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: 7-4 (.636)
Season: 16-13 (.551)
Kentucky at Florida (-24)
Some years back, Kentucky was getting 29-ish points at Florida. They had previously shown some spirit, so I said, "Hey, these guys are showing some spirit, I'll take the points." They were down 28-0 at the end of the first quarter, and lost 63-5.
A valuable lesson was learned that day. Don't listen to myself and never pick Kentucky and points at Florida. Gators to cover.
Ole Miss (-19) at Tulane
It may be too early to claim so, but Ole Miss appears to be a team that can handle bad teams, get destroyed by above average to good teams, and will most likely be really annoying for average to below average teams. Tulane appears to be a bad team, especially on offense, which is a tremendous help to an Ole Miss defense that is NOT GOOD AT ALL.
I like Ole Miss to cover, but am most interested in how many people will be there at kickoff. An 11 AM kickoff in New Orleans and a fanbase that either doesn't care or doesn't exist, no matter what time of day, reeks of 15,000, tops.
Missouri at South Carolina (-10)
Missouri quarterback James Franklin took some heat this week when it was revealed he refused to take painkilling injections in his throwing shoulder, which might have allowed him to play against Arizona State. To that I say, good for him. Everyone questioning his decision is clearly forgetting what Lance Harbor taught us in Varsity Blues.
Lance, after years of painkiller use at the insistence of Bud Kilmer, finally realized how much damage he had done to his body as he watched Kilmer try to convince Wendell to take a painkilling injection, despite mulitple players saying, "Pretty sure is knee is WRECKED." As the mutiny against Kilmer began, Lance calmly told Wendell and Kilmer that taking painkillers is "not worth it." And thus began his coaching career.
Which reminds me, are there no knee surgeons in West Canaan? How is Lance's career completely over after an injury to his 18-year old knee? HE'S YOUNG AND IN PEAK PHYSICAL CONDITION. PRETTY SURE HE CAN HANDLE THE SURGERY AND REHAB. And Wendell's knee is messed up, yet he forges ahead with surgery and rehab and plays at Grambling. What are you so afraid of, Lance Harbor?
Anyway, it sounds like Franklin will play this week, as will Connor Shaw, who has a hairline fracture in his throwing shoulder. Doctors told Shaw his injury won't get any worse and it's just a matter of him playing through pain. Now, I'm no doctor, but can't a hairline fracture turn into, you know, a total fracture? Isn't that medically possible? CHECKMATE, DOCTORS.
/smugly folds arms across chest
As for the game, I expect South Carolina will try the LSU/Alabama strategy of leaning on a defense until it falls over, which will test Spurrier's patience tremendously, visor throw by visor throw. And the suspension of one of his starting safeties against a spread team shouldn't be so casually mentioned as it has been. South Carolina should win, but will do so in a very Vanderbilt-win kind of way. Missouri and the points.
Florida Atlantic at Alabama (-49.5)
What a break in the schedule for Alabama. Two weeks to game plan for Ole Miss. FAU and the points.
LSU (-20.5) at Auburn
If LSU comes out with the mindset that they want this game to be over with by halftime, we could be enjoying lots of shots of Gene Chizik on the sideline blankly staring at the field, wondering what he's going to do for his next job. I'd like LSU to score so many points that Trooper Taylor turns his hat forwards in a moment of total shock. LSU to cover.
Rutgers at Arkansas (-8.5)
Tyler Wilson is back for Arkansas, but unfortunately so is the defense. Be not alarmed, Arkansas fans, John L. is fighting this fire. Arkansas to cover.
South Carolina State at Texas A&M (no line)
Some sweet MEACtion for Texas A&M.
South Alabama at Mississippi State (-34)
If Mississippi State takes care of South Alabama, Dan Mullen is well within his rights to claim the Lower Alabama Championship. It's not often a team beats Auburn, Troy, AND South Alabama in one season. That takes a dedication to piss poor, let's-get-to-the-Music-City-Bowl scheduling and not being distracted by the bright lights of Troy, Alabama. Jaguars and the points.
Akron at Tennessee (-33)
Good to have Terry and Jeff Bowden back in SEC country. However, after the game, Tennessee should conduct a thorough search of the visitor's locker room because there's a pretty good chance the Bowdens will try to set up shop there until someone gives them a job. Related, Akron should maintain strict buddy system rules to keep track of the Bowdens. Tennessee to cover.
Vanderbilt at Georgia (-15.5)
The only thing I want out of this game is Franklin vs. Grantham II, with a blood red Todd Grantham trying to choke the life out of a screaming James Franklin, and a timid Mark Richt trying to break them up. I DON'T ASK FOR MUCH.
As for game-related matters, I am of the opinion Vanderbilt is a bad team, not Kentucky bad, but bad enough that Georgia won't be able to screw around and blow this cover. Bulldogs to cover.