After correctly predicting the winner in all SEC games in my first addition of this series, I thought that my luck would surely turn south for me to lose a couple this past weekend.
Well, it didn’t. Luck seems to be on my side for picking games so far this year. Not to jinx myself, but I am beginning to like picking the games more and more.
Well, enough of the intro. Now on to the recap of last weekend’s games.
In case you haven’t noticed, the Wildcats are 3-0. I’m not talking about the round ball either! They caught a bye in Week Four, and they will need it too with an eight-game stretch starting this weekend.
UGA vs. ASU
I had predicted the Dawgs to walk in this one. An early struggle was nothing more than a hangover—from the long trip, that is.
I predicted UGA would win going away, 31-13. The actual score was 27-10—a one-point difference in the predicted spread. Not too bad to start it off.
S. Carolina vs. Wofford
In Week Three Carolina displayed a respectable performance against Georgia. Coming to play Wofford appeared to be a game were the wrath would be released.
You see, Wofford is kind of like the little kid who wants to play but is not quite big enough yet. The Gamecocks let the little kid play and took it easy, I guess. I’m not really sure, to be honest. Darth Visor, you’ve got me so confused.
Carolina was predicted to win 38-10. However, the less than woeful Spurrier-led team beat the Terriers by a mere 10 points, 23-13.
Vandy vs. Ole Miss
This was perhaps the closest picked game of the day, along with the Tiger Bowl. Both teams were riding fairly high, particularly the Commodores. I assumed they would continue that flight, and thus they did.
Predicting them to win by one point over Houston Nutt’s squad, 24-23, seemed like a safe bet. So it was, as the actual score was 23-17 in Vandy’s favor.
Florida vs. Tennessee
If ever Fulmer needed a win, it was at home Saturday afternoon over a top five-ranked Florida Gators squad. But after Urban and boys took full advantage of a sloppy offensive performance from the Vols, noise of “FIRE FULMER!” went echoing through the night.
I had the Gators picked to be the victors 31-24. Oh, how my heart leaped with joy as I read the score scroll across 30-6 in favor of Florida.
Bama vs. Arkansas
For all of those fans out there who doubted the Tide, or who picked a Hog upset, I hope you stay in for a week to catch your breath. The humiliation that was witnessed from the stadium formerly known as “The Nutt House” is the reason why, BabyTate, everyone was throwing Petrino and his Arkansas team under the bus.
I predicted Bama to meet a resilient Razorback group but come out on top in the end, 29-13. What joy, what joy, when the wrath of the Tide is unleashed on others! I don’t care who you are. If you are in the SEC, you don’t get beat 49-14!
MSU vs. Tech
Sylvester Croom came oh so close to pulling off the upset for the second straight year over Tuberville and the Tigers in Week Three. That had given me reason to believe they would make a game of it with the Yellow Jackets. Boy, was I wrong!
Georgia Tech came in with a mission, and now I’m afraid that for Croom the handwriting is on the wall. A predicted loss of 24-16 seemed respectable, but 38-7 spells T-R-O-U-B-L-E for the Maroons’ leader.
LSU vs. AU
I made it known to several in the B/R community that I would be attending my first game at Jordan-Hare this past weekend. Let me tell you, it was an experience! I’m not sure if it was a good experience or a bad one, but it was an experience.
Tiger Bowl 2008 lived up to all the hype. The fans were so nervous you could almost see the color leaving their skin. For an outsider with no dog in the fight—well, maybe a small dog—I was taken aback by the emotion for some and a lack thereof for others.
I will plan to expound on this in a lengthier manner, dedicating a whole article to this event. It is still in the works, so look for it at my profile page.
The prediction was 20-17 in favor of the Tigers—um, LSU Tigers, not the Plainsmen. It turned out to be not much different in a 26-21 victory for the Bayou Bengals. Only two points off the predicted spread.
So, much like my start, a one-point spread difference in the UGA game, I ended on what I considered a great note (on many levels) with the two-point spread difference for the Tiger Bowl.
Okay, enough of the past. Let’s look forward to what should prove to be nothing less than another great weekend of SEC football!
Week Five Games
I’ll probably be somewhat random with this week with the order of the games. But hey, it’s my article, and I will be as random as my brain will possibly allow me to be.
Talk about a team deserving a break! This ‘Dores squad has put on a show for the first quarter of the season. Bobby Johnson, I’m not sure what you have been giving your team to drink, but can I have some?
If you thought Vandy would come out of the first four games with a record better than 2-2, you are looking as smart as those players from Nashville. If you thought they would survive and be better than 3-1, then you need to visit Vegas!
A week off to prepare for Auburn could turn out to be more trouble for a limping Tiger bunch.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, in a lot of ways, this team could use another rest as well.
Ike postponed the Texas game in Week Three, giving Arkansas an unscheduled early season break. Well, I guess Bama decided to score enough for the Tide and the Longhorns last week. Talk about receiving a black eye. Petrino had better use this week off wisely—the Gators are on the horizon.
UK vs. Temple
Well, let’s start off easy. Kentucky is looking to go 4-0 this week before starting their SEC stretch to end the season. That’s right, Kentucky will play eight straight SEC games! Who makes their schedule?
The Louisville game got the season started right. It served as a springboard that should have them gunning for a formidable position in the SEC East. Keep in mind, though, that so far the opponents have been nothing much for which to write home.
I don’t know much about the Temple team, but I look for a solid performance from the ‘Cats to help build their confidence before squaring off against Alabama in Week Six. Taking no prisoners, Kentucky pounds it to the Owls.
Game Prediction: UK 44, Temple 9
South Carolina vs. UAB
The Gamecocks came into last week hurting...bad!
They were very close to knocking off the Georgia Bulldogs. Spurrier really had his guys up for that one, but it just didn’t work out.
Well, last week proved to us that Carolina is back on track—the track to beat up on the likes of Wofford! South Carolina is still hurting. The quarterback situation is horrendous. The offense is a nightmare if you are Spurrier. I mean, didn’t he have a better offense at Duke?
Thankfully for Steve and the Gamecocks, UAB is pretty bad. Even Tennessee beat them in Week Three by 32 points. So as bad as things may seem in Columbia, another week of playing the equivalent of a high school team should help their feelings before Nutt sends them to 0-3 in SEC play.
Game Prediction: SC 24, UAB 10
Ole Miss vs. Florida
Tebow and Co. picked right back up where they left off by winning. See, I told you two weeks off would prove to be too much for the Vols. Now they have the pleasure of hosting Houston Nutt to his first trip to The Swamp as head coach of the Ole Miss Rebels.
Everyone had wondered where Percy Harvin had been this season. Now they know. This team made a statement—a BIG statement.
Who says that going on the road to play in Neyland, in front of 100,000-plus orange shirts, in about just as many shades of orange, is no easy task? Not this guy! It was as easy as giving away food at the Fulmer residence. You just knew that the platters would be licked clean!
You could just see Florida taking full advantage of the turnovers. You could just see the Great Orange Mass on the sidelines about to cry!
I almost felt bad for them. After all, who wants a tear-stained, faded orange sweater?
The Gators are playing strong ball—perhaps a little too strong for the young Rebel team coming to town.
Houston Nutt has been in these types of games before. Last year as the Arkansas coach, he pulled off a great win over the eventual national champions as sort of a last hurrah before leaving town.
This 2-2 team has played well so far. They came up just short in a heartbreaker against Wake Forest. Vandy toyed with them last week. Up and down they have gone, beating up on the smaller team and falling just short of teams who appear to be equal competition.
This week Nutt has his first losing record at Oxford, as the Gators prove to be more than just an equal team.
Game Prediction: Gators 40, Rebels 14
Mississippi State vs. LSU
A miserable performance against the Yellow Jackets was basically the straw that broke the Bulldogs’ back last Saturday.
Having come so close to upsetting Auburn at home, the “Fighting Crooms” went on the road to take on a Georgia Tech team that appeared at first to present a great matchup. But as Lee Corso says, “Not so fast, my friend.” Mississippi State is back to where they were before Sylvester revived them: at the bottom of the barrel.
I tried to look at the Bulldogs and pull some positives from their season so far. What I found was that they are good at...no, I’m sorry. What they do well is...wait, I’ll get it soon.
Um...yes, two things! They play in the SEC, so they can brag about that for the rest of the season by riding on the coattails of other great SEC teams, and they will probably have a shot at beating the terrible Razorbacks.
There you go: two positives for Croom and the Dogs.
LSU, on the other hand, is on cloud nine following the come from behind win on the road at Auburn last Saturday. The game was electric—well, at least on LSU’s side.
LSU is not without fault. They basically gave Auburn a touchdown right before halftime. They played into Auburn’s hands a couple of times. They proved that when Auburn had busted plays, they too scrambled and left someone open for shots down the field.
So LSU has some work left to do still. What they do have that is worthy of resting upon is the fact that they are still very deep. Late in the game they were a lot fresher than the other Tigers. They simply outlasted Auburn, thus making the difference in the game.
LSU will have a game they really need this week, sort of like a scrimmage to work out the mistakes of last week.
Croom and the Dogs have more than they can handle this week. They couldn’t hang with LSU last year in Starkville when they had a better team. This poor team certainly will not hang with LSU this year either!
Game Prediction: LSU 32, State 6
Tennessee vs. Auburn
Talk about embarrassment: This team must have forgotten it was game time Saturday. They are lucky that Florida didn’t roll them for more points.
For those of you who think Fulmer is on the hot seat, you’re wrong! The truth is that the seat is so hot he can no longer sit down. The question is, “Do they make ice packs that big?” Just curious.
Anyway, Tennessee is like a wounded animal, so you would expect them to bite at any moment. No reasons needed. No questions asked. They look like a team so desperate to win that they’ll just take names after the bodies have been collected.
They come to Auburn, AL this week to face off with Tubs and his own limping crew.
The Tiger Bowl was all it was supposed to be: Auburn putting up better numbers than we saw against Mississippi State, LSU feeling right at home in a night game, Auburn proving to have a better offense than was seen earlier in the year, but most importantly LSU covering in the end.
Auburn did show significant signs of life after State. They scored 14 points on offense. The other seven came from the defense, so I am sure Tony Franklin was sending LSU’s offense and Auburn’s defense thank you notes at halftime.
I think Auburn is somewhat of a wounded animal themselves. The big difference is that UT is a wounded hound dog going up against a wounded Tiger!
Cheer up, Auburn. This may be the only time Bama fans will even consider cheering for you—when you play Fat Phil and the Vols!
Game Prediction: Auburn 23, Tennessee 10
Bama vs. UGA—Game of the Week
(Note: Due to local programming this section may be blacked out in some locations.)
The Dawgs went on the road and took care of business last weekend. Enough said.
Coming into the season ranked in most preseason polls as number one, a lot of pressure was put upon their shoulders. Now that USC has managed to jump them, as has Oklahoma, one has to wonder if the pressure has been released or if more is mounting, knowing they must do something to get back to at least the number two spot to play for the national championship.
Well, I for one hold Mark Richt in high regard. He will have his team ready for whatever comes their way this year. He has done a great job at Georgia for the most part.
Now he has dropped a few games that should have been won. There’s no doubt about that. But overall, he has had his team at or near the top of the SEC for several years now. Other teams respect him and take him seriously. I’m sure that Urban Meyer and Steve Spurrier, as well as many other coaches, would attest to that statement.
But this game coming up Saturday is different. It is different for a number of reasons. One is that Bama and UGA don’t normally face off every year, so this matchup of traditional powerhouses doesn’t get displayed very often.
That won’t stop the hype that’s being poured into this game, and for good reason.
This is only the ninth time that two top 10 teams have played between the hedges. UGA has a 5-3 record in those first eight top 10 games, including a 21-0 win over Bama in 1976. The Dawgs were ranked sixth nationally, and the Tide was ranked number 10 in that contest.
Everyone knows about the blackout. The seniors requested it, and Richt gave the thumbs up. Why not let the seniors have reason to get pumped for this game? Why not let them have a little fun? Isn’t that what the game is all about?
I’m sure by now everyone has heard the YouTube video from T-Town. I mean, this stuff happens every week, really. You just don’t see it until the big games come around and all eyes are focused on two teams.
Rumors are circulating that the video is being played in Georgia’s locker room. I don’t doubt it. Even if it were not, these Dawgs are smart enough to look it up themselves on the Internet.
Hype? Yeah. I’d say it’s all around this game. Some may look as hype as a bad thing. I think it just adds excitement. After all, who besides Gator fans didn’t love the dance at the Cocktail Party last year?
So, here we go. The preseason number one faces off against the preseason’s unknown: the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Coming into the season, the Clemson game was thought to have been Bama’s biggest challenge. Why is that?
Well, many thought Clemson would have a great shot at making it to the national championship. The ACC is down. They have some great players. Bama, their only real non-conference foe, was too young to hang with them. So Clemson, not the number one ranked Bulldogs, would pose the Tide’s biggest challenge, most believed.
Okay, Clemson down 34-10, 11 more to go. That has been the season’s motto. One game—no, wait, one play at a time. Finishing every detail before moving on to the next. Bama has done that so far this year, outperforming most expectations, including mine.
Tulane was a bump in the road, but after the Clemson game it was perhaps the best thing that could have happened to Bama: a wake-up call! The Tide rolled in the next two games and is not looking back! Now UGA sits at the top of the biggest games this year.
Bama is pounding it out on the ground, averaging 230-plus yards rushing per game this year. That’s pretty impressive—impressive enough to put them at the top in rush offense in the SEC. Throw in a great rush defense, and you have two pretty impressive lines on both sides of the ball.
I think this season has worked to Bama’s favor so far, the way everything has been lined up and the way Bama has responded. Now, when the Tide is hitting on all cylinders, it’s time to go east and face off with the Dawgs, a real challenge.
This game is big, no doubt about it. Even a lesser Tide team got up for this one and fell just short in overtime last year. You don’t think they remember how close they came to knocking off the Bulldogs in ‘07? They do! They don’t need any tactics to get them up for it.
If the game itself is not reason enough to get motivated, then bring on the black unis, right? If it takes something to get you pumped for the number eight team in the nation, then by all means, pull out the black.
Two things are in Bama’s favor. First, all the pressure is on UGA. They were the preseason number one and national champion contenders. Bama, on the other hand, was predicted by some to finish 3-2 at best in the month of September.
The Crimson Tide has surpassed all expectations, and still not many think they will knock off UGA. Therefore, this young team can go out there, lay it all out on the line, and play their game. Nothing is there to lose, and everything is there to gain!
Second, the young Tide defense is playing out of this world. Granted, it has been against some of the lesser opponents on their schedule, but they have stepped up.
Bama's linebacker depth has proven not to be as big a problem as was thought over the summer, and the D-line is playing out of this world. Now they will face off against a young Georgia offensive line. Can Georgia’s young line hold off the likes of Terrance Cody? That will be the telling story of the game.
John Parker Wilson is being handed over to the wolves, but the running backs at Bama WILL carry this team. The pressure will be on Matt Stafford. Can his young line hold off the defensive pressure of Bama to get those screen passes and long bombs?
That, in my opinion, will be the difference of the game. Bama’s D will be too much on the young offensive line. Just ask Clemson’s young front what it’s like to go up against Bama’s D-line!
Bama gets an early lead, and unlike the Gamecocks earlier this season, holds on to win it.
Bama 27, UGA 23
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