Can Alabama Possibly Win Over Tigers?

If it seems that college football victories get more important as the season goes along, that’s only because it’s true. The later the loss, the less time to make it up. Also, the College Football Playoff Selection Committee has so many things on its collective mind, it can’t be expected to remember how good you were in September and October.

Alabama is one of those one-loss teams involved in a very important game. And if the Crimson Tide wins, it will be involved in an even more important game the following week. And so on. For now, though, it is Bama vs. LSU on Saturday night in Baton Rouge that asks the question: Who is going to win?

And who better to ask than the Almost Perfect Picks panel, which predicts the outcome of every SEC game every week? And gets some right?

Alabama (7-1 overall, 4-1 in Southeastern Conference games) at LSU (7-2, 3-2) at 7 p.m. CST on CBS – The Crimson Tide doesn’t care about the game being in Tiger Stadium at night. Nick Saban doesn’t care what they say about him, which is not “Thank you for winning us a national championship and getting us back into contention.” Bama’s concern is that the Tigers seem to be coming on after an inauspicious start. The Tide has not been as crisp this year, certainly not on the road. Still, Alabama 31, LSU 17.

Texas A&M (6-3, 2-3) at Auburn (7-1, 4-1) at 2:30 p.m. CST on CBS – The Trill is gone, at least for one more game. Aggies quarterback Kenny Hill started the season like a Johnny Manziel Heisman Trophy winner, but somehow managed to behave badly, as Manziel, and has been suspended for two games, including this one. Auburn defeated Texas A&M for the first time in its history last year. Win number two comes Saturday in a game matching two teams who apparently appreciate tackling drills like a dentist’s drill. Auburn 49, Texas A&M 17.

Georgia (6-2, 4-2) at Kentucky (5-4, 2-4) at noon EST (11 a.m. central) on ESPN – Anytime there is a suggestion that Georgia Coach Mark Richt lacks something in the big games – such as last week’s 38-20 blowout at the hands of Florida, the immediate response is that Richt has been at Georgia 13 years (prior to this season) “and averaged 10 wins a year.” Well, not quite. He’s four wins short of that 10-win average. And in SEC games he’s about 5 ½ wins, 2 ½ losses a year. But he did come within five yards of winning the national championship in 2012, we hear. Kentucky’s improving, but not that much. Georgia 31, Kentucky 24.

Florida (4-3, 3-3) at Vanderbilt (3-6, 0-5) at 6:30 p.m. CST on SEC Network – That Mark Richt record probably looks pretty good to Florida Coach Will Muschamp and Vanderbilt Coach Derek Mason. Vandy beat the Gators in Gainesville last year but it will be a different tune in Music City Saturday. Florida 35, Vanderbilt 0.

Can you imagine the grief Alabama would get if the Crimson Tide was playing Presbyterian, which Mississippi is doing, or Tennesseee-Martin, the visitors for the number one team, Mississippi State.

If you can’t imagine it, just wait a couple of weeks until Alabama hosts Western Carolina.

Meanwhile…

Presbyterian (5-4) at Ole Miss (7-2, 4-2) at 11 a.m. CST on SEC Network – Presbyterian surely understands predestination and knows what it is about to endure. The Rebels get back on the winning track after back-to-back heart-breaking losses. Ole Miss 49, Presbyterian 0.

UT-Martin (5-5) at Mississippi State (8-0, 5-0) at 3 p.m. CST on SEC Network – There have been many, many seasons for Mississippi State when this would look like a fairly even game, but the Bulldogs are the surprise of the season with their number one ranking. It will be interesting to see how long State stays on top. This week for sure. Mississippi State 49, UT-Martin 0.

In addition to the two Mississippi schools not having games this weekend, Arkansas (4-5, 0-5), Missouri (7-2, 4-1), South Carolina (4-5, 2-5), and Tennessee (4-5, 1-4) are open.

For the record, the APP is 68-14 on predicting the winners of SEC games. If anyone had been risking real money on these picks – emphatically not recommended – the record against the point spread and the over-under is quite a bit poorer, 74-53.


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