Thursday, October 18, 2012
SEC predictions: Week 8
By Edward Aschoff
Another week goes by and my lead just increases over the vet.
I gave Chris a few opportunities to change his South Carolina pick. I said, "Chris, it's Death Valley at night! Come on!" But he just wouldn't listen. He's too close to the Head Ball Coach, and in this game, loyalty will get you nowhere.
So as we enter Week 8 of our picks, I have a four-game lead after a perfect 7-0 weekend that put my overall record at 59-5 (.922), while Chris sits at 55-9 (.859) after going 6-1 last week.
Good things seem to come to those who win. I found $10 dollars in my shorts on laundry day, my soccer team (Atlanta Beastmasters) is dominating competitors in the Silverbacks league and I'm pretty sure the woman at one of the frozen yogurt spots here in the ATL didn't charge me for extra sprinkles!
I know this league can be a bear, and momentum can be lost in a second, but I also know that confidence is key. With every win I get, my confidence soars, basically because I know Chris is reeling. When LSU won last week, he immediately texted me. Same when Florida beat LSU two weeks ago.
He knows he'll have to get creative from here on out to make up ground, and that can be a dangerous game to play. Your mind starts wandering and you start believing some teams are better than they really are or that certain matchups are more complicated than they really are.
Another mistake this week, and Chris might have to ask our readers for their thoughts on his picks.
Speaking of picks, let's get to them:
MIDDLE TENNESSEE AT MISSISSIPPI STATE
Edward Aschoff: This sounds like one of those trap games after the Bulldogs' big win over Tennessee and with Alabama next. Mississippi State will be a little sluggish, but will have a strong second half. ... Mississippi State 34, Middle Tennessee 14
Chris Low: The hard part for Mississippi State will be not peeking ahead to next week’s showdown with Alabama. The Bulldogs have had a tendency to play to their level of competition. That’s a dangerous habit, but won’t derail them this week. … Mississippi State 37, Middle Tennessee 20
GEORGIA AT KENTUCKY
Edward Aschoff: The Bulldogs are coming off of a bye and take on a Kentucky team that has been ravaged by injuries. Georgia will get right back on track with a big win in the Bluegrass State. ... Georgia 45, Kentucky 13
Chris Low: If last week’s weather-shortened debacle in Arkansas is any indication, Kentucky is looking at its first winless SEC season since 2000. Georgia is coming off of a bye week and eager to get the bad taste out of its mouth from the South Carolina loss. That’s bad news for the Wildcats. … Georgia 45, Kentucky 13
AUBURN AT VANDERBILT
Edward Aschoff: Things aren't getting better for Auburn, as the coaches now have to deal with injuries and aren't sure who will start at quarterback. Vanderbilt is still in the bowl race and needs a victory to stay on that path. ... Vanderbilt 24, Auburn 17
Chris Low: There was a time when Auburn could have counted this one as a win and thought nothing more about it. But not this season and not against a Vanderbilt team that sees this game as a big step toward a second consecutive bowl appearance. … Vanderbilt 24, Auburn 17
ALABAMA AT TENNESSEE
Edward Aschoff: Tennessee has the passing game to challenge Alabama's secondary, but does it have the stamina to keep up with the hard-hitting Tide? Just like last year's game, Alabama's big second half keeps the Tide rolling. ... Alabama 41, Tennessee 14
Chris Low: Tennessee coach Derek Dooley is 1-10 in his last 11 SEC games, and the Big Orange Nation isn’t overflowing with a lot of happy campers right now. The Vols have allowed 129 points in their three SEC games this season and face the grim task of trying to stop the bleeding against the No. 1 Crimson Tide. … Alabama 38, Tennessee 14
LSU AT TEXAS A&M
Edward Aschoff: This one has a chance to be very exciting. LSU's stingy defense vs Texas A&M's high-scoring offense. LSU has found some much-needed momentum on offense, which will help against A&M's defense. Johnny Football's reign of terror on defenses will be momentarily halted. ... LSU 24, Texas A&M 20
Chris Low: Texas A&M gets a second shot at one of the SEC’s big boys after coming close the second week of the season against Florida. LSU demonstrated last week that it’s still a serious player in the SEC championship race despite its struggles on offense. But as good as the Tigers are on defense, they won’t be able to score enough points to keep pace with Johnny Football and the Aggies. … Texas A&M 28, LSU 24
SOUTH CAROLINA AT FLORIDA
Edward Aschoff: The winner of this one takes complete control of the East. Both teams can run and play defense, but there are still questions about their passing games. Not a lot separates either, but South Carolina is walking into the Swamp really banged up. A healthier Florida team will take advantage. ... Florida 20, South Carolina 17
Chris Low: The Gators are back in the top 10, and the Head Ball Coach is back in the Swamp. He clinched South Carolina’s first-ever trip to the SEC championship game the last time he was there. But there’s something about this Florida team that says this could be a special season for the Gators, who’re doing all of the things it takes to win a championship. … Florida 24, South Carolina 21