Pressure On For Almost Perfect Picks
The pressure is back on this week with so much attention on Alabama hosting LSU. That's the game of the week now that Stanford has disposed of Oregon and Baylor has beaten Oklahoma. Oh, that we could say the only pressure we have is the internal pressure we put on ourselves!
The Crimson Tide is 8-0 overall and 5-0 in the SEC and ranked first in the nation. LSU has lost two three-point games, both on the road, and is 7-2 overall, 3-2 in the league. These are probably the two best teams in the SEC. CBS will televise the game, which begins at 7 p.m. CST Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
We have noticed that LSU with new a new offensive coordinator, Cam Cameron, has great offensive weapons – quarterback Zach Mettenberger, wide receivers Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry, tailback Jeremy Hill to name the stars. But we have also noticed that the defense no longer has Sam Montgomery or Barkevious Mingo and a handful of other fine players.
That is not to say that LSU can't play good defense. Anyone who has been watching SEC football has noticed that most teams can't tackle. The exceptions are the Tide and Tigers.
Still, we think this game will have more offense than we have seen in most recent Alabama-LSU games. Our view is that the Bama offense against the LSU defense will be a bit better than the Tigers offense against the Tide defense. Alabama 31, LSU 17.
Auburn (8-1 overall, 5-1 SEC) at Tennessee (4-5, 1-4) – The popular view is that Tennessee under Coach Butch Jones is tough at home. That is based on the Vols having played a good game against a wounded Georgia and having upset a wounded South Carolina. Auburn is not wounded. The Tigers have had a dream season, including staying healthy.
Okay, Anthony Swain, who appeared to have contracted Fainting Goat Disease (and that's as far as we're going with that Auburn conjecture).
Auburn may have another loss or two ahead, but it isn't this week. Tennessee's only hope is that its offensive line can control the ball and keep the score down. Auburn 42, Tennessee 21.
Vanderbilt (4-4, 1-4) at Florida (4-4, 3-3) – Both the Commodores and the Gators have had mostly disappointing seasons, although Vandy has a win over Georgia and Florida does not. They are still happy with their coach in Nashville, maybe not so much in Gainesville. But Florida being down means not being competitive for the SEC Championship. The Gators will be more than competitive enough for Vandy. Florida 28, Vanderbilt 14.
Missouri (8-1, 4-1) at Kentucky (2-6, 0-4) – Missouri ranks with Auburn as a big surprise in the SEC this year. The Tigers were woeful last year and will probably win the woefully weak SEC Eastern Division this year. And the weakest of the weak in the East is Kentucky. Missouri 35, Kentucky 10.
Arkansas (3-6, 0-5) at Ole Miss (5-3, 2-3) – Mississippi can look back on this season with some pride and have some great clips for the post-season highlight reel with wins over Texas in Austin and LSU in Oxford. Arkansas will be looking back on the season as, "What the hell, it's better than what we had." Which isn't saying much. Ole Miss 44, Arkansas 23.
Mississippi State (4-4, 1-3) at Texas A&M (7-2, 3-2) – Texas A&M is a prime example of an SEC team that doesn't tackle very well. But the Aggies don't need much defense in this game because (a.) Johnny Manziel and (b.) Mississippi State. Texas A&M 53, Mississippi State 17.
Appalachian State (2-7) at Georgia (5-3, 4-2) – Stop me if you've heard this one. Appalachian State beat Michigan. A few years ago. And it has become "A Tale of Two Cities" situation for Appalachian State, the best of times and the worst of times. The worst because now no one overlooks Appalachian State. Georgia 63, Appalachian State 10.
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