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Of minds and hearts: Tennessee Volunteers and the LSU Tigers

It should come as no shock to anyone that the LSU Tigers are 7.5 point favorites to win the SEC Championship Game this weekend. The line will no doubt please Jerod Mayo, but is LSU's werewolf aura gone? This, from John Adams:

Two weeks ago, Ole Miss - the worst the SEC has to offer - totaled 466 yards in a 41-24 loss to LSU. But the worst was yet to come for the Tigers.

Last Friday, Arkansas amassed 513 yards against LSU in a 50-48 three-overtime victory. That loss, coupled with all of the coaching rumors, has done as much damage to LSU's image as its ranking. A team that seemingly had it all together in September is on the verge of unraveling in November.

Okay, so maybe that's why VolQuest's Rob Lewis is picking the Vols, 31-27. But I don't know. Is Tennessee's regular season finish all that impressive? Again, John Adams, this time wondering aloud what the other SEC East coaches must be thinking:

Georgia coach Mark Richt: "We're fourth in the country, and Tennessee is in the SEC championship game?"

Florida coach Urban Meyer: "We beat them 59-20, and they're in the SEC championship game."

South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier: "We gained over 500 yards against them, and they're in the SEC championship game."

Vanderbilt coach Bobby Johnson and Kentucky coach Rich Brooks in unison: "If we had only made the field goal …"

I can appreciate their frustration. And I won't argue if anyone says UT is the worst team ever to represent the East in the SEC championship game.

But what does that say about the competition? It says they didn't take advantage of their opportunities.

Right. They haven't, Tennessee has.

Of course, the Vols aren't really known for putting together complete games this season, and they'll almost certainly need to do so this Saturday. So if Cutcliffe gets what he wants -- four-quarter hotness (I hear it's all the rage!) -- and decides to just ride Arian Foster the entire time, can the Vols win?

Perhaps, because there's this pesky question about Michigan's mental state. I'm sorry. Did I say Michigan? I meant LSU. What is the Wolverines' (argh, did it again!) Tigers' mental state going into Saturday's championship game? Les Miles may not be able to pronounce "Arkansas," but I'm relatively certain even he can pronounce "Michigan." (Here's a handy how-to guide, coach.) Is Miles devoting his entire attention to the game, or is some of that precious time being applied toward lining up the caterer for the possible announcement on Monday that he'll be Michigan's next head coach?

What do y'all think? Which imperfect team will be the most ready come Saturday?