A disappointing Week 5 for my picks to say the least. I pulled out a mere 5-2 on the weekend, with my incorrect picks being Ole Miss and Auburn.
The South Carolina/Auburn game was a shamble of an exhibition. Sloppy play from both teams. Many people, Auburn fans in particular, and the delusional ones I might add, were right. Garcia did what they said he would do and choke the job away. Ole Miss, on the other hand, actually finished a game.
Who'd of "thunk" it?
This week, we enter the dragon. Midway through the regular season, and the wear and tear is getting to some. A couple of these picks are not the easiest to make, but I have gotten this far into the season, and I am now 40-5 on my SEC picks.
Vanderbilt at Alabama: What most people don't realize is that Vandy was coming into the season returning some 18 starters. They have almost won as many games this year than they have the last two seasons combined. I know, not hard to do. This game could get out of hand, but I don't think Bama could have picked a better "let down" team to play than the 'Dores. Bama's defense continues to shine using their seconds and the offense sustains its luster. Bama wins 35-6
Mississippi State at UAB: What to look for? Two anemic offenses running around with their heads cut off. Well, OK, maybe one. But that doesn't mean it is going to be any better for MSU. State will run the ball and control the clock. Who knows what will happen with the passing game? UAB will do what it does best, lose. MSU wins 24-13
Kentucky at South Carolina: You think the Wildkittens are licking their whiskers? Now you will get to see Lattimore drill 100-plus rushing yard holes into UK. Garcia will light up the boards and the Gamecock fans will wonder if last weekend was just a dream. No, it was reality, and Garcia is still a head case. South Carolina wins 24-17
Georgia at Tennessee: The Vols did what they were supposed to do against Buffalo this past weekend. Bray found a new receiver in Da'Rick Rogers and racked up the passing yards and UT established a running game, albeit against a not so good rushing defense. UGA, on the other hand, used a balanced attack against a team that was hyped to win 10 games this season in the MSU Bulldogs.
This is one of those tough games to call. Here is the situation. Both teams utilize the passing game as their go to play, but UGA has a more balanced attack and is better defensively overall. That doesn't mean they are the better team. I just think UGA has better athletes. These are two teams scrapping to get by, and one of them has truly been tested over the other. And that team isn't UT. UGA wins 31-24
Florida at LSU: The Gators' pride is just a little low at this point. Their game last weekend was tantamount to Custer's last stand, except they walked away. Not one aspect of their game was to their standards, with the exception of passing yards. But, that means nothing when you have lost your quarterback. LSU is just biding their time until the Alabama meeting.
With UF playing a new quarterback and LSU's defense watching last weeks game I don't know how the Gators can win. But, they could keep it close utilizing Muschamp's defense. LSU wins 28-13
Auburn at Arkansas: What can you say about these two teams? I don't know, but whoever coined the phrase "cardiac kids" when referring to Auburn could equally apply it to Arkansas after that A&M comeback victory. Arkansas needs this win more than Auburn for multiple reasons, but none greater than revenge. If revenge is the want, then the Hogs need look no further than the Gamecocks front door.
Auburn rode Michael Dyer to the tune of 41 touches last weekend and 141 yards. With the help of other running backs, Auburn totaled 246 rushing yards in part on 92 snaps. The positive about this was two fold. One, they wore down the defense, and two, they ate up the clock.
This weekend, the Tigers could do the same. The only issue is Arkansas has a hot quarterback, so controlling the clock doesn't necessarily help. They need Trotter to perform better.
Arkansas has struggled to make any semblance of a running game this season, or should I say at the beginning of SEC play. This may be their undoing this weekend. However, all they really need is about 100 yards rushing. The rest comes in passing yards.
The key here is defense.
Auburn's defense has been down right horrible this year. While there seems to be some areas the Tigers have improved in, the truth is it is due to poor opponent offenses. They have generally been static in their numbers. However, last weekend was a testament to Auburn's will while trying to stuff the run. They essentially shut Lattimore down and put it into the hands of Garcia, and better yet, his head case coach.
On the other hand, you have Arkansas' no rush defense approach. They border on the side of take what you can get from the opponent's offense instead of give what you want. Besides that, it doesn't help that injuries are mounting up on that side of the ball. Not to mention, the offensive line has been letting Wilson take a beating. Auburn has done about the same as of late.
Here are the questions.
Will Dyer be 100 percent for Saturday? I think so.
Will Trotter keep making mistakes with the ball? Probably.
Can Lutzenkirchen dance again? Definitely.
Is Emory Blake sidelined? Most likely.
Will Jake Bequette get back in for the Hogs? It appears so.
Can the Hogs find a running game? We shall see.
Does either defense hold the opponent for less than 300 yards? Doubtful.
A second road game in as many weeks will be tough for Auburn. And, this will be a different type of offense based purely on passing. The next closest one was Clemson, and they added the element of the run. Arkansas doesn't have that element right now.
And, if Arkansas isn't worried about the run, then how is Auburn going to stop the pass? Auburn has proven they can win on the road. They have also proven they can lose as well.
Out of the five losses I've had in my predictions, three of them are related to Auburn. If I pick them to win, they lose. If I pick them to lose, they win. So, here is to the Auburn fans. Arkansas wins 41-35
I could give a reason the losing predicted team could win, but what would be the point of the original prediction? Each one of these teams has the possibility of winning or losing.
The real question is the scoring department. Can Arkansas score that many points without a real running game? Can Auburn score that many without a great passing game?
Is the Gators' defense good enough to hold a below average LSU offense to lower than 21 points? Because you know that the LSU defense is going to put seven points on the board.