Thursday, October 21, 2010

Week Eight – Crazy Season Continues

For the second week in a row, the #1 team in the nation went down.  It probably won’t be the last time I say that this year.  It’s setting up to be a crazy 2nd half of the season (yes, it is halfway over…very depressing).  Surprise, surprise the game of the week is once again in the SEC regardless of where ESPN takes Gameday.

SEC Games – 4-2 straight up last week; 46-10 for the season

Mississippi @ #23 Arkansas – The early battle for last place in the SEC West (yes, check the standings) takes Arkansas’ not-so-favorite son back to Fayetteville.  You know he will have a pompom in one hand and a microphone in the other to sing the fight song after the game to all three Rebels fans that show up.  Wasn’t Masoli a Heisman candidate at Oregon last year?  Is this just another example of HDN’s QB killing skills or is it a combination of bad Ole Miss skill personnel and SEC defenses?  I say a little of all of the above.  I could see the Hogs coming out a little flat, but the Hogs talent will win out in the end.  Hogs 38-23

#8 Alabama @ Tennessee – The game usually reserved for the third Saturday in October although it is on the fourth this year is the most special game of the year to me.  Sure Alabama has their hated rival in Auburn and Tennessee has its hated rival in Florida, but this rivalry is unique and sometimes hard to explain.  It is a rival where there is a mutual respect for one another.  Alabama is #8 on the college football all-time wins list and Tennessee is #9 (we’ll catch you one of these days Jamie!).  Just as the different colors of leaves begin to fall this time of year (including orange and red), it always signals it’s time for the game of the two winningest teams in the South to go at it one more time.  It seems like recently these two teams can’t both be good during the same year.  In the last 13 years, they have both been ranked only three times, including only once where they were both ranked in the top 10 (1999).  Even more amazing is that these two have never faced each other in the SEC championship game since it began in 1992.  On to the game…I still think Bama is feeling the sting of the loss from two weeks ago.  I don’t know how motivated they will be this week because they didn’t look too excited to be playing last week in the win over Ole Miss.  Once again (and more to come), they will be playing a team coming off of a bye week.  We know what both teams have by now.  Bama is still deep and very talented.  The Vols lack depth in many places, and Dooley has mentioned playing true Freshman QB Tyler Bray in the first half this week, which will likely pay off in the long run but not on Saturday.  Vols hang around for a while like they have in most of their losses this year, but Bama pulls away late.  Bama 28-13

#6 LSU @ #4 Auburn See “If I were a bettin’ man...” segment below.

Side note:  I do realize last in the SEC West equates to champions in the SEC East this year.

Notable Games Around the Nation – 1-2 straight up last week; 15-5 for the season

#1 Oklahoma @ #11 Missouri – This game looks a lot better with the rankings in front of the team names than what it is going to be.  Missouri managed to play their first road game of the year just last week!  How in the world do you manage that?  Give Missouri’s schedule to 75% of BCS teams, and they are undefeated and in the top 15.  They are a fraud!.  On the other hand, the Sooners play their best football when people are doubting them.  Some are suggesting this upset happens; I am not one of them.  The Sooners will be ready, and they have played in tougher places than Columbia, Missouri on a Saturday night.  Sooners 35-24

If I were a bettin’ man... – 0-2 against the spread last week; 8-8 for the season

Vegas is getting really tough as the weeks go by.  I’ll take one stab at a game I think is a little off this week.

#6 LSU (+6) @ #4 Auburn – Is Auburn a team of destiny with a tailor-made schedule to go to the BCS Title Game?  Is Cam Newton going to win the Heisman?  How many times have we seen this play out?  A hot team who has came out of nowhere to get all the love after an impressive win the week before.  Auburn has won three of its games by three points and another by eight.  The game last week was a lot closer than the final score.  They are not a juggernaut despite what some may think.  Auburn’s #1 SEC total offense squares off against LSU’s #1 SEC total defense.  On the other side, LSU’s #10 SEC offense faces Auburn’s #9 SEC defense.  This will be a great, hard-hitting game just like every game in the series the last 10 years or so.  I enjoy this game more each year than about any other SEC matchup.  Auburn has played a tough stretch of games in the SEC grind already, and it’s only mid-October.  LSU has been discounted because of their coach’s IQ or lack thereof.  What you can’t discount is the LSU defense.  These guys have an incredible future NFLer at every level of its defense.  Drake Nevis on the line, Kelvin Sheppard and Ryan Baker at linebackers, and a freak of an athlete that can match Cam Newton at corner back in Patrick Peterson.  When you have a great player at every level like that, your defense is going to shut some teams down.  I believe LSU is going to shut Newton’s running down (relatively speaking) and make him throw.  I haven’t been too impressed with Auburn’s WRs this year.  LSU’s offense will be able to score on Auburn’s defense also and maybe throw in a special teams TD.  Auburn will finally run out of juice this week, and then we will hear about this is their eighth week in a row and they were tired.  So once again a team that is getting all the love one week will find themselves with a loss (see Michigan, South Carolina, Ohio State) the next week, and their star will fall behind in the Heisman race.  LSU wins 24-21 straight up, and Les is a genius for at least another week.    

And They Muffed Joseph Michael -

Coming soon…

Happy Saturday!

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