As I entered the Tate Plaza yesterday, I saw a very odd sight. One of Auburn’s mascots, Aubie the Tiger, was standing on the main stage shaking hands with Hairy Dawg. The stranger thing was that students in the plaza were applauding. I looked around for the guillotine but couldn’t find one. Why were these students clapping our Deep South’s Oldest Rival? I then saw a sign that said something about improving the relationship between Auburn and Georgia. I initially thought this just meant Joe Cox would continue to throw interceptions, but then realized it was some initiative towards the fans. What?
I was a bit disappointed in this. It seems like sports have become a bit too PC for my taste. I’m not talking about idiots like Larry Johnson, nor am I talking about fans disrespecting visiting fans, because lets face it, there’s nothing worse than getting beer poured on you in South Carolina. But true hate between teams has been missing for awhile. Look at Pacquiao Cotto. It’s the biggest fight of the year and the most hateful thing that’s been said is Freddie Roach calling Joe Santiago inexperienced. I want Georgia to hate Auburn. Forget Larry Munson (not really, I love Larry) and lets go a little Thurman Munson on their asses.
Here’s a quote from Coach Richt’s weekly presser. He’s discussing why he does not regret pulling the redshirt off Marlon Brown, “He’s understanding what we’re doing much better. He’s so much further ahead right now than he would have been hanging around on the scout team. We think he’s going to be making a big impact sooner than later. I don’t regret that right now.” Which is exactly what Aaron Murray could be doing. There is literally only one decent explanation for Murray not seeing the field. (Well, there’s two, but the second option is not one I want to think about.) The elbow injury to Murray must have been more serious than Richt let on and Murray simply isn’t ready. He knows the plays because he’s been here since spring. He outplayed Gray at the G-Day game. He needs the experience for next season.
The second reason is that Murray is just bad. He’s not as good as I think he is. He can’t outplay the unplayable Logan Gray and Coach Richt is wetting the bed with nightmares about next season. Is it possible? Well, he’d be the one to know. He’s watching them practice day in and day out. All I’ve seen is a G-Day game against a backup defense and some highlight tapes. Even Matt Bucklin looks good on highlight tapes (his words, not mine). Scary. Lets never revisit that thought again.
One thing that did please me about last weeks game was Branden Smith’s playing time. Richt commented that Smith would see some more playing time which is an exciting thing for this offense. He is so explosive and I can’t wait to see him running down the field all over the Auburn Tigers.
Speaking of which, lets get to the picks. I won both games last week and got the under for the Alabama LSU game. Am I going to count the under for my picks record? You’re damn right I am. 27-19 ATS is pretty solid, but I still brought John the Football Jesus (you can follow John and get his picks on twitter, @FootballJesus) back to discuss some SEC football.
So, after hearing that, it’s no surprise that I’m picking Ole Miss at -5 over Tennessee.
I mentioned last week about South Carolina’s annual swoon late in the season. Once you get a hot theory, you stick with it until it proves unfaithful. Even at South Carolina, I want Florida -15
Alabama at Mississippi State hasn’t moved at all during this week giving me no indication of who to pick. Saban had been covering most of the season and I also abandoned Dan Mullen a few weeks ago. Still, now that Alabama has clinched the SEC West, I’m sensing a let down. Mullen’s squad will be fired up. I’ll take the 12 points for State.
And finally, the big game in Athens. Two teams who have been wildly inconsistent over the course of this season. We touched upon this game in the podcast in which even Football Jesus didn’t know which way to go. It’s going to be a thriller. I just hope we’re on the winning side. But I have major doubts. Our defense is so bad. So bad. If Auburn can score quickly, we could be down and out in the first quarter. Still, I think we may be able to run the ball a bit and keep Chris Todd and company off the field. Or maybe I’m just tricking myself into false confidence. Wouldn’t be the first time. Or the last. Georgia -5.