This Is Start Of SEC’s Second Half

Although this weekend is the start of the second half of the Southeastern Conference football season, there are no do-overs for the teams. The same goes for the predictions to date of our Almost Perfect Picks.

It has been an observation that upsets occur less frequently later in the season, although that is probably because what we thought were upsets were actually just not knowing the real strengths of teams. So predictions in the second half should be easier, right?

We’ll see.

There are major obstacles ahead for the football teams and for the APP, although there are only six games involving SEC schools this week. Unquestionably, the big game of the week is one that has produced drama in the only previous conference meetings, Alabama hosting Texas A&M.

Texas A&M (5-2 overall, 2-2 SEC) at Alabama (5-1, 2-1) at 2:30 p.m. CDT on CBS – Two years ago in Tuscaloosa, Johnny Manziel led an upset that won Texas A&M immediate respect and Johnny Football the Heisman Trophy. Last year the Tide won a shootout in College Station. For years Bama and LSU went through a period with the visitors having great success, but that has nothing to do with Saturday’s game. Crimson Tide 35, Aggies 21.

Georgia (5-1, 3-1) at Arkansas (3-3, 0-3) at 3 p.m. CDT on SEC Network – This is a big game for Arkansas because the Razorbacks are on a long SEC losing streak, including all 11 conference games played in Coach Bret Bielema’s first year and a half with the Pigs. If Georgia considers it a big game, the Razorbacks have a chance considering Mark Richt’s record in the biggies. The Bulldogs performed well last week without the Gurley man, but this is another week. Both teams runs the ball, so this game should take just a couple of hours. Arkansas 24, Georgia 21.

Tennessee (3-3, 0-2) at Ole Miss (6-0, 3-0) at 6 p.m. CDT on ESPN – The world is upside down when the Rebels are ranked among the nation’s very best teams and the Vols are a long way from their glory days. Mississippi was impressive for keeping its focus on the road at A&M a week after beating Bama and will have a big day at home. Rebs 38, Vols 17.

Missouri (4-2, 1-1) at Florida (3-2, 2-2) at 7 p.m. EDT (6 central) on ESPN2 – Every week, it seems, we hear that Florida Coach Will Muschamp is playing for his job. Somehow it seems the Gators have lost more than two games, but he’s probably hanging in there. He gets another week of employment. Florida 28, Missouri 24.

Kentucky (5-1, 2-1) at LSU (5-2, 1-2) at 6:30 p.m. CDT on SEC Network – LSU has been losing underclassmen to the NFL at a high rate, which explains the Tigers troubles this year. Kentucky would say, ‘Huh?’ and point to its basketball team losing all its players every year and still being top-ranked. This year the Wildcats are stronger than usual and LSU weaker than usual, but still. LSU 28, Kentucky 20.

Furman (2-6) at South Carolina (3-3, 2-3) at noon EDT (11 a.m. central) on SEC Network – SEC teams get rid of most of these games in the first half of the season, but there will still be one or two in several weeks of the second half. The self-proclaimed Ball Coach should be able to keep his visor on all afternoon. South Carolina 42, Furman 21.

Predicting the actual winners in a lot of these games is not too difficult, as evidenced by the APP record of 53-10. But trying to get a reasonable final score is a little tougher, and the record against the spread and the over-under is only 57-36

It’s not often you hear Vanderbilt mentioned in the same sentence with Auburn and Mississippi State, but those are the three SEC teams with open dates this weekend.


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