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SEC Game of Interest (Week 3)

Contrary to popular belief, there are football games happening outside of Columbia this weekend. I know! I didn't believe it either.

I wasn't about to put a picture of anyone associate with UF up here.
I wasn't about to put a picture of anyone associate with UF up here.
Scott Cunningham

Part of the fun of watching college football is that you learn something new every week. For example, did you know that James Franklin is a wizard? It's true! How else do you explain the NCAA overturning Penn State's bowl ban. His hoodoo is so strong that he actually convinced us that "Vanderbilt c[ould]n't possibly be as bad as they looked in their loss to Temple." Yikes.

At least we correctly predicted that South Carolina would struggle with ECU. That pick improved us to 2-4 in SEC picks on the season, a record we hope to improve with this week's SEC Game of Interest: Kentucky at Florida (-18).

The pick: Florida -18

Why you should care: Florida's offense showed signs of life for the first time in nearly five years. If the Gators blow up the 'Cats, the Cocktail Party is going to be very interesting. If Kentucky puts up a fight, we can start worrying about the our trap game against them on November 8th, which is one week after Jacksonville and one week prior to hosting Auburn.

Rationale: While no one seriously thinks that Kentucky has a shot of winning this game outright, it's tempting to pick them to cover. They've looked solid through two games, and their pass rush should give Jeff Driskel fits, particularly with the Gators' starting left tackle out with a high ankle sprain. But I think new Florida OC Kurt Roper is the real deal. In his five years at Duke, the Blue Devils' attack improved from an anemic 4.41 yards per play and 20.1 points per game in 2008 to a respectable 5.87 YPP and 32.8 PPG in 2013. He studied under David Cutcliffe, and their Duke offenses rank as some of the most prolific in school history. And Florida has history of success with hiring offensive gurus away from Durham.

Plus, Kentucky hasn't beaten Florida since 1986. Even last year's sad-sack Gators won by 3 scores.

Bonus pick: Arkansas +3 at Texas Tech. You won't be surprised to learn that Bert's Hogs run the ball, but if you haven't seen them this year you might be surprised to learn just how well they do it. Through 2 games, Arkansas ranks first nationally in yards per rush. The Red Raiders, on the other hand, rank 86th nationally in stopping the rush. And that's against Central Arkansas and UTEP. The Razorbacks run wild in Lubbock.

Go Dawgs!