Southern Football Predictions

Dean Legge makes his weekly picks for the 23 schools in the South.

1. Georgia – No longer 1a, the Bulldogs took it to one of the only teams that has beaten them in SEC play in the last three seasons. If Georgia can get past Tennessee this weekend they might have a two game lead going into their annual game in Jacksonville against Florida.

2. Auburn – The Tigers would have been number one in the poll had Georgia not taken its frustrations out on LSU and they not been the recipients of six Tennessee turnovers. Auburn is much better than Tennessee, but those six turnovers sure did help prove it. Auburn's only road block before their big game with Georgia is a match-up with Arkansas.

3. Miami – Miami might play for the national title at the end of the season, their schedule is a joke, but they won't win it. The Canes' defense is one of the best in the land, but their offense leaves a lot to be desired. By the end of the year, their week one win over Florida State will prove to be a lot less meaningful than once thought.

4. Tennessee – No team, however good they are, can overcome six turnovers. Now suddenly powerful Georgia awaits the Vols in Athens. It's Tennessee's first road game of the season – Fulmer had better think of something quick.

5. Florida State – Out of conference Syracuse will get killed by Florida State before the Noles' big test against Virginia.

6. Florida – The Gators of old would have hung 60 on Arkansas with a huge halftime lead. Alas, these are not the Gators of old. Good thing they aren't playing the LSU Tigers of last season.

7. Virginia – The Cavs had better beware Clemson. The Tigers are not as bad as their 1-3 record indicates, and Virginia is not as good as their perfect mark. However, Virginia seems to be the second best team in the ACC behind only Miami. It's a down year for the conference.

8. MarylandGeorgia Tech should be an easy opponent for the Turtles. Maryland hasn't blow the doors off an opponent this year – Tech could be the first.

9. LSU – The worst beating in Nick Saban's career at LSU was something I saw coming. The Tigers will likely lose this weekend to Florida. It's a must win for both teams. It will be too hard for the losers to get back into their divisional races.

10. NC State – The Wolfpack plays a rivalry game this weekend with North Carolina. The Heels are horrible – this should be an easy State win. But watch out for a shootout, Carolina can score.

11. Virginia Tech – It's very difficult to get a feel for the Hokies; one week they play poorly, the next they play well. Tech plays Wake this week. It's a losable game.

12. South Carolina – Holtz deserves credit for "big" road win. Cocks should win their next two before being challenged again. They need to develop some sort of passing game if they plan on winning their final four games.

13. Arkansas – Hogs seem to play with the best in the SEC – they just never beat the best.

14. Alabama – Carolina a out-physicaled the Tide – where has Bama football gone? Will Shula get pressured even though his team is handicapped without full scholarships?

15. Wake Forest – Heartbreaking loss to State last week.

16. Clemson – Tigers in a must win against Virginia. This season could get long quick.

17. North Carolina – Heels fought Florida State, but came up empty. An upset over N.C. State might be possible because Carolina can score.

18. Georgia Tech – Yellow Jackets need some upsets to avoid losing season

19. Ole Miss – Surviving Arkansas State is pathetic

20. Kentucky – Cats with the worst loss of the week last week

21. Vanderbilt – Win over State proves nothing. Rutgers is also a must win.

22. Duke – Week off before Georgia Tech

23. Mississippi State – Game against UAB might be the Dawgs last chance to win this season.

This week's games:

Clemson (-14.5) at Virginia

Winner straight up – Virginia

Winner with points – Clemson

Comment – Why do I continue to take Clemson (head banging against wall)? Virginia, I think, has not played a good team, yet. They won't play a good one tonight, either, but it will be close.

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Alabama (-5.5) at Kentucky

Winner straight up – Alabama

Winner with points – Alabama

Comment – Two teams that lost straight up – this is a difficult game to pick. Take Bama because they are better, even without a quarterback.

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Louisiana Tech (+24.5) at Auburn

Winner straight up – Auburn

Winner with points – Auburn

Comment – Tigers should win by a lot, although La. Tech isn't that bad – see win over Fresno State.

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LSU (+2) at Florida

Winner straight up – Florida

Winner with points – Florida

Comment – Florida should win this game, but the Tigers' defense is stout even though

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Tennessee (+10) at Georgia

Winner straight up – Georgia

Winner with points – Georgia

Comment – Georgia is hot right now – Tennessee is not.

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Ole Miss (+17) at South Carolina

Winner straight up – South Carolina

Winner with points – Ole Miss

Comment – Carolina will win, but they play it close to the vest at all times. They beat Vandy soundly at the start of the season, but the Rebels can score more than them. Carolina will win, but it will be close.

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UAB at Mississippi State

Winner straight up – UAB

Winner with points – No Line

Comment – State is, possibly, the worst team in a major conference.

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Rutgers (+5.5) at Vanderbilt

Winner straight up – Vanderbilt

Winner with points – Vanderbilt

Comment – Both of these teams are bad. I hate picking this game.

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Florida State (-19.5) at Syracuse

Winner straight up – Florida State

Winner with points – Florida State

Comment – Noles should roll.

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Georgia Tech (+11) at Maryland

Winner straight up – Maryland

Winner with points – Maryland

Comment –Underachieving Yellow Jackets won't win with the points.

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NC State (-10) at North Carolina

Winner straight up – NC State

Winner with points – NC State

Comment – Carolina will score a lot, but not enough.

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Virginia Tech (-4.5) at Wake Forest

Winner straight up – Virginia Tech

Winner with points – Virginia Tech

Comment – Tech had better watch out for Wake. It could be close.

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LOCK OF THE WEEK

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Tennessee (+10) at Georgia Winner straight up – Georgia Winner with points – Georgia Comment – Dawgs will roll; crowd and freshmen quarterbacks are too much for Vols

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Year – Lock of the week: 3 of 5 or 60%

Year – Straight up: 63 out of 77 or 82%

Year – ATS: 31 of 65 or 47%


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