Thursday, October 22, 2009

Moral Victory! picks for this week's SEC games

While I'd like to believe that the Tennessee-Alabama, Vanderbilt-South Carolina, Auburn-LSU and Florida-Miss State contests will be exciting, back-and-forth affairs with surprising outcomes, I fear they will actually be forms of long, slow death for the underdogs.

Last week, we were 5-1, missing like everybody else on Kentucky's upset over Auburn and getting lucky like everybody else because a ref made a bad call in Gainesville. So now we're 46-9, or 83.6 percent. Notice I use the royal "we" so there will be blame to go around if my picks go south.

Here we go:

Arkansas at Ole Miss: This should be the best of the bunch, and a duel between quarterbacks. Right now, Ryan Mallett is more confident and on his game. Sure, it's in Oxford and the Rebels have a solid defense, but Gainesville's a tougher place to play and Florida has a much tougher D. Razorbacks 31-27.

Tennessee at Alabama: This could be a repeat of last week's game in Tuscaloosa. It'll be a defensive struggle for a while, and the Tide will slowly take control. Oh, and Mr. Crompton will not toy with the Tide D like he did against Georgia. Crimson Tide 24-10.

La-Monroe at Kentucky: Ah, yes. While Vanderbilt's next non-conference opponent is Georgia Tech, the Wildcats are playing one of those former Louisiana directional schools. And we're supposed to be smarter. This might be a little tougher than you think because UK won't need to dip into its bag of tricks like it did in Auburn, but expect the Cats to prevail. Wildcats 24-13.

Vanderbilt at South Carolina: The good news is that our offense finally hit double digits against Georgia. The bad news is that the SC defense is way, way better. And like UGA last week, the Gamecocks have finally realized they've got to show up ready to play against us. Gamecocks 17-3.

Auburn at LSU: Interesting to see if Gus — the offense coordinator, not the field-goal kicking mule — can get anything going in Death Valley. The LSU offense isn't actually firing on all cylinders either. Bayou Bengals 20-10.

Florida at Miss State: Think Dan Mullen will pull a Sarkisian and upset his old boss? Nope. Lately Urban Meyer has been fine with keeping the score low and letting his defense do the heavy lifting, a strategy that Ryan Mallett dang nearly foiled last Saturday. Tyson Lee is no Ryan Mallett. Gators 27-10.

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