Thursday, November 21, 2013
SEC predictions: Week 13
By Edward Aschoff
Last weekend, we saw some pretty entertain games around these parts. Florida almost pulled off a major upset at South Carolina, Mississippi State hung with Alabama and Auburn literally lived on a prayer.
With the season down to its final two regular-season weeks, expect even more excitement and craziness. That means Chris Low and I will have to be sharp during the holiday season. I'll lay off the seasonal treats, while I hope my competition quits with the late-night outings with his buddy Oscar. Funny, how he calls me out for hitting the town, but I'm the one getting 3 a.m. texts about listening to Biggie out in Cali
We were both spot on with our picks last week, going 5-0. I still hold a one-game lead with an impressive 84-12 (.875) record, while Chris sits at 83-13 (.865).
Things could get interesting this week with quite a few differences in the picks. Confidence is swirling this week, and something tells me the ATL Kid should be just fine when Thanksgiving rolls around.
Onto the picks:
CHATTANOOGA at ALABAMA
Chris Low: After the way Alabama bumbled and fumbled around last week in a lackluster win over Mississippi State, that doesn’t bode real well for a Chattanooga team that will earn a very painful paycheck in Tuscaloosa.
Alabama 52, Chattanooga 0
Edward Aschoff: Before the Crimson Tide can turn its full attention to next week's Iron Bowl, it has to get by the Mocs, who are fresh off of a loss to Samford. Expect to see a lot of Bama youngsters.
Alabama 48, Chattanooga 3
COASTAL CAROLINA at SOUTH CAROLINA
Low: The Gamecocks’ SEC work is done. They’re just waiting and hoping for Missouri to lose one of these next two weeks. In the meantime, South Carolina gets a tune-up at home against Coastal Carolina.
South Carolina 49, Coastal Carolina 14
Aschoff: Now that SEC play is over with, the Gamecocks have a delicious cupcake to snack on before what should be an epic game with rival Clemson. South Carolina won't be perfect, but the Gamecocks will roll at home.
South Carolina 38, Coastal Carolina 10
GEORGIA SOUTHERN at FLORIDA
Low: It’s never much fun having to deal with Georgia Southern’s option offense. It’s even less fun when you’ve lost five straight games and staring down the barrel of your first losing season in more than 30 years.
Florida 34, Georgia Southern 10
Aschoff: The Gators desperately need a win for a myriad of reasons. If Florida wants any shot at extending its 22-year bowl streak, the Gators will have to grind one out against Georgia Southern's option attack. Expect a ton of running, a quick game and an end to Florida's five-game losing streak.
Florida 31, Georgia Southern 13
KENTUCKY at GEORGIA
Low: Georgia somehow has to pick up the pieces from last week’s heartbreaking loss at Auburn. The season hasn’t gone anywhere close to the way the Bulldogs expected with all the injuries and disappointing losses, but they’ll take out a little frustration this week at home against Kentucky.
Georgia 35, Kentucky 17
Aschoff: The Bulldogs have had a tumultuous season and are now out of the SEC East race for the first time since 2010. Georgia might have four losses, but Aaron Murray has been outstanding and he'll just add to his stellar year with a big, black-out win in his final game Between the Hedges.
Georgia 45, Kentucky 13
MISSISSIPPI STATE at ARKANSAS
Low: It has been more than two months since Arkansas has won a football game. But the Hogs had last week to rest up, while Mississippi State expended a lot of energy and emotion in a tough, physical loss against Alabama. Arkansas will rev up that running game and put an end to its seven-game losing streak.
Arkansas 28, Mississippi State 24
Aschoff: Both of these programs are looking for some sort of light at the end of this 2013 tunnel. They've lost a combined 10 straight games and have one SEC win between them. Mississippi State is still in line for a bowl berth, but must win out. They'll get halfway there due to a big fourth quarter.
Mississippi State 31, Arkansas 27
VANDERBILT at TENNESSEE
Low: Vanderbilt hasn’t won two in a row over Tennessee since winning six straight in the series from 1920-26. James Franklin has come in and certainly spiced up this rivalry. His Commodores have already won over Florida and Georgia this season, but won’t be able to pull off the hat trick over a Tennessee team that’s fighting for its bowl life.
Tennessee 27, Vanderbilt 21
Aschoff: Last year, the Commodores went undefeated in the month of November. Right now, signs are point to another November sweep. Tennessee is coming off of a bye week and haven't lost to Vandy in consecutive years since the 1920s. Expect a blast from the past in Knoxville.
Vanderbilt 31, Tennessee 24
MISSOURI at OLE MISS
Low: Ole Miss has been a tough out at home this season and is putting up Xbox-like numbers on offense. The only problem for the Rebels, though, is that Missouri is equally capable of lighting up the scoreboard and will make enough key stops on defense to sneak out of Oxford with a win.
Missouri 38, Ole Miss 31
Aschoff: Both of these offenses are hot, averaging a little less than 500 yards a game. The SEC East is on the line for the Tigers. A loss, and they're out of the hunt. For the Rebels, this is a chance to show just how far they've come. Both these offenses should be fun to watch under the bright lights of Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, and the Rebels will squeak this one out late.
Ole Miss 30, Missouri 27
TEXAS A&M at LSU
Low: The last team to really put the clamps on Johnny Manziel and that Texas A&M offense was LSU a year ago. Johnny Football gets another shot at the Tigers on Saturday, and while both defenses could be in for long days, Manziel’s wizardry will be the difference in yet another classic shootout.
Texas A&M 42, LSU 38
Aschoff: For some reason, Manziel and his teammates have no fear of the road. In the two season that Kevin Sumlin has been in College Station, the Aggies have gone 9-0 in road games. Tiger Stadium is a different beast, though. LSU's defense has really struggled this year and mistakes on both sides have plagued the season. A&M's defense has been even worse, but it has Johnny Football, who fears no road test.
Texas A&M 41, LSU 38