Because this recurring bit has been somewhat sporadic lately, I should begin by stating that, yes, "Don’t Bet On It!" remains a regular segment around this parts, a proposition I plan to prove by predicting the outcomes of this week’s slate of Southeastern Conference contests. As was reported the last time I did this, I am 43-9 in SEC forecasts for 2010, but I cannot expect to continue at that pace, which makes this as good a time as any to remind you: Don’t Bet On It!
The following games will be played on Saturday, November 20, unless otherwise indicated:
Georgia State Panthers at Alabama Crimson Tide (Thursday, Nov. 18): Will ‘Bama be playing a home basketball game while the Panthers are in town? If so, I think it would be a nice gesture for the Tide to ask Bill Curry to come by the roundball arena and toss up the first brick. (If he doesn’t have one, I’m sure the Alabama faithful will provide him with one.) Coach Curry is a big fan of showing off his education, so I’m sure he will describe Bryant-Denny Stadium as an "abattoir" rather than as a "slaughterhouse" after the game, but you may rest assured that Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide will bring the Panthers to their knees.
Appalachian State Mountaineers at Florida Gators: At first, I thought, "Wouldn’t it be great if Appalachian State beat Florida?" Then I had this thought: "No, because that would make Georgia the team that lost to the team that lost to Appalachian State." I’m going with the Gators.
Troy Trojans at South Carolina Gamecocks: Let me get this straight . . . USC is playing the Trojans, yet it isn’t the Southern California spring scrimmage? Strange. Judging by Steve Spurrier’s postgame comments following the Gamecocks’ division-clinching win in Gainesville, the Palmetto State Poultry will be ready for an opponent that warranted mentioning more than the in-state rival Clemson Tigers, so I expect South Carolina to win handily. (Please note that, in atonement for the profuse use of profanity in this week’s podcast, I resisted making any joke that noted that the ‘Cocks were playing the Trojans.)
Tennessee Volunteers at Vanderbilt Commodores: It’s sad, but true; the Georgia Bulldogs’ bowl prospects would be given a boost by a Vanderbilt victory in Nashville on Saturday. Before the season began, I predicted Georgia and Tennessee would finish with identical records, and, although I gave both teams too much credit, I believe the Bulldogs and the Big Orange each will end the regular season with six wins. Tennessee sinks the Commodores to remain in contention for a postseason berth that will not require the Vols to cross any state lines.
Mississippi Rebels at LSU Tigers: Ole Miss has a history of upsetting the Bayou Bengals, the Rebels now have a bear mascot to offset Louisiana State’s inherent advantage as a program represented by an animal that is a vicious killing machine, and Houston Nutt is out to reclaim from Les Miles the mantle of "SEC’s wackiest coach," but I’m afraid it all will be for naught, as there’s no way a Mississippi team this bad is going to roll into Baton Rouge and emerge with a win over the Tigers.
Arkansas Razorbacks at Mississippi St. Bulldogs: Let me get this straight . . . the marquee game of the weekend in the SEC involves two Western Division teams wearing deep shades of red, and neither of them is Alabama? Odd. I don’t know if it’s because the game is in Starkville or because I believe the Bulldogs will be smarting from the streak-snapping setback they suffered at the hands of the Crimson Tide, but I’m getting a good vibe from Dan Mullen’s crew, so I’m siding with Mississippi State in this one.
Those are my prognostications for this week’s SEC outings; take them for what they’re worth, but please do not use them as the basis for wagering, because I am bad at forecasting accurately the outcomes of college football games. Please, whatever you do, . . . Don’t Bet On It!
Coming soon: National games of interest.