Wednesday, November 21, 2012
SEC predictions: Week 13
By Chris Low
They remember what you do in November.
And for me, this is my last chance in November to cut into the ATL Kid’s five-game lead. I did pick up a game two weeks ago because he’s still not a believer in the Music City magic that James Franklin is working at Vanderbilt.
Still, five games is a daunting deficit to make up, which is why it’s imperative that I narrow the gap this final weekend of the regular season.
If I can just get within striking distance, we saw last season that he still doesn’t have that “It” factor when it comes to picking games in the postseason. He’s still young and will mature, but postseason picking is a whole different ballgame.
I just need to be close enough that his palms get a little sweaty and his fingers get a little shaky when he goes to hit that keyboard and makes his picks in December and January.
We were both 10-1 during FCS Celebration Week. The game we both missed was Syracuse’s 31-27 win at Missouri.
The Kid is now 92-11 (.893), and I’m 87-16 (.845). And, no, there won’t be any “Animal House” references this week.
Instead, I want to wish everyone a blessed Thanksgiving holiday, and with that, on to this week’s picks:
LSU at ARKANSAS
Edward Aschoff: This game doesn't have the same feel as last year. This might be a rivalry game, but the Tigers are playing too well right now to let struggling Arkansas do much of anything on either side of the ball. ... LSU 31, Arkansas 14
Chris Low: The real treat might be Les Miles’ postgame news conference, although it’s going to be next to impossible to top his performance from a week ago. His Tigers are getting well offensively at just the right time, and can go a long way toward moving into the pole position for a Sugar Bowl bid. … LSU 31, Arkansas 21
VANDERBILT at WAKE FOREST
Edward Aschoff: The Commodores come in riding a wave of momentum with a five-game winning streak and a blowout win against rival Tennessee. Wake is a win away from being bowl eligible, but Vandy's offense will be way too much. ... Vanderbilt 31, Wake Forest 14
Chris Low: Don’t look now, but the Commodores are bearing down on their first eight-win regular season in 30 years. They routed Wake Forest last season on the road and will find a way to win again this season, although it won’t be as lopsided. … Vanderbilt 24, Wake Forest 16
KENTUCKY at TENNESSEE
Edward Aschoff: Both will have new head coaches in the near future, so it's hard to say how either will perform mentally. It won't always be pretty, but the Vols get it done in what could be the final game for their top offensive playmakers. ... Tennessee 31, Kentucky 17
Chris Low: It won’t necessarily be winning one for Derek Dooley because Dooley elected not to coach in the finale after being fired this week. The Vols don’t have much in the way of defense, but they have too much offense to lose for a second year in a row to the Wildcats. … Tennessee 45, Kentucky 24
MISSOURI at TEXAS A&M
Edward Aschoff: These teams went in opposite directions in their first year in the SEC. The Aggies continue to roll right along and Missouri is just too banged up to extend its three-game winning streak against A&M or its seven-year bowl streak. ... Texas A&M 38, Missouri 14
Chris Low: Johnny Football has become the rage in college football, and he gets one more chance to impress the Heisman Trophy voters. The Aggies shouldn’t have much trouble in this battle of SEC newbies. … Texas A&M 42, Missouri 17
GEORGIA TECH at GEORGIA
Edward Aschoff: The Bulldogs got some good practice with the triple-option offense last week against Georgia Southern. And they won't be bothered by what Georgia Tech has to offer in a game that will bring Georgia one step closer to a national championship berth. ... Georgia 41, Georgia Tech 21
Chris Low: This is right where Georgia hoped to be when the season began. The Bulldogs, who didn’t look like a national championship contender for much of October, now control their destiny. Strange things tend to happen in rivalry games like this, but the Bulldogs aren’t about to have a slip-up now. … Georgia 38, Georgia Tech 20
MISSISSIPPI STATE at OLE MISS
Edward Aschoff: The Egg Bowl is a big deal again, and a lot will be on the line in Oxford. The Rebels have to win to make a bowl, and something tells me Hugh Freeze will have his players more than ready to finally get another four-quarter performance again. ... Ole Miss 27, Mississippi State 24
Chris Low: The atmosphere in Oxford on Saturday should be electric. Both teams have a ton to play for. The Rebels need to win to qualify for a bowl, and the Bulldogs are trying to secure their second nine-win season in the past three years. It goes down to the wire, but the Rebels' inability to finish a game will sting them again. … Mississippi State 28, Ole Miss 24
SOUTH CAROLINA at CLEMSON
Edward Aschoff: Clemson has the high-flying offense and South Carolina has a solid defense. The Tigers are still in the running for a BCS bowl game, but that defense is still giving up too many yards and just surrendered 48 to NC State. Yes, NC State. ... South Carolina 31, Clemson 27
Chris Low: This rivalry has really been spiced up thanks to the war of words over the past year between the coaches. Steve Spurrier usually wins those battles, and his Gamecocks have won three in a row against the Tigers on the field for the first time since 1968-70. But with the game returning to Death Valley, the Tigers’ explosive offense will be too much for the Gamecocks. … Clemson 34, South Carolina 28
FLORIDA at FLORIDA STATE
Edward Aschoff: This game has national importance again with major BCS implications. Florida State has the top statistical defense in the country, while Florida's offense has been awful of late and quarterback Jeff Driskel is hobbled. Don't expect either offense to do much of anything against these fantastic defenses, but expect the Noles to make enough plays with the home crowd behind it. ... Florida State 17, Florida 10
Chris Low: The Gators could still play their way into the national championship picture if Notre Dame loses this weekend at USC. Of course, doing that means the Gators need to find some offense, which won’t be easy to do against a Florida State team ranked first nationally in total defense. … Florida State 23, Florida 14
AUBURN at ALABAMA
Edward Aschoff: Alabama has too much riding on this game to overlook the struggling Tigers. Plus, this team still remembers what happened the last time Auburn was in Tuscaloosa. ... Alabama 45, Auburn 3
Chris Low: The Iron Bowl is one of the fiercest rivalries in college football. Always has been and always will be. But this year, it has blowout written all over it, especially with the Crimson Tide still smarting from the bitter loss to the Tigers two years ago in Bryant-Denny Stadium and positioned to make another national championship run. … Alabama 42, Auburn 0