SEC Game of Interest (Week 3)

MORE LIKE HEISMANZIEL - Internets circa 2012 - Ronald Martinez

Every week we identify the most interesting game in the conference and pick it (usually incorrectly) against the spread.

We managed to pick Miami's upset of Florida correctly last week, so now we are sitting pretty at 2-0 in our conference picks. Surely this means that we're bound to stumble with our prognostication for this week's SEC Game of Interest: Alabama (-7.5) at Texas A&M (o/u 62).

The pick: Alabama (-7.5)

Why you care: OMG JOHNNY FOOTBALL. Well, sort of. Manziel is a fun player to watch, and Texas A&M was the only team to beat the Tide last year.

Rationale: Since Nick Saban took the reins in 2007, Alabama has lost to one team in back-to-back seasons: LSU (2010 and 2011). You may recall that the 2011 loss was by 3 points in overtime in a game in which neither team scored a touchdown, and that the Crimson Tide avenged that loss just 2 months later by demolishing LSU 21-0 in the Mythical National Championship Game. Nick Saban's Alabama squads are ruthlessly efficient killing machines that learn from their mistakes, and they've had this game circled on their calendars for 10 months. The Aggies will put up a few points, but they won't score anywhere near last year's 29.

You might be worried about the Tide's offense after their line looked merely good in a week 1 victory over Virginia Tech. Don't be. Virginia Tech's defense has been consistently great over the last decade whereas Texas A&M has given up 31 points to Rice and 28 points to Sam Houston State so far this season. And none of those points came in the fourth quarter. The Tide are going to roll.

Bonus pick: South Carolina (-13.5) at home over Vanderbilt. The Fightin' Spurriers are better than they looked last week. (Georgia is actually a good football team. Who knew?) Vanderbilt lost (at home) to an Ole Miss team starting approximately 9,000 true freshmen in their collegiate debuts.

Bonus pick 2: Ole Miss (+4.5) at Texas. The RebelBlackBears are averaging more than 5 yards per carry on the ground. Texas fired Manny Diaz and replaced him with -- wait for it -- Greg Robinson this week. That can't be good for the Longhorns.

Give us your conference picks in the comments.

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