VETTEL PICKS: Larry Likes Gators, Auburn, LSU

It's been so long since I've gotten more right than wrong I forgot how to celebrate. Just as well, some idiot would probably throw a flag at me!

It was good to get the Florida game right as well at Notre Dame spanking Tennessee. But the highlight had to be picking Alabama to shutout Miss St. On the down side, once again I took Ron Zook and Illinoize getting a slew of points only to have them score a grand total of two points! When will I ever learn? When will I ever learn? (Special thanx to Roger McGuinn)

This week is great because both SEC races could be settled by bedtime. Georgia can clinch the East with a win. Florida can win the East with a win and a Georgia loss to Auburn. Auburn must win to stay in the West race, plus the Tigers are in the awkward position of wanting Alabama to beat LSU. I have no idea how difficult that is. Auburn fans would have mixed feelings if Alabama took on Al Qaeda. For the folks on the plains, having to root for 'Bama is less appealing than the south end of a north bound hippo.

Vanderbilt (minus 13-½) over Kentucky: When the week began I felt that Kentucky had little to play for. Now that the school has announced they are keeping Coach Rich Brooks (8-23), the MildKats have little to live for. Vanderbilt 31-13

Memphis (plus 19-½) over Tennessee: The Vols must win their final three games to be bowl eligible. They did well to rally from down 18 to tie Notre Dame, but then surrendered 20 unanswered points. Tennessee 24-20

Ole Miss (minus 1-½) over Arkansas: Ole Miss is bad at quarterback, unless you compare the Rebels to Razorbacks. Plenty of action between the 20's but not much in the end zone. Ole Miss 16-14

California (plus 19-½) over Southern Cal: Jeff Tedford's Bears have played USC tougher than anyone in the nation the last two years. If they don't turn it over it should be very competitive. Southern Cal 34-24

Illinoize (plus 22-½) over Purdue: The Illini has a plan: All they have to do is do the things the can do. If they do the things they can do then that's what they'll do. But Purdue is the biggest disappointment in the nation this year… at least among those teams not in Knoxville. Purdue 30-10

Rutgers (plus 22-½) over Louisville: The State University of New Jersey fell to South Florida last week. The Scarlet Knights are bowl eligible but need one more win to convince someone to invite them. They won't get it here, but Louisville has not been as dominant as expected. Louisville 42-26

South Florida (minus 8-½) over Syracuse: Did you know that the Bulls are in the running for the Big Least Conference Title and BCS Bowl bid? That this league still gets an automatic bid is a travesty. It's a sham! It's a mockery! Why, it's a travishamockery! South Florida 31-16

Wake Forest (plus 17-½) over Miami: The Deacons are not good, but Miami is ripe for a letdown after taking out Virginia Tech. And, shoot, things are always better in Winston-Salem once basketball season starts! Miami 27-10

Florida State (minus 1-½) over Clemson: This version of the Bowden Bowl might be the most intriguing yet. After a promising start, Tommy Boy once again has fans grousing about another mediocre (5-4) year. After losing to N.C State, FSU fans are grousing about another (by FSU standards) mediocre (7-2) season. Thus, the winning Bowden will be inflicting tremendous stress on the losing Bowden. In addition, each of them still must face his most bitter rival on the road. Florida State 27-23

LSU (minus 3-½) over Alabama: The Crimson Tide has struggled offensively since losing Tyrone Prothro against Florida. The Tigers have too much offensive talent for 'Bama to win on defense alone. LSU 17-9

Auburn (plus 3-½) over Georgia: If the Tigers could kick field goals they might have a 20-game winning streak right now. Shockley's return is not enough for the Red and Black. Auburn 20-10

Florida (minus 4-½) over South Carolina: The family reunion means a lot more to the fans and media than the players, but the game means a lot more to the Gators than the Gamecocks. If Florida does a halfway decent job of sensational freshman receiver Sidney Rice the Gators should win comfortably. Look for John Thompson to load up the box and dare Florida to throw deep. Florida 24-17


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