Week 9 Recap
The voters and I picked Florida, and they won so easily that people started claiming the Georgia coaches had a physical altercation. I thought this game would be closer than it was, but our voters picked Florida by an 18-0 margin. Maybe it is because I used a picture of a real life alligator? Our voters went 3-2, correctly picking Florida, Mississippi, and Houston, while missing Kentucky and Texas A&M.
Lock of the Week: 8-3
Overall Votes: 25-26
Vanderbilt at Florida (UF -21)
It will be difficult for Vanderbilt to score against Florida, let alone keep the game close. Expect a game similar to Vanderbilt's performance against Houston last week. A garbage time touchdown might keep Florida from covering the spread.
Kentucky at Georgia (UGA -14.5)
Both teams are in freefall at this point. After barely losing a home Thursday night game against Auburn, Kentucky has gotten obliterated by Tennessee and MSU. Kentucky's best runningback won't be playing due to an elbow injury. Georgia's quarterback against Florida is now supposedly practicing at safety. We don't really know what is going on with Georgia, other than it isn't good, so all I feel safe in predicting here is that Georgia wins. I hope that Richt finishes off the season with some ugly wins to go 9-3, which is extremely possible with Auburn, Georgia Southern, and Georgia Tech. The drama in Athens would be intense.
Arkansas at Mississippi (UM -10.5)
Mississippi has proven that they can wipe cupcake teams off the face of the earth, and be extremely unpredictable when playing anyone else. One player to watch out for is runningback Akeem Judd, who has gotten more carries for the Rebels in the last two weeks and done well. Something else to note is that Chad Kelly has seven interceptions in the last three games. Arkansas's quarterback Brandon Allen has quietly had his best season. However, his defense was terrible against Tennessee Martin last week. I assumed it was largely due to Arkansas's reserves, but half of UT Martin's points came in the second quarter. The concerning part of picking Arkansas to cover is that putting pressure on Chad Kelly seems to be the key to beating Mississippi, and Arkansas is last in the SEC in sacks.
South Carolina at Tennessee (UT -17)
South Carolina is actually playing better with Spurrier gone. Whether it is more due to Shawn Elliott or the return of Brandon Wilds, I'm not sure. Maybe if Lorenzo Nunez is healthy South Carolina can keep this one close, but if he isn't, the spread looks accurate.
Auburn at Texas A&M (TAMU -7)
Kyler Murray had a good week against South Carolina, but a lot of quarterbacks have had a good week against South Carolina this year. Despite some bad results in the last few weeks, Texas A&M does have some very good receivers, and a good running game with Murray at quarterback. I would advise staying away from this one, because Auburn's quarterback played hurt last week, and while he is expected to play Saturday, he still isn't 100%. Starting runningback Peyton Barber is injured as well, but Jovon Robinson did have a good game against Mississippi, and Texas A&M's running defense isn't very good.
LSU at Alabama (UA -6.5)
Has Brandon Harris developed into a good quarterback? He was judged too harshly last year as a freshman, but so far this year, he has zero interceptions, averages over eight yards per pass attempt, and is a good runner. Most importantly, he stays out of Fournette's way by avoiding turnovers. Harris also had a good game against Florida, and they have one of the best pass defenses in the nation. Backup runningback Derrius Guice is averaging 9.3 yards per run, with most of his carries coming against South Carolina. Anyone who says "all LSU has is Fournette" is very wrong. Alabama has the best defense in the nation, which should make the Fournette matchup interesting. Derrick Henry is a little under the radar (and by that, I mean not a Heisman finalist) due to Fournette, but remember, Henry is a 242 pound runningback that already has over 1000 yards this year. This game should be as entertaining as any this season.
The underdogs Arkansas, Auburn, and LSU are all tempting. Arkansas's difficulty in getting sacks and Shawn White's injury are scaring me off of them, so I'm picking LSU.