Just So You Know Advance Results

I heard a guy telling jokes recently and the combination of bad, old jokes and poor delivery made me want to shout with sarcasm, "Stop! You're killing me!" So far no one has gone to that extent regarding our weekly picks, so we'll soldier on in Week 5.

Alabama has its first Southeastern Conference game of the season in Bryant-Denny Stadium Saturday. At least it will begin on Saturday. It may end Sunday with an 8:15 p.m. CDT start and ESPN commercials. The Tide has a longstanding tradition of beating Ole Miss, including the last eight years and having suffered only nine losses in 59 games. (The on-the-field record is 48-9-2.)

One of our theories is that what has happened in past games against an opponent has nothing to do with what will happen this year. These are new teams. In the case of the Rebels, also new coaches as Hugh Freeze has taken over for Houston Nutt. Which leads us to another theory. Nick Saban is in his sixth year as head coach at Alabama and has two national championships, his team is 4-0 (1-0 in SEC games), and ranked number one in the nation. Ole Miss (3-1, 0-0) has a new coach because they needed to change some things.

The Rebels are doing pretty well offensively, not so well defensively. A third theory we have is that defense trumps offense, and that's particularly true when Alabama has a pretty good offense, too. Alabama 45, Ole Miss 14.

It is not a great week for SEC games. Four teams – Mississippi State, Florida, Auburn, and Vanderbilt – are taking the week off. LSU and Missouri are playing non-conference games, but highly different types.

The game of the week is Tennessee (3-1, 0-1 SEC) at Georgia (4-0, 2-0) with Derek Dooley putting pressure on the family. On opening day, Tennessee's win over North Carolina State looked pretty good, but the Vols have since been exposed by Florida. Georgia has a few players back from suspension, a great running back, and has shown the ability to overcome its coaching. Bulldogs 38, Vols 17.

South Carolina (4-0, 2-0) may be the class of the SEC East. Next week they'll have a chance to prove it when Georgia comes to town. The Gamecocks may be looking ahead to Oct. 6, but it shouldn't matter in Lexington Saturday against Kentucky (1-3, 0-1). Cocks 38, Cats 10.

It would be generous to say that Arkansas is teetering on the brink. The Razorbacks (0-3, 0-1) have all sorts of problems, including playing Texas A&M (3-1, 0-1) in College Station rather than Cowboys Stadium in Dallas. What was formerly an interesting non-conference game at a neutral site is now important, particularly for the Aggies, who can have a good first season in the SEC. A&M 42, Hogs 21.

LSU (4-0, 1-0) tumbled a spot in the national polls, from second to third, after lackluster play by the Tigers in Auburn last week. LSU should be able to iron out any problems against Towson (2-1). LSU 49, Towson 0.

Missouri has the worst possible game this week. The Tigers (2-2, 0-2) are playing a team, Central Florida, without much respect, but CFU (2-1) very likely has at least as good a team as Missouri. And what in the world is Missouri doing playing that game on the road? Seeing Disney? Missouri gets no credit for a win, but that's probably a moot point. CFU Knights 24, Missouri Tigers 10.

Anything that goes wrong with these picks is probably because of poor officiating.

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