If it were being played on just about any other week this season, the annual Battle of the Tigers would probably not be the game of the week. Yes, Auburn and LSU are both undefeated and yes, the Blue and Orange Tigers might be something of a surprise this year. But the outcome of this game is still probably going to be an LSU win, and perhaps one by a couple of scores.
Then again, maybe not. You don't exactly have to be a student of SEC football to know that strange things often happen in this game. And not garden-variety strange things. We're talking buildings burning to the ground and kickers forgetting how to make easy field goals and, in recent years, the wild card that is Les Miles. LSU might always have strange games with the Mad Hatter at the helm, but the match-up with Auburn has always been its own kind of bizarre.
In other words, there are reasons to watch this game well beyond whether it will be competitive on the field. And it might be competitive on the field anyway. Auburn is undefeated despite facing a few half-credible teams. (Yes, half-credible. Let's not go crazy here.) Nick Marshall appears to be getting better as the season goes along. If it weren't for Ole Miss' hot start, Auburn might be the surprise team of the SEC.
But LSU has looked to me like the most complete team in the conference right now. Granted, that's against opponents who wouldn't even clear the "half-credible" bar, and it hasn't exactly been a banner year for all-aroundness in the SEC, given that half the teams in the conference appear to have completely forgotten how to play defense. That said, Zach Mettenberger has looked good early and Cam Cameron appears to be the offensive coordinator LSU has needed for years, and that makes the Bayou Bengals a dangerous player in the SEC West.
The wild-card quality of this game, though -- that's something that gives me pause picking this one. I think it will be a better game than it looks like, worth even of being he SEC game of the week -- but in the end, LSU manages to pull out a close win.
LSU 35, Auburn 28