Almost Perfect Picks Lost Some Focus

Legendary Tennessee Coach Robert Neyland and former national championship Alabama Coach Gene Stallings had different views on teams being ready to play. Neyland said his team would get itself ready to play about eight of 10 times and it was his job to get them ready the others. Stallings said with just a dozen or so games, players had no excuse to not be excited every week.

With Alabama having an open date, Almost Perfect Picks had to guard against lethargy. The effort was, perhaps, lacking.

True, the predictions of victory were correct on six of the seven games involving Southeastern Conference teams, but the guessed scores were not so accurate.

The lone missed outcome was Missouri coming back in the final moments to upset South Carolina, but APP was well off the mark in selecting Georgia to rout Tennessee and Texas A&M to pummel Arkansas. The Bulldogs held on by a thread, 35-32, in Athens, while the Aggies – tackling like 2013 A&M -- had to make a furious comeback for an overtime win, 35-28, in Arlington.

Vanderbilt played Kentucky a little better than APP predicted, as did Louisiana Tech against Auburn. APP was reasonably close on LSU’s romp over New Mexico State and on Ole Miss potentially having some trouble with Memphis. The Rebels won 24-3 – the exact margin of 21 points APP had it – but it was a close game until late.

The rationale on picking Mississippi to struggle with Memphis is that the Rebels might have been looking ahead to what will be the key game in the SEC this week. Alabama, 4-0 and ranked second or third in the nation, will be in Oxford to take on Ole Miss, also 4-0 and ranked in the top ten. Kickoff will be at 2:30 p.m. CDT with CBS televising the game.

Getting six of seven games correct raised the season record of APP to 44-5. There is also the margin to consider, how the pick is against the point spread; and the total number of points on the over/under. APP was good on only two against the line, getting the LSU and Ole Miss margins, but did better on the over-under, 4-3, for a total of 6-8 in gambling opportunities. For the year that record has been on a slide and is now just 45-24.

Having Bama back on the field this week should help the focus of the APP. In addition to Alabama at Ole Miss, LSU will be at Auburn, Florida at Tennessee, Texas A&M at Mississippi State, Vanderbilt at Georgia, and South Carolina at Kentucky.

One thing to keep in mind is that Alabama has an on-the-field record of 50-8-2 against Ole Miss. The Tide record includes Nick Saban teams going 7-0 against the Rebels.

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