Thursday, October 27, 2011
Predictions: SEC Week 9
By Chris Low
I’m done talking.
Besides, the Kid does enough talking for the both of us.
I guess it’s just his generation, even though he’s really not that bad a kid.
But, hey, I know the stakes. I know what I have to do to get back into this thing.
As Bill Parcells used to say, you are what your record says you are.
And right now, my record says I’m winning the silver medal and the Kid’s winning the gold medal.
We both turned in perfect 5-0 records last week. The truth is there weren’t any tough picks on the schedule.
That changes this week.
We’ll see if I can make up any ground on the Kid. He’s 54-7 (.885), and I’m 51-10 (.836).
It’s a long way from being over, though. It wasn’t over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor, and it’s not over now just because some upstart who took one too many soccer balls off the noggin has carved out a three-game lead.
But, again, enough with the talking, and let’s get to the picking:
OLE MISS at No. 23 AUBURN
Chris Low: You can see the frustration in Houston Nutt’s face and hear it in his voice. His Rebels have lost 10 consecutive SEC games dating back to last season, but haven’t quit fighting. They face an Auburn team that has won 12 in a row at home. … Auburn 30, Ole Miss 14
Edward Aschoff: Ole Miss held its own against Arkansas last week and even though the Rebels lost, they might have some momentum to take into Auburn. However, the Tigers are tough to beat at home. This could get really ugly on offense for both teams, but Auburn pulls it out in the fourth. ... Auburn 20, Ole Miss 17
No. 10 ARKANSAS at VANDERBILT
Chris Low: The days of rolling into the Music City, touring the Grand Ole Opry and then cruising to an easy victory over the Commodores are over. James Franklin and his crew ain’t taking nothing from nobody. Vanderbilt has the secondary to match up with Arkansas’ passing attack. It won’t be easy for the Hogs, but they will make enough big plays to escape. … Arkansas 28, Vanderbilt 23
Edward Aschoff: The Razorbacks came out slow against Ole Miss last week and it almost resulted in a loss. You can bet coach Bobby Petrino will have his players ready this week, especially with the talent Vanderbilt has in its secondary. ... Arkansas 31, Vanderbilt 17
MISSISSIPPI STATE at KENTUCKY
Chris Low: The Wildcats are breaking out the all-black uniforms against the Bulldogs in a game that’s going to mean the first conference win for somebody. Both teams have had trouble moving the ball and scoring points, but Mississippi State has a few more playmakers and will lean heavily on senior running back Vick Ballard. … Mississippi State 24, Kentucky 17
Edward Aschoff: One of these teams is finally going to get a conference win. The question is, which offense will come to play in Lexington? Mississippi State's offense has been nonexistent since Week 2 and Kentucky had its best offensive performance last weekend against Jacksonville State. This one has the makings to get pretty ugly as well. ... Mississippi State 20, Kentucky 13
No. 13 SOUTH CAROLINA at TENNESSEE
Chris Low: There’s never an ideal time for a true freshman quarterback to get his first start in this league, but Tennessee’s Justin Worley will debut against a South Carolina defense that leads the SEC with 24 forced turnovers and is third with 15 sacks. The Gamecocks have been pretty average on offense, particularly with Marcus Lattimore sidelined, but they’ll win this one with their defense. … South Carolina 24, Tennessee 16
Edward Aschoff: Justin Worley might feel a little slighted for not getting an offer from South Carolina. Now, he'll make his first start against the Gamecocks. But South Carolina's aggressive defense should make his day miserable at times. We'll also get our first glimpse of South Carolina's offensive life after Marcus Lattimore. ... South Carolina 23, Tennessee 10
No. 22 GEORGIA vs. FLORIDA
Chris Low: Both teams should be as healthy as they’ve been coming off the bye week, and Georgia gets back its best defender – inside linebacker Alec Ogletree. Florida hopes to get quarterback John Brantley back from a high ankle sprain that’s caused him to miss the past two games. It’s debatable how healthy Brantley really is and how effective he’ll be, which is why the Bulldogs get the nod. For only the fourth time in the last 22 years, they’ll leave Jacksonville with a win. … Georgia 28, Florida 21
Edward Aschoff: This is a must-win for both teams. Florida's offense hopes to get a major boost offensively if John Brantley can play. The Gators will need it against this rejuvenated Georgia defense. History isn't on the Bulldogs' side and it will bite the Dawgs again. ... Florida 24, Georgia 20