First, an apology. My effort last week was dismal at best. I managed to stay level at 3-3 bringing the season total to 13-7. Not too shabby. But to increase my odds, we’ll be bringing back Football Jesus next week for an SEC pick of the week that will hopefully become a regular feature.
Alabama is traveling to Ole Miss this week in a game that was billed the biggest in the West this preseason. With Ole Miss falling on a Thursday night in South Carolina, LSU remaining undefeated and Alabama Rolling through everyone, that headline has died down quite a bit. The game being played in Oxford is huge for the Rebs’ and that fan base who have been more excited this season than when the first KFC moved into Mississippi. That being said, excitement isn’t always enough when playing a team this good and this disciplined (see the UGA blackout). Alabama covers the -4.5 spread.
Vanderbilt travels to Army this week and gets the -10.5 spread. If Vanderbilt continues to play these insanely mundane games I will refuse to continue mentioning their games, let alone picking. I’ll take the points.
Houston at Mississippi State is a really interesting match up this week. The nation doesn’t know much about this Houston team who stormed onto the scene by obliterating Oklahoma State but have since fallen to the Miners in UTEP. I’ve had a little bit of a crush on Mississippi State who’ve betrayed my trust. Serves me right for supporting a former Gator. It ends today. Houston +2.
The Kentucky Wildcats are being given quite the hand by Vegas this week at +11, and rightly so. Kentucky’s top two cornerbacks will miss this game in South Carolina. This has all the makings of a whooping. However, I’m picking the ‘Cats +11. South Carolina has a huge game in Alabama next week, and with the Kentucky defense looking weak, the Cocks could be in for a massive let down.
The upstart Auburn Tigers travel to Arkansas this week in a game where over 100 points could easily be scored. These two offenses are as great as their defenses are poor. I wasn’t sure if I believed in Auburn last week, but after playing well in Tennessee I’m willing to give them the nod. Plus, after Georgia went and demolished the Razorbacks, I’m pretty confident the atmosphere isn’t anything to be worried about. Auburn -2.5
By far the biggest game in the SEC and the country is the top-5 battle between Florida and LSU. There are pretty big question marks surrounding both teams. LSU may be one of the most overrated top-5 teams of all time. Like Georgia, they could easily be 3-2 after poor performances at Mississippi State and Celebrationsgate at Georgia. Florida, obviously, awaits the anointment of their starting quarterback. But I’m not really sure it matters. LSU hasn’t recorded a sack in their last three games. Allowing a great quarterback like Tebow or a good passer like Brantley a lot of time in the pocket is lethal with all the speed on Florida. Also, LSU has lost the last 3 games they’ve been an underdog at home. I like Florida -7.5 with or without Tebow.
Finally, the Georgia Tennessee game. I really don’t know what to make of this game. Tennessee has been fairly consistent. They run the ball well, put up about 21 points and may have the worst quarterback in UT history (as well as the worst mustache). They’re defense is led by one of the best college safeties in Eric Berry and they’ve limited two of the most explosive offenses in the SEC in Florida and Auburn. With Georgia, it’s impossible to say what product will show up. Against Oklahoma State and LSU the offense couldn’t do anything but against Arkansas and South Carolina it was like we could score on anyone. The defense has been a big of a mixed bag as well, though with the return of Justin Houston, they’ve been more aggressive attacking the quarterback and have had much better results. I think if Georgia can line up 8 guys in the box, get pressure on Crompton and force a couple of turnovers, they can win this game. But God knows what offense will show up. Naturally I’ll pick UGA +1.
High hand scanner of the week – 44
Low hand scanner of the week – 3
Until next time, Ball hard.