So we've clenched the East, and the mighty Tide suffered a close loss at home to a conference newcomer. All is right with the world, including four of last week's six picks. We're sporting a solid 40-32-1 record against the spread in this season's SEC picks. Unfortunately, while many of our brethren are enjoying cupcakes this week, the majority actually have contests of consequence against foes who should put up a fight. Will everyone avoid Joker Phillips' fate with a big win? Don't Bet On It!
Tennessee (+4) at Vanderbilt
How bad is Tennessee? Vanderbilt opened as just a two-point favorite, but the line almost immediately moved to four. It's easy to see why: Vanderbilt's defense allows just 5.9 yards per pass, which is the same per-play pass yardage allowed by the Tide team that held Tennessee to a season-low 13 points. However, the Commies are allowing more than 4 yards per rush, and, after a slow start, the Vols are now averaging 166 yards per game on the ground. Tennessee will get their points. I'm not sure that Vanderbilt will, even against Tennessee's porous defense. The Vawls get their first SEC win, even though it's too late to save Precious's job.
Arkansas at Mississippi State (-6.5)
The Bizarro Bulldogs' balanced attack is going to be too much for the Razorbacks' weak defense. Mississippi State ought to be able to slow down the Hogs, given that their passing defense is statistically similar to South Carolina's. I'd feel better about this pick if this were a night game in Starkville, but we're taking the home team to win by more than a touchdown nonetheless.
Syracuse at Missouri (-4.5)
If this game were in upstate New York, we'd take the Orangemen. But it's not, so Missouri ought to represent the conference well with a big win.
Ole Miss at No. 7 LSU (-18.5)
This line looks tricky until you remember that LSU and Alabama are basically the same team. Bama beat Ole Miss at home by 19 points. Ole Miss is a good football team, but LSU has actually been playing offense lately. The Bayou Bengals cover at home.
Sam Houston State at No. 8 Texas A&M (N/A)
Samford at Kentucky (N/A)
Wofford at No. 9 South Carolina (N/A)
Jacksonville State at No. 6 Florida (N/A)
Western Carolina at No. 4 Alabama (N/A)
If Georgia's schedule is so weak, why are we playing the best FCS team faced by an SEC squad this weekend? The Eagles are the class of the Southern conference, which is also home to three of our conference coevals' foes (Samford, Wofford, and Western Carolina). These three teams are a combined 16-14 (12-13). I'm not even sure what to say about the other three FCS opponents. One of them hails from a "state" apparently comprised of one dude, another plays in something called the Ohio Valley Conference, and the last is third in a SWAC division led by Alabama State. Any SEC team that loses one of these contests should be immediately demoted to the B1G. I'm looking at you, Auburn.