Thanks to my 4-1 record in my latest set of conference predictions, my SEC mark for the season presently stands at 35-10. That kind of luck can’t hold out forever, though, so, if you know what’s good for you, you’ll heed my advice: Don’t Bet On It!
The following games all will be played on Saturday, October 22, because this is the Southeastern Conference, not the Mountain West:
Jacksonville St. Gamecocks at Kentucky Wildcats: As you may remember, Jacksonville State beat an SEC team in the opening game of the 2010 season, which is more than Kentucky can claim since the opening game of the 2011 season. If JSU pulls off the upset in Lexington, Joker Phillips may become the fired-coach-in-waiting while Mike Leach begins choosing between various blue carpet swatches, but, because UK craftily scheduled a bye week before a Division I-AA opponent (seriously, who does that?), I believe this is one group of Gamecocks the Wildcats can beat.
Army Black Knights at Vanderbilt Commodores: Given Vanderbilt’s marine mascot and academic standards, it shouldn’t be surprising if the Cadets treat their trek to the Music City like a trip to play Fake Navy. I can only hope that James "Urban Meyer Without the Wins" Franklin pulls the same bush league bull with the coaches and athletes of West Point that he pulled with those of the Georgia Bulldogs last Saturday night, because the representatives of the United States Military Academy will demonstrate the uses to which our tax dollars have been put all over his private school buttocks. Sadly, though, I don’t think even the loss of Logan Stewart for a half will allow Army to eke out a win over Vanderbilt in Nashville.
Arkansas Razorbacks at Mississippi Rebels: After this game, Arkansas and Ole Miss will have something in common; both will count Houston Nutt among their former coaches. The Hogs will roll into Oxford and rout the Black Bears.
Tennessee Volunteers at Alabama Crimson Tide: Christmas keeps getting earlier every year, and, this season, the Third Saturday in October falls on the fourth Saturday in October. Why are we working so hard to ensure that this rivalry survives conference expansion if these two teams can’t even place their game on the calendar correctly? That Nick Saban coaching tree isn’t going to continue branching out if he keeps punking his former pupils until they get fired, but the Armani Bear will notch another win over an ex-employee who made good as the Tide roll at home.
Auburn Tigers at LSU Tigers: I’m going with the Tigers. (Ah, the classics. . . .) The Plainsmen’s recent run as the luckiest team in America arguably is over (on the field, at any rate), so I’m actually going with such factors as being the better team and having home field advantage to decide this clash. The Bayou Bengals will win a scrappy contest.
Take my prognostications for what little they’re worth, but don’t take them seriously enough to put any money on the line, because that most assuredly would be an unwise investment. Accordingly, my regular disclaimer continues to apply: Don’t Bet On It!
Coming Soon: National games of interest.