Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! By now you should be done dealing with traffic and be about ready give thanks for all of the good things in your life by over-indulging on turkey, stuffing, and football. Last week I went 2-1 against the spread, bringing my ledger for the season to 5-3-1. It may seem that I know a little something about college football, but, in all likelihood, I'm just due for a serious regression to the mean. With a full slate of seven SEC contests to pick this week, there's plenty of room for error. While I hope you enjoy these weekly picks, I also hope you take our customary advice with respect to each and Don't Bet On It!
Arkansas Razorbacks at LSU Tigers (-12) - Note: This game will be played on Friday, November 25, 2011. Upset Weekend wasn't even over before the BCS Chaos! crowd started asking, "How crazy would it be if Arkansas beat LSU?" Pretty crazy, actually. The Bayou Bengals have already beaten two teams with better offenses than the Razorbacks' (Oregon and West Virginia). The Mountaineers even have a better defense than the Hogs, and they still lost by 26. LSU is the easy pick, even with the points.
Tennessee Volunteers (-7.5) at Kentucky Wildcats - Despite hanging with the Bulldogs for a half last week, Kentucky is still a bad football team. It's also a team with nothing left to play for. Tennessee can secure a bowl bid with a win on Saturday, and I'm guessing they do it with an exclamation point.
Alabama Crimson Tide(-21) at Auburn Tigers - Last year, the Auburn multimascots overcame a 24-0 deficit to win a 28-27 thriller. This year's Iron Bowl will look absolutely nothing like that. If you liked watching Georgia run wild over Auburn in the second half two weeks ago, you're going to love this game. The Tide roll to a huge victory over their in-state rivals.
Vanderbilt Commodores (-1.5) at Wake Forest Demon Deacons - Wake Forest actually has a pretty good team this year. Unfortunately for them, they've had most of their success through the air, and Vanderbilt has a surprisingly stout pass defense. The Commodores take care of business and head to a bowl game for the first time since 2008.
Florida State Seminoles (-1.5) at Florida Gators - Florida State has a good defense. Florida has an overpaid, underperforming offensive coordinator. The 'Noles aren't the best team in the country, but they're easily the best team in their own state.
Ole Miss Rebels at Mississippi State Bulldogs (-17) - What is there to say about this year's Egg Bowl? No, really, what is there to say about it? I've got nothing. The Bizarro Bulldogs will win big, though.
Clemson Tigers at South Carolina Gamecocks (-4) - It's hard not to like the Gamecocks here. Clemson's offense has struggled in recent weeks, losing two of the last three while committing eleven turnovers. It has to contend with South Carolina's vicious defense, which is ranked fifth nationally. However, the Tigers faced two defenses that are statistically similar to the Cocks' earlier in the year -- Florida State and Virginia Tech -- and they scored 35 and 23 points, respectively. If Clemson can regain its early season form, South Carolina won't be able to keep up without Garcia and Lattimore. I'm taking Clemson and the points.