Thursday, September 26, 2013
SEC predictions: Week 5
By Edward Aschoff
And just like that, The Kid has a nice two-game lead. For two straight weeks, I tried to help Chris out. I tried to feed him the goods, but he just wouldn't listen.
When he seemed so confident about Texas rebounding against the Rebels, I told him to have some faith in Ole Miss. But Chris put too much faith in a wounded Bevo.
Last week, I distinctly remember when I submitted my picks that Chris said, "Just send them in when you get a chance. There's no way we have anything different." Naturally, I assumed he was thinking like me and had Rutgers winning at home over Arkansas. Alas, Chris was blinded by all those rushing yards the Hogs churned out during the first three weeks of the season.
Chris was too busy hollerin' Pig Sooie when I tried to tell him about Brandon Allen's health and Rutgers' run defense. I heard rumblings from Baton Rouge, La., that Chris was trying to get media members to call the hogs with him in the press box when Arkansas went up 24-7 in the third quarter.
What's the old saying about counting your chickens?
It's just good to be The Kid.
After going 9-0 last week (yes, that makes two straight perfect weeks), I own a 40-3 (.930) record, while Chris is 38-5 (.884) after going 8-1.
Here's to our picks and me taking a three-game lead:
ARKANSAS STATE at MISSOURI
Chris Low: Missouri is putting up a ton of points and rolling right along. The Tigers return home after winning at Indiana a week ago and won’t have any problem with Arkansas State to go to 4-0 on the season.
Missouri 48, Arkansas State 21
Edward Aschoff: The Tigers have looked great on offense thus far, and I don't anticipate that stopping this week with Arkansas State in town.
Missouri 45, Arkansas State 17
SOUTH ALABAMA at TENNESSEE
Low: Justin Worley is back as Tennessee’s starting quarterback, and the important thing for the Vols is everybody playing better around him on offense. After two straight losses, they’ll take out a little frustration this week at home against South Alabama.
Tennessee 34, South Alabama 17
Aschoff: There's no question that Tennessee has a lot to work on on both sides of the ball, but this game will give Worley a chance to get some of the rhythm back that he lost in the Swamp.
Tennessee 38, South Alabama 13
UAB at VANDERBILT
Low: It was anything but a rousing performance last week by Vanderbilt at UMass. The Commodores played well enough to win, but that’s about it. Look for James Franklin’s bunch to turn up the volume this week at home.
Vanderbilt 37, UAB 14
Aschoff: The Commodores didn't exactly excite anyone with their win over UMass last week, but something tells me we'll see a much more explosive offensive performance this week.
Vanderbilt 38, UAB 17
SOUTH CAROLINA at UCF
Low: Talk about a game that has danger written all over it. The Gamecocks had better clean up their mistakes and take their A-game to UCF, or they’re going to be in trouble. They’ve had an extra week to prepare, and Connor Shaw and the offense are clicking right now.
South Carolina 31, UCF 21
Aschoff: This isn't an easy road trip for the Gamecocks. UCF is undefeated and averaging more than 30 points a game. The bye week gave South Carolina time to rest, but this one will be closer than Steve Spurrier will like.
South Carolina 31, UCF 24
FLORIDA at KENTUCKY
Low: One of these days, Kentucky is going to beat Florida again, but it won’t be this Saturday at Commonwealth Stadium. The Gators will make it 27 in a row over the Wildcats.
Florida 24, Kentucky 7
Aschoff: The Gators lost two of their top players for the season in less than seven days and have to go on the road with a first-time starter at quarterback. Still, the defense has too many weapons not to get the Gators to 2-0 in SEC play.
Florida 27, Kentucky 7
TEXAS A&M at ARKANSAS
Low: It sounds like Arkansas will be without starting quarterback Allen for the second straight week, and when you’re playing Johnny Manziel & Co., you better be ready to score points in bunches. The Hogs won’t be able to keep up Saturday.
Texas A&M 41, Arkansas 21
Aschoff: The Aggies offense is running on all cylinders, while the Razorbacks will likely be without their starting quarterback again. Not a good sign for the Hogs.
Texas A&M 45, Arkansas 20
OLE MISS at ALABAMA
Low: Ole Miss is healthy and bubbling with confidence. The Rebels also have the playmakers on offense to give Alabama problems. The Crimson Tide have sort of turned it off and on this season, which drives Nick Saban crazy, but they know what’s at stake Saturday.
Alabama 35, Ole Miss 21
Aschoff: This was actually a closer game than the score indicated last season. The Rebels have the offense to top the Tide, but you have to think that Alabama's defense is tired of hearing about its shortcomings. This one will come down to the fourth quarter, and Alabama will have just a little more in the tank.
Alabama 31, Ole Miss 23
LSU at GEORGIA
Low: It’s the Zach Mettenberger Bowl. Well, not really, but Mettenberger’s return to Sanford Stadium has certainly dominated the headlines this week. The difference in this top-10 matchup, though, will be Aaron Murray and a Georgia offense that will produce enough big plays to keep the Bulldogs unbeaten in the SEC.
Georgia 38, LSU 31
Aschoff: It sounds cliché, but whichever team wins the battle up front is going to win this game. Both teams want to establish the run, and both teams have monster running games. The Todd Gurley-Jeremy Hill matchup might be one for the ages, too. Georgia survived a similar game against South Carolina, but something tells me LSU's defense is going to make a play or two late to seal this one.
LSU 35, Georgia 31