Picking college football games against the spread can be maddening at times. Going into last week, we picked against teams from the state of Mississippi 4 times, and we were wrong each time. Then, once we finally accepted that Ole Miss might actually be good, they go on the road and lose to the worst LSU team we've seen this decade. But that kind of unpredictability is why these games are so much fun to watch, right?
We all know that this week's one true SEC Game of Interest is the Cocktail Party, but, with a 6-13-1 record on the season, you do not want us picking that game for any reason. That leaves us with two real possibilities: Kentucky at Mizzou (-6) and No. 4 Auburn at No. 7 Ole Miss (-2.5). We'll pick the one that should matter the most.
The pick: Kentucky +6
Why you should care: You should already be worried about our game with Kentucky next week. It's a classic let-down-look-ahead spot. (H/T Solid Verbal for coining this term.) We have the hated Gators this week, Kentucky next week, and Auburn the following Saturday. Kentucky's a good enough team to beat us if we don't pay attention, and it's going to take everything Mark Richt's got to keep the team focused on them rather than the results of this weekend or the impending iteration of the
Deep South's Oldest Rivalry. And if Mizzou beats the Wildcats this weekend and Kentucky somehow pulls the upset next weekend, we're no longer in the driver's seat in the East.
Rationale: We're tempted to take the Wildcats outright here, largely because current No. 1 Mississippi State needed all 4 quarters to pull away from them last week. However, it's going to be hard for Kentucky to muster that level of intensity two weeks in a row, particularly on the road. Mark Stoops's team has not traveled well this year. Two of their three losses came away from Commonwealth Stadium, namely a 30-36 heartbreaker to Florida (boo!) in the Swamp and a 3-41 demolition by LSU in Death Valley. But, statistically speaking, Kentucky and Mizzou are neck-and-neck in terms of offense, whereas Missouri has a slightly superior defense. So it doesn't really look like either team should be able to pull ahead. This feels like a game that will end up something like 24-21 or even 17-14, so we'll take the points and wouldn't be totally surprised if Kentucky gets their first respectable road win of the season.
Bonus pick: We're going to double-down on Ole Miss -2.5. They're at home, and South Carolina gave Auburn fits last week. Also, we hate Auburn, and, given our record, pure hatred can't possibly be a worse way to pick a game than whatever it is we've been doing this season.
Go Dawgs! Beat Florida!