I can’t get a second article in for this week – my real job calls – but I wanted to briefly include something I’ve been forgetting to write before the season even started that I’ll hit next week… Russell Wilson’s playing his way towards a Heisman trophy and if his Badgers make the BCS title game expect him to bag it.
I was simply amazing last week with an unblemished record of 0-0. Undefeated, I’m back to give you a slate of winners that will allow you to double-starch Vegas at the cleaners. And after a week in which nearly every SEC fan was water boarded with expansion talk, hopefully a few winners will provide relief… until Monday.
I always dedicate my picks to someone or something and this week I’ve chosen my favorite 2011 storyline. It’s the Auburn eagle that flies from the top of the stadium to Jack Hannah’s oven mitt at the 50 right before the game. I made several trips to Jordan-Hare during college and don’t remember this – I blame that on you, Jack Daniel’s – so I need to revisit the Plains soon before Baldy decapitates himself by flying into the goalpost or scoops up an infant and drops him off in a nest somewhere in Toomer’s Corner.
I mean, did anyone see the footage when Baldy recently soared into a skybox? What about when he scared a section of Auburn fans so badly it was like Cole Trickle crashed into turn three and sent shrapnel into the grandstand? Everyone covered their heads for safety and I don’t blame them. Fans should now be required to wear helmets with offensive line facemasks and full pads. (With the potential to sell 90,000 helmets, Under Armor must capitalize on this.)
These winners are for you, Baldy. And lay off the booze on Saturday.
Bama – 11’ vs. Arkansas – This week’s SEC Game of the Year. The two best coaches in the country – at least the two best offensive and defensive minds in the game – face off to take charge of the West before both get LSU in November. The back seven of Bama covering a set of NFL receivers is the best SEC in-game match-up I can remember in years. Each week I’ve been saying Bama’s defense has the potential to be one of the greatest that college football and it will certainly be put to the test. The Arkansas offense is a plug-and-play system, not really relying on a Ryan Mallet every year to put points on the board, so the weight of the world doesn’t fall on Tyler Wilson. The pressure falls more on A.J. McCarron to “manage” the game and keep the ball on Arkansas’s side of the field. Arkansas covers but comes up short in a 24-14 loss.
LSU -6’ @WVU – WVU now hates the entire SEC more than any team on their schedule, so how about an SEC opponent just days after being told they’re not good enough run with the big dogs full time? As if WVU needed extra motivation, toss in Game Day in Morgantown and a primetime 8:30 slot and the first few minutes will be the best college football has to offer. In fact, this might be the rowdiest scene college football has given us in a decade. One small problem for WVU… LSU. The Tigers play three games like this a year. LSU wins and covers 28-20.
UGA -10 @ Ole Miss – I think it’s fair to say UGA has lived up to expectations up to this point. Everyone is calling this game The Toilet Bowl or the Hot Seat Bowl. Either way it’s a bowl game I don’t want to watch. UGA wins and covers 31-14.
USC-16 vs. Vandy – USC just isn’t ready. UGA pushed USC to the brink and the Navy game was extremely close. I love what James Franklin is doing and this game goes deep into the fourth quarter. Lattimore continues to make a run at the Heisman, but I just can’t call the Vandy upset. USC wins 24-23 on a field goal as time expires and doesn’t even come close to covering.
Florida -19’ @ Kentucky – I go back and forth about the spread. Florida has Bama next week at home so a lot depends on what happens during quarters 1-3. Can the Cats generate some cheap points? No. Gators win and cover 42-0. Games at LSU and USC in consecutive weeks await UK after Saturday and Joker Phillip’s job will be up for discussion at the end of the year. 3-9 is in play for UK and Joker’s in the Nutt/Richt wagon after just his second year.
MSU -20 vs. La. Tech – MSU has been a disappointment. The loss to LSU was expected but the spanking Auburn gave them was not. Tech can score and 20 points is too much. MSU wins 42-24 with no cover.
Auburn -33’ vs. Florida Atlantic – FAU has scored exactly three points in two games. Auburn wins and covers 34-0. Baldy makes it another week without killing anyone.
Texas A&M -4’ vs. Oklahoma State – The first real test for both teams, I’m going to enjoy this one since both can put up points. Both ranked in the top-10, this means little since Baylor is in the Big-12. Riding with the Cowboys OSU springs the upset and covers 37-34.
UT vs. Off – Orange Pants is getting it done in Knoxville and the Tyler Bray talk is legit. Look for UT to win and cover. On second thought I’ll go with a push.
Tyler Beam works as a communications specialist for a Louisville, Kentucky company. A lifetime SEC fan – long before it became “acceptable” to cheer for every team in the conference – he plans on writing several books about college football that have a fantastic chance of never being written.