I dedicated my picks last week to Clay Travis and the results were like chugging that last sip of a warm beer before heading into the stadium… atrocious. To get back to my winning ways I’m going to dedicate my W2 winners to the Baylor Bears. How great a story is this? It’s like Mark May stealing cash for years without anyone actually knowing he’s alive, and then all the sudden he decides to hold ESPN hostage for $200M. Who can blame him? Who wants to end up calling Tuesday night Sun Belt games on Lifetime? These winners are for you, MayDay.
USC -3 @ UGA – Is this the last stand for Richt? Is this a Fulmer 2.0 situation where everyone is simply waiting for the season to play out? Are “feelers” already going out to Peterson at Boise State, Mullen at MSU and Kirby Smart at Bama? For a brief moment I thought the Dawgs might challenge in the East, but when they were overwhelmed by the Broncos I changed my tune. Boise State is good. South Carolina is good, too. Once Garcia took the field against ECU it was on for the Cocks and I don’t expect him to slow down in Athens. This is the first “Game of the Year” in the SEC and the winner will dramatically shape the landscape in the East. If the Cocks win they should easily be 6-0 with a top-10 ranking heading into a W7 game in Starkville. UGA looks better this week, but the Cocks to win and cover 31-24.
Bama -10 @ Penn State –JoePa still coaching at 84 should really be the sports story of the year. To the three people who might be reading this: Do you know anyone who is 84-years-old? Both my grandmother’s are a few years older and they would believe I’m JoePa if I told them. As I said last week, this Bama defense has the ability to be the greatest defense ever. A team that never turns the ball over did five times against Kent State – and still won 48-7 – so expect a much cleaner game on offense. Bama wins and covers 28-10.
MSU -7 @ Auburn – If MSU really wants to make a statement they will run away with this one. I understand a national title hangover can be a problem, but I’m still scratching my head over the Utah State game. Malzahn’s system is a plug-and-play so any QB should put up big numbers; however, they didn’t against a bad Aggie defense. While Auburn pulled off a Newton-like comeback I still believe they’re on the path to a six-win season. MSU is for real and they beat and cover against Auburn 28-17.
UT -6 vs. Cincy – This is a huge game for Dooley and his Vols to prove they are on the right path. It worries me the Vols stalled a bit against Montana in the second half and Cincy is coming into Knoxville hyped to play an SEC team after hanging 72 points last week. I’m torn on this game because I think Cincy can spring the upset. The Vols win 31-28 in overtime, but Cincy covers.
Florida -23’ vs. UAB – I love what Muschamp is doing at Florida and the biggest winner in all of this is John Brantley. There’s not much talk of Florida because of the rise of USC and fall of UGA, so it wouldn’t surprise me to watch Florida sneak into Atlanta in December. Florida wins and covers 45-17.
Arkansas -36’ vs. New Mexico - This team continues to dance in the shadows as a national title team with a real shot. Everything is winnable after a September 24th game in Tuscaloosa until they go to LSU Thanksgiving weekend. Arkansas wins and covers 300-0.
UK -10’ vs. Central Michigan – MAC teams have traditionally given the Cats a hard time (doesn’t everyone?). Not this time. After a dreadful performance against Western Kentucky… in Nashville… on a Thursday night… at 9:15 at night… UK bounces back with a win and cover 31-10
Vandy -2 vs. UCONN – Meah. Vandy wins and covers 28-21.
Ole Miss – NL
LSU – NL
A&M – Off
Tyler Beam works as a communications specialist for a Louisville, Kentucky company. A lifetime SEC fan – long before it became “acceptable” to cheer for every team in the conference – he plans on writing several books about college football that have a fantastic chance of never being written.