My 6-0 record in the SEC portion of last week’s college football picks left me with a 28-6 mark in conference predictions for the season as a whole. This might lead you to believe that I have some idea what I am doing as a gridiron forecaster, but the wiser course would be for you to assume that I have gotten all the good prognostications out of my system and am doomed to go winless through the next three weekends. Just to be on the safe side, you should heed my advice: Don’t Bet On It!
Each of the following games will be played on October 1, because SEC teams play football games on Saturdays, unless there’s a holiday involved:
Buffalo Bulls at Tennessee Volunteers: Not that anyone had any doubts about the propriety of the Big Orange’s decision to run Mike Hamilton off of Rocky Top on whatever most closely approximates a rail (there being no SEC towns equipped with top-flight passenger rail transport . . . yet) in a place immortalized in song for its moonshine stills and she-bear/she-cat half-breed devil-women, but, just in case anyone did, consider that Tennessee had a bye week before the Buffalo game. Yeah, way to make good use of that open date, Mike. The Vols will be rested and ready to administer a beatdown precisely identical to the beatdown they would’ve administered on just seven days’ rest.
Mississippi Rebels at Fresno St. Bulldogs: I admire the Black Bears for their perseverance. By golly, Ole Miss is going to keep playing Bulldogs until they get it right! (For the record, the Rebs’ twelve-game schedule features five canine mascots, four of which are Bulldogs, and four feline mascots, two of which are Tigers. Perhaps the critics of the University of Mississippi athletic administration would do well to remember just how good a job the schedule makers are doing of making it more convenient for their constituents to create opponent-specific signage for the season . . . and, hey, at least they didn’t schedule an open date before Buffalo, like some SEC teams I could name.) Pat Hill’s crew has seen its reputation as a giant-killer tarnished over the course of the last several seasons, and I wouldn’t be inclined to pick the Golden State club, but for the facts that (a) this is a night game in the Raisin Capital of the World, and (b) Ole Miss is a pretty poor football team. Fresno already got the better of Mississippi by stealing Magnolia State lawman Bubba Skinner away from "In the Heat of the Night" to serve as the city’s mayor, and the Bulldogs will finish the job by beating the Rebels, as well.
Kentucky Wildcats at LSU Tigers: Ouch! The only way to make this game seem anything other than utterly ugly is to point out that Kentucky likely will get its revenge over new BlogPoll No. 1 LSU on the basketball court, and probably by an equally lopsided margin. In a battle of felines that will be as unfair on the gridiron as it would be in the wild, the Tigers maul the Wildcats.
Arkansas Razorbacks v. Texas A&M Aggies: Why, it seems like only yesterday that the Aggies made their move to the SEC official, and here they are playing their first conference game! Actually, Texas A&M joined the league the day before yesterday, and this game has been scheduled for a while. Who knew? Until the Hogs play either an opponent they shouldn’t be embarrassed to be playing or a game they shouldn’t be embarrassed after having played, I’m not picking Arkansas to beat anyone decent at anything. The Aggies are decent.
Auburn Tigers at South Carolina Gamecocks: I am not yet at the point of rooting actively against the SEC East frontrunners, largely because it will take more than wins over a Division I-AA patsy and the worst team in the conference to convince me that Georgia stands a chance of overcoming the Red and Black’s early loss to the Gamecocks; I certainly am not yet at the point of wanting South Carolina to lose so badly that I am prepared to root in favor of the Plainsmen winning. The game is in Columbia, the Tigers’ suspect defense could be just what the doctor ordered for Stephen Garcia, and Auburn didn’t fare too well on its last trip to the Palmetto State, so I’m going with the Gamecocks to avenge both of last year’s defeats to the Plainsmen with a win in Williams-Brice Stadium.
Alabama Crimson Tide at Florida Gators: NCT said it best: "I think Bama’s gonna slaughter them next week. In the Swamp. At night. Delicious." From NCT’s keyboard to God’s ear: Alabama will get this win.
Yeah, I know, those last two were as much wishful thinking as anything, which is reason enough for you to question my reliability as a forecaster. Accordingly, this might be an appropriate juncture at which to remind you that my predictions are for your entertainment, not for your edification, and that you should pay attention when I tell you: Don’t Bet On It!
National Games of Interest. Our commemoration of Larry Munson’s birthday on Wednesday. Barring breaking news of substantial significance, all other Dawg Sports business is scheduled to be suspended as we celebrate the voice of the Georgia Bulldogs on his 89th birthday.