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Thursday Thread

Tennessee can't be happy to have a gimpy quarterback heading into a game with the nation's best defense. LSU has an SEC-best 26 sacks this year and could wreak even more havoc on the Vols if Erik Ainge turns out to be as mobile as Drew Bledsoe on Saturday. Ainge has to be thinking one of two things, or possible both. 1) He wants to rebound from last year's disastrous performance at LSU. 2) He remembers last year's game and is scared of a repeat against a defense that's even better this year. Either way, if LSU rattles him early, it could be a long game for the UT offense.

Many Tiger fans, myself included, have begun to worry about LSU's performance in big games. For me, most of is not so much based on results, but on style of play. Hell, last year, LSU won on the road at No. 3 Alabama, beat a ranked Auburn team, destroyed Miami in the Peach Bowl. What worries me is the way LSU seems to become much, much, much, much more conservative in those games, at least unless it opens a lead. At Auburn this year, LSU was as close-to-the-vest as I've ever seen -- not stretching the field, not going down field, punting on 4th-and-2 from the 35 when your punter clearly can't get it inside the 20 much less the 10. Last year's Alabama game was much of the same, short slants, run between the tackles. What ever happened to "Let Er Rip!"? The Tigers have the defense to play with anyone in the country. Now, they need to not worry about anything else and play!

The best college football pundits in the country over at collegefootballnews.com are predicting an LSU victory. Geaux Tigers!

Oh yeah, the college football world descends on Louisville, Ky. for the next 24 hours. The winner of Louisville-West Virginia is all but assured to be taken behind the woodshed on Jan. 8 by either Ohio State or Michigan in the worst national championship game of all time. Neither team has beaten anybody (sorry Miami, you're not anybody) this year and both would be battling for a Peach Bowl bid in the SEC. Where's Tommy Tuberville when you need him?

Feel free to use this as your open thread for the day.