn's tricky read option, shut down the running game and make Nick Marshall beat them passing.

Marshall's hit about 58 percent of his throws for 1,500 yards or so, nine touchdowns and five interceptions. He hasn't had to throw much this year. Forget that.

He will throw, whether he wants to or not, come Saturday.

Here's some more to mull over:

Alabama gave up six touchdowns to Texas A&M - and six touchdowns to everybody else. TJ Yeldon has scored 12 touchdowns himself.

Auburn scored three touchdowns on LSU – and 47 on everybody else.

Auburn's defense is … pretty horrible. But Alabama had four turnovers against Mississippi State for some reason. Do that Saturday and see what happens.

Maximus: Brothers, what we do in life... echoes in eternity.

Clemson at South Carolina

7 p.m. ET, ESPN2

This one has absolutely no meaning in the SEC race, but South Carolina could assuage its disappointments by mashing Clemson – which is doable, as Florida State so resoundingly proved.

If that overtime field goal hadn't hit the upright against Missouri, the Gamecocks would already be waiting to see which roughed-up champion emerged from the Alabama-Auburn game.

As it is, they're hoping for Johnny Football to do them a solid and knock off the Tigers, so they can upset UA or AU then go to the Sugar Bowl and a rematch with Central Florida. Zzzzz.

Proximo: Listen to me. Learn from me. I was not the best because I killed quickly. I was the best because the crowd loved me. Win the crowd and you will win your freedom.

Texas A&M at Missouri

7:45 p.m. ET, ESPN

Could it be the SEC swan song for the great Manziel, the boy king who turned Texas A&M into the I Love Lucy of college football TV ratings?

Or will he stay yet another year for the glory of the … yeah, this is it. Also for super wide receiver Mike Evans, a couple of future NFL offensive linemen, maybe even coach Kevin Sumlin.

They could all go out with a bang by beating the other SEC upstart.

Missouri is really good, y'all. They just hammered Ole Miss last week. James Franklin is back and should be closer to full speed, and that defense is real.

Missouri could beat Alabama or Auburn. That's what I said.

Maximus: My name is Gladiator.

The other ones: Vanderbilt keeps the possibility of a second-straight nine-win season alive against the egregious Wake Forest; Tennessee travels to Kentucky for a really depressing game.

Maximus: Are you not entertained?

Copyright 2013 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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