SEC Picks Week Four: Arkansas Has a Mountain to Overcome to Beat 'Bama
Week Three has come and gone, and what a weekend we had in college football. There were some great games around the SEC.
As for my picks, I went unscathed for the first time this season, picking all nine games correctly. That brings my season record to 25-2.
Week Three Recap
Alabama rolled over the Mean Green with very few problems. I predicted a 48-6 victory for the Tide, but they managed to win by a few more points, 53-7.
Georgia and Arkansas found themselves in a shootout. In the end UGA reigned victorious by the final of 52-41; I had them winning 30-28 over the Hogs.
The rains they kept a-comin’, and so did the success for Auburn. They rattled West Virginia and took the game away in the fourth by the final of 41-30. I had them winning 27-20.
Kentucky won the battle in the “Bluegrass State” by the final of 31-27. What a game this was—a back-and-forth battle to the end. I predicted UK to win 30-20.
LSU had no trouble at all with Louisiana-Lafayette, winning 31-3. I had them winning 40-10.
Ole Miss played as expected against SE Louisiana. I had them winning 54-7, when in fact they won by the final of 52-6.
Mississippi State handled Vanderbilt by the final of 15-3. I predicted a close game with the Bulldogs winning 21-20.
The Gamecocks of South Carolina beat out the Owls of Florida Atlantic by the final of 38-16. I picked USC to win 39-6.
In the Game of the Week I had Florida thrashing Tennessee by a score of 45-10. The spread was high, but the score was not, as Tennessee is getting much love after falling to Florida by a mere 10 points. Florida wins 23-13, but UT steals the spotlight.
Week Three Summary
My closest pick of the week was the Ole Miss game. I predicted a 54-7 victory for the Rebels, and they almost hit that score on the head, winning 52-6. I got the Florida win, but much like those deciding the spread, I was fooled in this one. Tennessee held the lethal Gators to only 23 points.
Now on to...
Week Four Picks
Ball State 0-3 (0-0) at Auburn 3-0 (1-0)
There isn’t much to say about this one. Auburn is much improved, and Ball State would be lucky to hang with some high school teams.
Prediction: Auburn 48 Ball State 7
No. 1 Florida 3-0 (1-0) at Kentucky 2-0 (0-0)
Florida looked average against Tennessee last week, and UK looked determined against Louisville. These two rivalry games revealed a lot for both teams.
Kentucky would sure like to add win number three to their ’09 totals and win number two to this series for the past 30 years. Don’t look for it to happen as long as Tim Tebow is commanding the Gators.
Prediction: UF 34 UK 13
Arizona State 2-0 (0-0) at No. 21 UGA 2-1 (2-0)
Revenge seems to be the word circling many games this season, and this one is no exception, as the Sun Devils would sure like to leave Athens with a win Saturday.
ASU head coach Dennis Erickson knows what it takes to build a champion, so look for a good fight from his squad. However, I feel that even with a struggling defense, UGA should win this one at home.
Prediction: UGA 37 ASU 28
No. 7 LSU 3-0 (1-0) at Mississippi State 2-1 (1-1)
The Bulldogs are much improved from last season. They have one SEC win under their belts already.
After last weekend, the Washington victory is looking a bit more impressive for the Tigers. Still hard to figure LSU, but the picture is becoming clearer.
Prediction: LSU 30 MSU 17
No. 4 Ole Miss 2-0 (0-0) at South Carolina 2-1 (0-1)—Thursday Night
Ole Miss is hoping to let the nation know they deserve their No. 4 national ranking. The biggest obstacle will be playing at Carolina.
South Carolina loves their Thursday night games. In fact, Steve Spurrier is probably petitioning to have all games moved to Thursday seeing how they seem to thrive, or at least survive, on Thursdays.
I’m afraid the survival rate plummets for the Gamecocks this week.
Prediction: Ole Miss 30 USC 10
Ohio 2-1 (0-0) at Tennessee 1-2 (0-1)
The Bobcats of Ohio are hoping to pull an upset here, but UT will have nothing of it. After a tough loss to Florida, the Vols even their record with an easy win Saturday.
Prediction: UT 38 Ohio 6
Vanderbilt 1-2 (0-2) at Rice 0-3 (0-1)
Rice has had a tough slate to start this season, having to play three straight road games, two of which were at Big 12 schools Texas Tech and Oklahoma State. It won’t get any easier having to face an SEC team. Vandy will be ready for the Owls.
Prediction: Vandy 24 Rice 14
Game of the Week: Arkansas 1-1 (0-1) at No. 3 Alabama 3-0 (0-0)
This game presents a matchup of an Arkansas team that is horrible at stopping the run and an Alabama team that thrives on running the ball. In fact, ‘Bama is perhaps as deep at running back as any team in the nation.
Arkansas is threatening with a great quarterback. The only problem is, Ryan Mallett hasn’t been challenged this season. Georgia’s defense put virtually no pressure at all on him, and the Tide has worked all offseason, and in the first three games, to put pressure on the quarterback.
The one weakness for the Crimson defense is its secondary. If ‘Bama doesn’t apply the pressure, you can look for Mallett to pick apart the Tide and rack up some serious numbers.
If Arkansas doesn’t stop the run, then look for Alabama to do just the same to Arkansas, running right through them for the V-I-C-T-O-R-Y.
The winner of this game typically goes on to have a good year, while the loser typically faces a subpar season. This fact is very well noted in my article from last season discussing this rivalry.
What do I really think? I think Arkansas is good—the most improved team in the conference. But in the end, the defense will be too much for this young Hog squad.
Prediction: ‘Bama 38 Arkansas 21
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