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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Back to normalcy

BATON ROUGE - It has been a crazy few weeks as the past two hurricanes touched or pounded every Gannett town in Louisiana. Hopefully hurricane season has been replaced by real football season as LSU prepares to play at Auburn Saturday night in a splendid SEC showdown in Jordan-Hare Stadium.

LSU fans are loyal and rabid, but they also know what the real thing is. That's why they have never flocked to spring football games, as the do in another SEC town west of here, and why they didn't fill up Tiger Stadium for Appalachian State and North Texas. Louisianians know how to entertain and know how to be entertained. We have too much going on outside of football to get overly excited about LSU playing LSU or LSU playing rent-a-win schools.

But when it's real football, Louisianians and LSU zone in. That will be the case Saturday night whether you're at the game or watching on television after probably another afternoon of clean-up. The temperatures are dropping, though, as the stakes are rising for LSU and other SEC teams.

One can't ask for a better football weekend than this Saturday. No, there will be few sets on The Weather Channel, though I think Jim Cantore of TWC would appreciate this Auburn-LSU clash. If it was a hurricane, he'd be at the 50 as the two surges collide.

You can get your morning started Saturday at 11:30 a.m. with No. 9 Alabama (3-0) playing Arkansas (2-0) in the SEC Game of the Week on the Raycom syndicated network. The game matches NFL escapee coaches Nick Saban and Bobby Petrino. Winner gets to leave for a new job. At 2:30, it's No. 4 Florida (2-0) against Tennessee (1-1) on CBS, a classic matchup still even though it has lost some luster because the Vols have been basically average lately.

Then at 6:45 p.m. it is the main event of the day on ESPN as No. 6 LSU and No. 10 Auburn go at it for West supremacy. Only 14 points have separated these two teams in the last four meetings with each team winning twice. It will likely be that type of game again. At halftime, you will be able to catch some of No. 3 Georgia (3-0) at Arizona State (2-1), which kicks off at 7:15 p.m. on ABC.

I'll have a couple more blogs this week to keep you occupied until Saturday's America dawns and will be turning these in more regularly from now on.

And don't forget to join me each Monday night at 6 for live chats, which are accessible through the website of the Gannett paper in your town.


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