USA TODAY Sports
On a Saturday loaded with important, high profile games, one of the worst will be between the LSU Tigers and Georgia Bulldogs. Both teams have played extremely poorly to start the SEC season. Someone has to win though.
Coming off a somewhat embarrassing loss to the South Carolina Gamecocks, the LSU Tigers go back on the road to Athens as they take on the Georgia Bulldogs. It's sad, but true, that this is probably the worst game featuring BCS conference teams that will be played today. Both teams have played extremely bad recently and at this time, it seems unlikely that either will finish better than 10th in the league. While Johnny Jones' job is safe and still somewhat promising with a big recruiting class, Mark Fox is seemingly on his way out. After following former LSU head coach Trent Johnson at Nevada and doing very well, Georgia hired Fox but it hasn't really worked out. Although he did reach the NCAA tournament in 2011, he's done little else and the recruiting hasn't been very good.
The story for this Georgia team begins and ends with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. The former McDonald's All American is basically carrying the team and will likely find himself on some kind of All-SEC team. He's a very effective guard that can explode offensively, and also leads the team in rebounding, suggesting that he's also willing to hustle. At 6'5", he presents an interesting matchup problem for the Tigers. The only player that matches up height-wise with Caldwell-Pope is Shavon Coleman, who plays the forward position and that may mean Charles Carmouche will have to stop Caldwell-Pope.
LSU's goal in this game should be to pressure Georgia as much as possible and not allow Caldwell-Pope to get into a rhythm offensively. Georgia is one of the slowest teams tempo-wise in the country and also one of the least effective offensively as a team. Anthony Hickey has been quite effective recently on defense, and perhaps with Coleman getting a fresh slate without fouls, the two will be able to defend better as a team. Andrew Del Piero has also settled into his role quite nicely and could have a good game if the passing is better from the guards.
Georgia comes into the game as two point favorites. Betting-wise I probably wouldn't think to touch this game since both teams are so inconsistent. The line seems pretty fair, and if forced to choose, I would probably take LSU because the Tigers have a more balanced team. Georgia plays as many players in a game as possible, so it's possible that on a given day someone steps up, but I think it's unlikely that anyone has a career game against LSU. The over/under is at 128, suggesting that this game will be quite ugly offensively and won't reach the 70's. I think that's a fair assessment, and I would probably be willing to take the under on that.
Game time is set for 7:00 CT and the game can be seen in a variety of places. ESPN3 will have the game for those that aren't blacked out. Expect SEC states to have blackouts in effect. The game will be televised on Cox Sports TV, Comcast Sports Station, and Brighthouse Sports Net.