Last week's SEC games were far better than our predictions of them: Texas A&M routed South Carolina in Columbia, Tennessee handled Utah State in Neyland, and LSU needed two fourth quarter touchdowns to pull out a win over Wisconsin (but failed to cover). We correctly predicted Ole Miss's victory over Boise State, but the Rebels didn't look like they'd cover until a 28-point fourth quarter outburst. We're going to need some help recovering from this slow of a start. Let's hope we get it with this week's SEC Game of Interest: No. 18 Ole Miss (-20.5) at Vanderbilt.
The pick: Vanderbilt +20.5
Why you should care: Georgia has a bye week, and this is the SEC's only intraleague match-up.
Rationale: Vanderbilt can't possibly be as bad as they looked in their loss to Temple. In fact, I'm going to go ahead and blame their disastrous attempt at wearing gimmick uniforms for the loss. How else do you explain seven turnovers and freakish rain delay? Ole Miss, on the other hand, wasn't nearly as impressive as the final score indicated -- it was 7-6 going into the fourth frame.
I don't think Vandy has any shot at winning this one, but I also think that (nearly) 3TDs is an awfully big spread for these two teams.
Bonus pick: East Carolina +14. I liked this line a lot more when the Pirates were getting 17, but it's still a pretty solid bet. ECU's air raid offense is equipped to exploit the gaping holes in South Carolina's secondary exposed by Kenny Hill and the Aggies. And as much as the Ole Ball Coach needs a win here, you know that he's already looking ahead to the game against us next Saturday.