Each week, I'll try to convince myself I could give it all up and pick games for a living. And, each week, I'll learn that such a decision would eventually lead to me living in a storm drain in front of a bus station.
Last Week: 1-3 (.250)
Season: 46-41-1 (.522)
Georgia Tech at Georgia (-13)
As I mentioned yesterday, all Georgia needs is to do to get to the national title game is beat Georgia Tech and Alabama. Obviously, the most challenging part of that is Alabama, which means that this is a wonderful opportunity for Georgia to be Georgia and make the easy part way too hard.
The perfect storm of Georgia doing Georgia things is if they lose to Georgia Tech, then beat Alabama by two touchdowns. That truly would be the most Georgia moment ever. Georgia Tech and the points.
Kentucky at Tennessee (-13)
"Let me tell you about these oddsmakers. THESE guys are sharp as sharp can be. And that's REAL sharp. But what I don't understand is how THIS guys, wait, THESE guys can give Kentucky 13 points against a team that just fired its coach, lost by 23, and generally can't do anything right.
I mean, what are THESE guys thinking? Not much faith in the THIS guys of Kentucky."
Tennessee to cover.
Florida at Florida State (-8)
I'm not sure the state of Florida will even show this game in prisons for fear of lawsuits involving cruel and unusual punishment. Luckily for most of the Florida/Florida State fans in the Florida penal system, their tracking bracelets do not interfere with the TV signal at home or halfway house.
Florida and the points.
Vanderbilt (-11.5) at Wake Forest
Perhaps things have changed at Vanderbilt when, without blinking, I take Vandy to cover on the road when they are a double-digit favorite. I attribute that to James Franklin's work and the 10 minutes I saw of the Wake Forest/Clemson game a few Thursdays ago in which Wake spent most of those 10 minutes going backwards on offense and defense.
Vandy to cover.
Auburn at Alabama (-31.5)
Tennessee and Kentucky have already fired their coaches, so is Chizik next? Is this is last stand? Will it be right after the game, will Auburn waste a week, or will they actually keep him on for another year? WHAT'S YOUR GAME HERE, AUBURN?
I don't understand how Auburn could bring him back, unless he plays the "talk about Cam Newton card" to keep the checks coming, but I hope they do because Auburn being terrible is the best. The best scenario possible if Chizik is fired is that Auburn snatches Jon Gruden away from Tennessee, crushing the spirits of those who foolishly want him in Knoxville, and then Auburn is back in the head coach market in 3-4 years. I would have unbridled giddiness for at least the next 6 months.
Alabama to cover.
Mississippi State at Ole Miss (-1.5)
After the Vanderbilt game, I assumed Ole Miss was done. Then they took LSU to the final minute of the fourth quarter and had they not been such a wreck in the easy parts of the game, they very well could have won.
This game depends on if they can come out with the same kind of effort and emotion they've had in the last two weeks. After two straight weeks of soul-crushing losses, color me VERY NERVOUS that they can do it because that's a lot of kicks to the stomach. If they can find a way to play that way, they'll have a chance to win.
In recent weeks, Mississippi State's defense has struggled against all forms of offense, which is a good sign for Ole Miss since they've had trouble running the ball (until the LSU game) and have a quarterback with a bad shoulder. Ole Miss, with a semi-healthy Bo Wallace, should be able to score a fair amount of points, but if Wallace is more injured than they're saying and Barry Brunetti has to play a decent amount, then no more points.
The Ole Miss defense, particularly the secondary, has its share of injuries, as they're now starting a cornerback I did not know was alive until the Vanderbilt game two weeks ago. So any kind of defensive success will come from the front four generating pressure on Tyler Russell, making him uncomfortable and bringing out the shaky accuracy he has from time to time. If they can't make his life somewhat difficult, State will have many chances to put up many points.
If Ole Miss was totally healthy, oh, and did not have the flu going through the team because OF COURSE IT WOULD THIS WEEK, they'd have a good chance to win. However, way too many "if this and this and this and this and this and this works out, we should be okay" things being said. State and the points.
South Carolina at Clemson (-4)
Wait, Clemson is 10-1? All the more reason to assume they'll Clemson themselves. South Carolina and the points.
Missouri at Texas A&M (-22)
If Missouri wins, they'll probably earn themselves a trip to Shreveport. So, if you're a Missouri fan, hope that no one on the team knows that or there is a 100% chance you will not be going to Shreveport.
Texas A&M to cover.
*Doubling your paycheck IFFY at best