SEC predictions: Week 9
October, 24, 2013
By Edward Aschoff | ESPN.com
And just like that, Chris Low has caught up with me. It took him long enough, but he's finally back up here with the big boys.
Congrats. Maybe, he realized that he should put more time and effort into his picks rather than his dwindling golf game.
I have to respect his decisions lately. He has shown that he truly is a veteran when it comes to this stuff. He has bested me the past couple of weeks, and I've made some careless decisions.
Last week, we both went under the .500 mark, but Chris tied things up by correctly picking Missouri over Florida -- a pick I missed on. Really, SEC? You really had four major upsets in the same weekend? I mean, who saw that coming?
Chris went 2-4 pull even with me at 60-11 (.845), while I went 1-5. Not our best work, but things sure are interesting now. I can tell you that I won't be sleeping on Chris any longer. I admittedly laughed at a few of his picks this year, and it has come back to bite me.
But today is a new day. We're basically at 0-0 and I'm hungry for back-to-back championships.
Let's get to the picks:
KENTUCKY at MISSISSIPPI STATE
Chris Low: Both of these teams are looking for their first SEC win of the season. Kentucky has lost 13 in a row on the road in the SEC. It’s a game Mississippi State has to have if the Bulldogs are going to have any chance of making a fourth straight bowl appearance. The home crowd will be the difference. Mississippi State 27, Kentucky 21
Edward Aschoff: Both of these teams need this victory. The Bulldogs are looking to stay on the bowl path, while the Wildcats need some sort of momentum to this season. Kentucky won't be a pushover, but the Bulldogs should take care of business at home. Mississippi State 34, Kentucky 21
FURMAN at LSU
Low: It’s one of those weeks in the SEC where there are more than a few mismatches. Here’s another one in Tiger Stadium. LSU won’t be in the best of moods after losing last week on the road and will take out some frustration on their FCS foes. LSU 45, Furman 13
Aschoff: The Tigers have to be frustrated after that loss at Ole Miss. Well, what a way to take out that frustration than to devour a cupcake at home surrounded by the lights of Tiger Stadium. LSU 51, Furman 10
IDAHO at OLE MISS
Low: Despite being ravaged with injuries, Ole Miss was able to gut out a key victory at home last week over LSU. The Rebels are still banged up and even added a few more players to the injury list, but it won’t matter this week. Ole Miss 48, Idaho 7
Aschoff: You know the Rebels are flying sky high after their upset win over LSU. Now, Ole Miss gets to add to the win total with a visit from the 1-6 Vandals. Ole Miss 48, Idaho 10
FLORIDA ATLANTIC at AUBURN
Low: Don’t look now, but Auburn is rolling right along with visions of contending in the Western Division this season. The Tigers get a breather out of conference this week and will rack up more than 40 points for the third straight game. Auburn 41, Florida Atlantic 14
Aschoff: A week removed from their major upset of Texas A&M, the Tigers get a chance to get some more of those youngsters out on the field with Florida Atlantic welcoming this team back to the Plains. Auburn 45, Florida Atlantic 17
VANDERBILT at TEXAS A&M
Low: Neither team is 100 percent at the quarterback position. The Aggies expect Johnny Manziel to play despite a painful shoulder injury, and it looks like backup Patton Robinette is the man for the Commodores after Austyn Carta-Samuels went down last week with a leg injury. If you like offense (and not a lot of defense), this is your game. The Aggies are just too explosive on offense to lose two in a row at home. Texas A&M 42, Vanderbilt 30
Aschoff: Both of these teams are literally hurting at quarterback, but you know Johnny Football will try his hardest to make it back to the playing field. The Aggies certainly can't sleep on this Vanderbilt team, especially with that struggling defense, but with or without Manziel under center, A&M just has too much offensively to lose two straight. Texas A&M 41, Vanderbilt 28
TENNESSEE at ALABAMA
Low: The last time Alabama was remotely pushed in a football game was six weeks ago when the Crimson Tide survived the 49-42 shootout against Texas A&M. Their October schedule has been about as cushy as it gets. They get an improving Tennessee team, but the Vols aren’t ready to go into Tuscaloosa and win. Alabama 35, Tennessee 9
Aschoff: Alabama hasn't had to deal with much competition at all this month and has allowed just 10 points in the past four games. Tennessee is riding high off that upset of South Carolina, and will push the Tide in the first half. The Crimson Tide will cruise through the second half of this game like it's cruised through the rest of the month. Alabama 38, Tennessee 13
SOUTH CAROLINA at MISSOURI
Low: With Connor Shaw ailing, Steve Spurrier says backup quarterback Dylan Thompson will start this week for South Carolina. Missouri didn’t miss a beat last week with backup Maty Mauk filling in for James Franklin. The Tigers can take a commanding lead in the Eastern Division race with a win, but the Gamecocks will make enough plays on defense to keep things interesting in the East with their biggest win of the season. South Carolina 31, Missouri 27
Aschoff: These Tigers have everything going for them and with a win on Saturday, they will essentially win the East. But now the pressure is on. South Carolina is hurting after a loss to Tennessee and is now dealing with Shaw's injury. The offense and defense are clicking for the Tigers, but they haven't met a team as balanced as South Carolina, and Mike Davis will be the difference. South Carolina 31, Missouri 24
TOP 25 SCOREBOARD
8:00 PM ET 20 Duke 1 Florida State 8:17 PM ET 2 Ohio State 10 Michigan State 4:00 PM ET 5 Missouri 3 Auburn 12:00 PM ET 17 Oklahoma 6 Oklahoma State 7:45 PM ET 7 Stanford 11 Arizona State 3:30 PM ET 25 Texas 9 Baylor 12:00 PM ET 16 UCF Southern Methodist 10:00 PM ET Utah State 23 Fresno State