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    • "Inside the SEC" with Tony Barnhart

      For the fourth consecutive year, the No. 1 team in the nation will play in the SEC championship game. And if LSU beats No. 14 Georgia, for the sixth consecutive year the SEC will have a team in the BCS championship game. And there could be more than one SEC team in the BCS championship game.
    • "Inside the SEC" with Tony Barnhart

      What kind of odds could you have gotten this summer that at Thanksgiving the top three teams in the BCS Standings would be: 1) LSU, 2) Alabama, and 3) Arkansas? Here we are at the final Saturday of November and all three are capable of winning the SEC championship and all three could win the national championship. Wow!
    • "Inside the SEC" with Tony Barnhart

      The Game of the Century is behind us but there is much, much more left to this season. Just to prove that point, here are our Five Burning Questions about SEC football for Saturday, Nov. 12.
    • "Inside the SEC" with Tony Barnhart

      Yes, we have finally arrived at The Game of the Century between No. 1 LSU and No. 2 Alabama. But that’s not the only compelling story line in the SEC as play begins in November.
    • "Inside the SEC" with Tony Barnhart

      Tony Barnhart examines our five burning questions about SEC football as we finish up the month of October and set the table for next week’s Game of the Century.

    "Inside the SEC" with Tony Barnhart

    For the fourth consecutive year, the No. 1 team in the nation will play in the SEC championship game. And if LSU beats No. 14 Georgia, for the sixth consecutive year the SEC will have a team in the BCS championship game. And there could be more than one SEC team in the BCS championship game.

    But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. For now, let’s look at our Five Burning Questions about Saturday’s matchup between Georgia and LSU at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

    1. Will it be a low scoring game like LSU-Alabama? It certainly has that kind of potential. LSU has the nation’s No. 2 defense (behind Alabama), giving up only 248.2 yards per game. Georgia has the No. 5 defense in the country (271.08 ypg). LSU has given up more than 21 points only one time this season (a 40-27 win over Oregon in the opener). Georgia’s defense has gotten progressively better during its 10-game winning streak. With this much on the line, there is a tendency to be conservative (see Alabama vs. LSU).

    2. Georgia is a double-digit underdog. What do the Bulldogs have to do to have a chance to win? I talked to a defensive coordinator who is very familiar with both teams and he didn’t hesitate when I asked him that question. Georgia has one of the SEC’s best quarterbacks in sophomore Aaron Murray, who leads the league with 32 touchdown passes. But Murray won’t get a chance to throw if Georgia can’t mount some kind of running game. “If LSU can make Georgia one-dimensional with Murray throwing it all the time, then it will be a long night for them,” he said.  I agree. Georgia’s strength is throwing the football, but the Bulldogs need freshman tailback Isaiah Crowell to grow up quickly and give them a spark.

    3. Will the SEC Coach of the Year be in this game? I think so because both men have done extraordinary work this season. Richt’s team started 0-2 and there were people calling for the Georgia coach to be fired. But he remained patient and Georgia reeled off 10 straight victories. Les Miles had a tough summer when a number of his players, including quarterback Jordan Jefferson, were involved in a bar fight. He coached his team through Jefferson’s four-game suspension and figured out how to transition Jefferson back into the starting lineup with minimal disruption. Also remember that LSU’s offensive coordinator, Steve Kragthorpe, had to step down to quarterbacks coach due to health concerns. Miles managed his team through that transition.

    4. Could this LSU team be one of the best ever? If LSU beats Georgia and then beats Alabama again in the BCS championship game, we will have to start thinking about the Tigers as one of the best teams in the history of the SEC. If LSU wins two more games, it will have nine victories against the Top 25 and four wins against the top five. Thus far this season they have won every game but one (the 9-6 OT win against Alabama) by double digits. They will have beaten Oregon (the Pac-12 favorite), West Virginia (the Big East favorite), Alabama (the preseason No. 1 team) twice, and the SEC East champion (Georgia). That is a pretty strong resume.

    5. So which team is going to win the game? If it was a 30-minute game I might be inclined to pick Georgia. The Bulldogs are playing 75 miles from their campus and have won 10 straight. They have a great quarterback in Murray and a very good set of young wide receivers. And this is the second best defense that LSU has faced this season (Alabama was the best). But this game will last at least 60 minutes and over the course of time, LSU’s superior depth has just been too strong for opponents to handle. This LSU team does not flinch when it faces adversity. The offensive and defensive lines are so strong they just wear you down and beat you up. Georgia will hang in with LSU but the Tigers will pull away in the fourth quarter.





     
     

    Barnhart Bio

    Newspapers
    •  1988-Present: College Writer, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

    Television
    •  2004-Present: Contributing Reporter, "College Football Today on CBS"
    •  2009-Present: Host, "The Tony Barnhart Show," The CBS College Sports Network
    •  2006-Present: Co-host, "Talkin' Football," CSS (Nominated for Southern Regional Emmy Award, 2007)

    Radio
    • The Southern Football Kickoff Show

    Books
    •  "Southern Fried Football"

    Awards
    •  2008 Edwin Pope Vanguard Media Award
    •  2007 Fred Russell Contribution to Sports Writing Award