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LSU at Kentucky: Around the Blogosphere

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LSU at Kentucky is a big game for several reasons.  One, because the two teams are ranked in the top 25.  Two, because LSU is the newly minted unanimous #1 team in the land, and unless the #1 team is feasting on pastry (like USC vs. Stanford -- oops!), their games always draw a national audience and a lot of attention.  Three, because LSU is visiting an unusually competent and dangerous Kentucky team.

The college football blogosphere is still buzzing a bit about Florida's recent visit to Death Valley, but some attention is now being paid to the upcoming struggle in Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday.  Lalover at the LSU blog New Orleans Love notes that he picked Kentucky to upset LSU in the pre-season, and he admits to having some fear of André Woodson.  But he also notes that somebody will have to block Glenn Dorsey, and that is very hard.

Richard Pittman writing for the Geaux Tuscaloosa blog pronounces the game a mental one:

This game will be decided by the mental element. I think if we're ready to play, we are a much better team and we are likely to win it going away. If we're flat and not ready to play, like we were against Tulane, we may very well get beaten. Kentucky is much more dangerous than Tulane. They may be soft, but they have a high skill level.

No matter how much I hate to have the Wildcats referred to as "soft", I have to admit that compared to LSU, the adjective is apt.  LSU plays "hard" football, a kind of throwback, smash-mouth, beat-you-with-defense, in-between the tackles kind of football that has largely disappeared from the SEC these days.  Oh, they haven't gone back to the single-wing or anything, but this team relies far more on brute force, defensive speed and raw power.  It is a deadly combination.

Some bloggers seem to think that there is absolutely no way we can beat LSU.  Then again, some of them (well, one at least) are picking Kentucky in a big upset:

I know it's crazy, but it's certainly not any crazier than, say, Syracuse beating Louisville, Stanford beating Southern California, or Appalachian State beating Michigan, so what the heck; I'm pulling the trigger: Kentucky will upset the Bayou Bengals on Saturday.

Crazy?  Well, if you accept this description of the Tigers, you might have to say yes:

The common opinion of LSU this year is that it is a gorilla with a chainsaw where its dangly bits go, a sandworm summoned by Nick Saban that Les Miles just happens to be riding to fame and fortune.

Well. I have no doubt that there might be a bit of hyperbole in that description, but it does conjure a rather scary image.  Scary, too, is Les Miles success with all the gambles he took last week.  We can only hope that LSU will need Miles to roll the dice, and that unlike the game in Death Valley last week, some of those rolls come ups craps.

In spite of all this, we shouldn't give up hope, and regardless of Kentucky's unfortunate past against SEC powerhouses and last year's shellacking at the hands of the Tigers, more people than just Wildcat fans are aware of just how dangerous this team can be.  The Dead Guy has us beating the spread of 9.5 points, which is confidence of a sort, I suppose.  Parish Alford, an Ole Miss blogger, has us beating the spread as well.

So there we go, a look at what the blogosphere currently thinks of the game.  It's hard to find a lot of people picking Kentucky to win outright, but there are many who figure this game will be closer than 9 points.  I'll have a more in-depth look at this game on Thursday and a Q&A with And The Valley Shook on Friday.