After going 0-6 on Nov. 4 your humble scribe was feeling pretty sorry for himself. But the thing about football, the old coach said, is that both humility and redemption are only a week away.
And so we press on.
Things went a bit better last Saturday as we went 4-2. The two I missed were Georgia losing big at Auburn (40-17) and Notre Dame getting boat-race at Miami (41-6).
That puts us at 30-36 after 11 weeks. Hopefully, we can get to .500 in the final three Saturdays.
Here are the picks:
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KENTUCKY (Plus 21 ½) AT GEORGIA: Georgia (9-1, 6-1 SEC) will be trying to bounce back from a serious beat down last week at Auburn. Despite that loss the Bulldogs are still in the hunt for the playoffs if they can run the table and win the SEC championship game on Dec. 2. Kentucky (7-3, 4-3) has had a one-point loss to Florida and a three-point loss to Ole Miss. Georgia wins but needs a late touchdown to cover.
The winner: Georgia.
The score: Georgia 42, Kentucky 17.
UAB (Plus 10 ½) AT FLORIDA: The Gators (3-6, 3-5) had better be on upset alert. They played a little harder last week in losing at South Carolina 28-20. But there is no way that the Florida players understand that they could lose this game against the Blazers (7-3). Florida wakes up in time to win but they don’t cover.
The winner: UAB
The score: Florida 24, UAB 17,
MISSISSIPPI STATE AT ARKANSAS (Plus 12 ½): The word for this game will be “surreal.” Bret Bielema will coach knowing that his days at Arkansas are numbered. Jeff Long, the athletics director who hired him five years ago, was fired on Wednesday. Mississippi State (7-3, 3-3) took Alabama to the wire last week before losing 31-24. It will be interesting to see how hard the Razorbacks play for their coach.
The winner: Mississippi State.
The score: Mississippi State 42, Arkansas 17.
MISSOURI AT VANDERBILT (Plus 9): After a 1-5 start Missouri (5-5, 2-4) has bounced back with four straight wins and Coach Barry Odom has (probably) saved his job. Quarterback Drew Lock has been the catalyst in this run and leads the nation with 35 touchdown passes. Vanderbilt (4-6, 0-6) has had a terribly disappointing season after going to a bowl game in 2016. But the Commodores do have some weapons in quarterback Kyle Shurmur (21 touchdowns, 7 interceptions) and running back Ralph Webb (613 yards). It will be senior night for Webb, the school’s all-time leading rusher.
The winner: Missouri.
The score: Missouri 45, Vanderbilt 24.
LSU AT TENNESSEE (Plus 15 ½): It’s hard to know how this Tennessee (4-6, 0-6) will play. Coach Butch Jones was let go on Sunday after a 50-17 loss to Missouri. Brady Hoke, the former head coach at Michigan, will be the interim head coach for the final two games with LSU and Vanderbilt, both at home. LSU (7-3, 4-2) still has a chance to win 10 games.
The winner: LSU.
The score: LSU 35, Tennessee 14.
TEXAS A&M AT OLE MISS (Plus 3): After the awful loss to UCLA to open the season, Texas A&M Coach Kevin Sumlin appeared to be on his way out. But then the Aggies won five of the next six games and the lone loss was to Alabama (27-19). But lopsided losses to Mississippi State (35-14) and Auburn (42-27) have put Sumlin back on the hot seat. Ole Miss (5-5, 2-4) has played hard all season for interim coach Matt Luke. This will be senior day for Ole Miss and a lot of emotion will be running through Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
The winner: Ole Miss.
The score: Ole Miss 31, Texas A&M 27.