On a wild and whacky weekend—where seven Top 25 teams lost to unranked opponents-- your humble scribe managed get out alive with a 3-3 record.
I flat missed on Ole Miss-Vanderbilt when Shea Patterson threw for 371 yards in a 57-35 shellacking by the Rebels.
Like most folks, I picked Auburn to win and cover at LSU. Wrong.
I picked Miami to beat Georgia Tech and to cover the five points. The Hurricanes won but only by one, 25-24. Ouch.
But I am proud that for the second straight week I picked favored Florida to lose straight up at home.
So when the smoke cleared I was 19-23 after seven weeks. We’re striving to get to .500.
Here are this week’s picks.
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KENTUCKY (PLUS 10 1/2) AT MISSISSIPPI STATE: If Kentucky (5-1, 2-1 SEC) had simply covered a Florida wide receiver, not once but twice, earlier this season the Wildcats would be 6-0 as they go to Starkville, where they haven’t won since 2008.
That sure is a high number. It looks like a sucker bet. Well, I guess I’m a sucker.
Score: Kentucky 31, Miss. State 30.
TENNESSEE (PLUS 34 1/2) AT ALABAMA: Alabama has won 10 straight games against Tennessee and this will be number 11. The only suspense in this game is: 1) whether or not Alabama can cover and 2) Will this be the last game for Butch Jones as Tennessee’s head coach?
I think Nick Saban wants to keep us media boys from distributing more praise-filled “rat poison” to his team and thus will not to run up the score. Won’t matter. Alabama still covers.
The winner: Alabama
The score: Alabama 45, Tennessee 3.
AUBURN AT ARKANSAS (Plus 15 ½): It has been a tough week for Auburn after blowing a 20-0 lead to lose at LSU 27-23. I look for this to be a nice bounce back against an Arkansas team (2-4, 0-3) that, quite frankly, is not very good. Arkansas has not beaten an FBS team this season.
The winner: Auburn
The score: Auburn 35, Arkansas 6.
LSU AT OLE MISS (PLUS 7 ½): LSU has come back from the brink after losing at home against Troy by winning at Florida (17-16) and upsetting No. 10 Auburn (27-23) on Saturday in Baton Rouge. Now we wonder if the Tigers can go on the road and handle one of the hottest quarterbacks in the country. Shea Patterson threw for 351 yards and four touchdowns in 57-35 win over Vanderbilt.
I think LSU lines up and pounds the ball on a bad Ole Miss defense and limits Patterson’s possessions.
The winner: LSU
The score: LSU 31, Ole Miss 20.
LOUISVILLE (PLUS 7) AT FLORIDA STATE: Louisville (4-3, 1-3 ACC) looked like a team that had lost its way in losing to Boston College 45-42. It looks like the turmoil surrounding the basketball program at Louisville has begun to impact the football program as well. Florida State (2-3, 2-2) keeps playing close games but would dearly love to atone from lady year’s 63-20 beating at Papa John’s Stadium.
The winner: Florida State
The score: Florida State 35, Louisville 27.
SYRACUSE (PLUS 14) AT MIAMI: Miami (5-0, 3-0) is back in the Top 10 after beating both Florida State (24-20) and Georgia Tech (25-24) inside the final minute. Syracuse (4-3, 2-1) is coming off a 27-24 upset of No. 2 Clemson last Friday at the Carrier Dome.
Miami’s Mark Richt has this team playing with a lot of confidence and the Hurricanes use this as the first step on a run to the ACC Coastal Division title.
Score: Miami 35, Syracuse 17.