Although some have their doubts whether the Georgia Bulldogs any longer are playing SEC football, other teams in the league certainly are, and the Southeastern Conference has some key games on tap this weekend. My 6-1 record in last Saturday’s picks (thanks a heap, Ole Miss!) boosted my season-long ledger in SEC forecasts to 23-3, which surely sets me up for a fall as we head into week four, so, please, make sure you heed my weekly warning. Whatever you do, . . . Don’t Bet On It!
All of this week’s SEC games will be played on Saturday, September 25, because Thursday nights are for
watching "The Cosby Show," "Family Ties, "Cheers," "Night Court," and "Hill Street Blues" mid-major conferences like the ACC and the Big East.
UAB Blazers at Tennessee Volunteers: Alabama-Birmingham scored 27 second-half points on Troy to overcome a 23-7 deficit at intermission. 59 of the 79 points allowed by the Vols this season were surrendered by Tennessee-Knoxville after the break. Don’t be surprised if the Blazers make this one mildly uncomfortable for the Big Orange faithful in the third quarter, but, in the end, this game will teach a valuable moral lesson when the unpaid workers selflessly donating their time for social betterment prevail against the marijuana-using slackers who lack all ambition.
Fresno St. Bulldogs at Mississippi Rebels: The most compelling question of this game, of course, is which way Alan Autry, famous for being a Mississippi sheriff’s deputy on television and Fresno mayor in real life, will be rooting. The least compelling question of this game, of course, is which team will win, since even the Ole Miss fans in my family are warning me that I should pick against the Rebels. Naturally, I’m picking Pat Hill’s crew to be one of two sets of Bulldogs to win in the Magnolia State on Saturday. (Ha! Foreshadowing of my Georgia-Mississippi State pick! But, wait! They’re both the Bulldogs! So I told you nothing! Ha!)
Kentucky Wildcats at Florida Gators: We know already that the Sunshine State Saurians have been less than impressive. Despite averaging more than 34 points per game, the Gators have managed to score a total of just 35 first-half points against a suspect slate. Speaking of which, we also know what even Wildcat partisans acknowledge: "Kentucky's strength of schedule so far is abysmal. None of Kentucky's opponents have so far won a single game against FBS competition." With so little to go on in making a case for either combatant, I will fall back on the fact that Kentucky hasn’t beaten Florida since the first quarter of my freshman year of college. I’ll quit picking the Gators in this series once that trend ends.
West Virginia Mountaineers at LSU Tigers: Is there any chance the two schools will agree to cancel the football game and just let their mascots go at each other? Because I think it’d be cool to see the bearded guy in the coonskin cap with the musket fight Mike the tiger at the 50 yard line. I’m picking the Bayou Bengals to win the game, and I’m predicting that everyone within a four-foot radius of the postgame handshake between Les Miles and Bill Stewart will lose up to ten IQ points merely by virtue of being so close to the largest concentration of unrefined sideline stupidity since Curley Hallman coached alone.
South Carolina Gamecocks at Auburn Tigers: Here we begin the portion of my weekly picks which evidences the triumph of hope over experience. If Georgia, Arkansas, and South Carolina all win this weekend, I will feel much better about the state of the beleaguered Bulldog program and about the Red and Black’s prospects for the season. There is also some evidence to support the proposition that a team that claimed double-digit victories over Southern Miss and Georgia is superior to a squad that eked out a pair of three-point wins over Mississippi State and Clemson, so I’m going with the Gamecocks to emerge triumphant on the Plains.
Alabama Crimson Tide at Arkansas Razorbacks: I’m definitely going with the team that wears burgundy, returns an experienced quarterback, and is coached by a man who returned to the college ranks following an abbreviated stay in the NFL that ended in a way that left fans questioning the coach’s honesty. So far, both squads have rebutted my belief that they were overrated, but something has to give. With the game being played in
Fayetteville Little Rock Evening Shade whatever city the Hogs have designated as their home town this week, I’m guessing the Tide’s nine new defensive starters are going to find out why Ryan Mallett was the SEC’s offensive player of the week. That’s right, I’m going with Arkansas.
Given the clear homer-at-one-remove bent of my last two prognostications, it should go without saying that no faith should be placed in my predictions, but, just in case you were thinking of wagering your hard-earned money on my wild-eyed forecasts, let me give you a little piece of advice that will serve you in good stead: Don’t Bet On It!
Coming Soon: National Games of Interest (such as they are).