Les Miles is a gutsy coach, to say the least. The man who was apparently close to becoming Michigan’s coach last December made a coaching decision that almost ruined his Louisiana State Tigers’ 2007 season.
It was right in the middle of the usually brutal Southeastern Conference schedule. The Tigers were ranked fifth in the nation and were struggling at home against No. 18 Auburn.
Auburn led 24-23 late in the game — but then LSU marched down the field into field goal range.
The LSU offense came into the huddle with one timeout left. With less than 10 seconds remaining the Tigers opted for a pass play into the end zone instead of the obvious field goal. Quarterback Matt Flynn got the snap and hurled a pass to the back of the end zone where wide receiver Demetrius Byrd made a spectacular touchdown catch. There was one second left on the clock. Mike Patrick of ESPN called Miles’s madness the “Call of the Year.”
No. 6 LSU vs. No. 10 Auburn
Miles leads the 2007 National Champions into this game and might need another gutsy call to take out the Tigers. Expect this game to be a little more exciting than Auburn’s thrilling 3-2 win over Mississippi State last week.
Guaranteed: After burning three of Auburn’s cornerbacks, Tigers coach Tommy Tuberville brings in his secret weapon, Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, to cover LSU sprinter/wide receiver Trindon Holliday. Auburn allows 14 points for the highest scoring game in the SEC West all season.
Guaranteed: With one second remaining on the clock, Miles tells quarterback Andrew Hatch to launch the ball straight up into the air. Somehow, Holliday catches the ball and runs into the end zone in a miraculous feat of athleticism. After the game, Les Miles admits to a deal with the devil.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 footballs
No. 5 Florida vs. Tennessee
In a fierce SEC battle, Florida travels to Tennessee’s Neyland Stadium to see who can touch the checkerboard endzones the most.
Unfortunately, the checkerboard endzone may be the only thing in the Volunteers’ favor this game. Florida’s dynamic Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Tim Tebow will look to improve on his 260 total yards and four touchdowns in Florida’s 59-20 drubbing of the Vols last season.
Guaranteed: After Tebow runs for his fourth touchdown of the afternoon, he and wide receiver Percy Harvin arrange an elaborate checkers-themed touchdown dance that ends with Tebow being kinged at the edge of the endzone.
Guaranteed: Tennessee running back Arian Foster does the Heisman pose to mock Tebow on his first touchdown run of the afternoon. He finishes the game with 20 carries for 38 yards.
Rating: 3 out of 5 footballs
No. 3 Georgia vs. Arizona State
Both Arizona State and Georgia are coming off poor performances. The Bulldogs defeated Steve Spurrier and South Carolina by just one touchdown last week, a week after South Carolina lost to SEC punching bag Vanderbilt.
But if Georgia is limping into this one, Arizona State is crawling. The Sun Devils were ranked 15th in the nation last week, but lost in overtime 23-20 to unranked UNLV.
Primetime television on ESPN means that Georgia might use Arizona State as a statement game for the rest of the season. The Bulldogs won’t be embarrassed two weeks in a row.
Guaranteed: Arizona State fans start a chant of “Rudy, Rudy!” after Arizona State quarterback Rudy Carpenter throws a touchdown. Like the original Rudy, Carpenter lasts only one more play before Georgia’s bone-crushing defense takes him out.
Guaranteed: The referees take pity on the Arizona State defense and let them play with 13 players on the field. The extra two will equal the average number of players Georgia running back Knowshon Moreno jukes on a single play.
Rating: 3 out of 5 footballs