Of all the games I could have missed last week, I’m still kicking myself for whiffing on the Head Ball Coach going back to the Swamp and taking down the Gators.
I should have seen that one coming from a mile away. Yes, South Carolina has a history of losing those games. But this was Steve Spurrier with a championship on the line.
And it was the Swamp. I mean, that’s his own personal playground.
It was the lock of the year, and I blew it.
At least it was my only miss. I was 6-1 for the week and now 66-16 (.804) for the season.
I am indeed “playing my best football” when it matters most.
Here’s how I see it playing out in Week 12:
Alabama 45, Georgia State 7: The Crimson Tide get an early warm-up game before Auburn comes to town next week. This game was moved to Thursday to give Alabama some extra time to prepare for the Iron Bowl, especially with Auburn having the week off. Bill Curry, coaching Georgia State in its inaugural season, makes his return to Bryant-Denny Stadium. The good news for his team is that the Tide will take every opportunity to rest as many players as possible in the second half.
Arkansas 37, Mississippi State 24: This will be a closer game than the final score indicates. The Bulldogs fell behind early last week at Alabama and had to play catch-up. That’s not their forte. The Hogs are clicking on all cylinders right now offensively, but they’re also playing solid defense. A couple of Ryan Mallett touchdown passes will break this game open in the second half.
LSU 34, Ole Miss 14: It’s payback time for the Tigers. They’ve lost the past two games to the Rebels, and both losses were memorable for the wrong reasons. Last season was the clock debacle at the end of the game, and two seasons ago Ole Miss routed LSU 31-13 in Tiger Stadium. These are two teams going in opposite directions, and LSU is playing its best football right now and eyeing a trip to a BCS bowl.
Tennessee 30, Vanderbilt 21: After going 0-for-October, the Vols are now riding a two-game winning streak. Never mind that they beat up on a pair of reeling teams (Ole Miss and Memphis). They’re playing with more confidence and more precision and can recover from a 2-6 start by getting to a bowl game if they win these last two. The Commodores, decimated by injuries, simply haven’t been able to hold up for four quarters, which will again be the difference in this game.
South Carolina 38, Troy 17: Has the party ended yet in Columbia? The South Carolina football team might want to make sure it’s put away the party hats and balloons. There’s still some work to do before the Dec. 4 SEC championship game. The Gamecocks probably won’t be sharp this week, but they’ll be good enough to pull away for a comfortable win.
Florida 31, Appalachian State 10: The season highlight DVD from this season doesn't figure to be a top-seller at Florida. It’s been a turbulent season for the Gators all the way around, and their offensive struggles just keep getting worse. They get a chance Saturday to take out some frustration on an FCS team that’s had a history of playing giant-killer. Urban Meyer had better hope his team is more pumped for this game than the Florida fans.