Entertainment Weekly‘s Dave Karger, among the leading advocates of a King’s Speech Best Picture win scenario, yesterday confessed that The Social Network‘s sweep of the Broadcast Film Critics and Golden Globes awards has given him pause and that “my No. 1 Best Picture pick is hanging by a thread.”

The odd thing is Karger’s statement that Speech‘s “trouncing” of The Social Network in terms of BAFTA nominations constitutes “conflicting signals.” The Brits are obviously and genetically in the tank for The King’s Speech (history, culture, tradition) so describing them as “a voting body that has significant overlap with the Academy” is a moot point.

Awards Daily‘s Sasha Stone said this morning that this weekend’s PGA awards and the following weekend’s DGA and WGA awards “will give us a much firmer grasp of where this is going.” Firmer grasp about what? I replied. Isn’t it all but over? What category competition do you find uncertain or inconclusive?

“The guilds determine how Best Picture will go,” she replied. “PGA, Saving Private Ryan. DGA, Saving Private Ryan. SAG ensemble, Shakespeare in Love. Best Picture Oscar, Shakespeare in Love.

“Even if by a thread, Karger is PREDICTING a Crash/Shakespeare in Love-type freak accident. But that means, if there is to be any hope at all for the film, it HAS to win the SAG ensemble. But I think The Fighter wins there. So I can’t imagine any film winning without a major guild award. I am fairly certain that the last one to do it was Chariots of Fire, so Karger is predicting a Chariots of Fire type of win.

“The guilds will firm up The Social Network‘s dominance, as they did with The Departed, No Country, Slumdog and The Hurt Locker. Without them, TSN cannot win.

“It should win PGA (Rudin, for godsakes), the DGA (who else can beat Fincher?), the WGA (Sorkin owns that category) and so all that’s left is the SAG. If it wins there, game over.”

In a piece called “Here’s Why The King’s Speech (As Good As It Is) Won’t Win Best Picture,” EW critic Owen Gleiberman brings up “the zeitgeist factor…it doesn’t happen every time, but the movie that ends up winning the Academy Award for Best Picture often taps into and gives voice to something that’s happening in the culture at large.”