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Lock of the Week, Week 8

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It is time for our voters to continue their very impressive winning streak.

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Week 7 Recap

Alabama was who our voters picked last week, and Alabama's defense scored three touchdowns, so they didn't have any trouble covering their 4 1/2 point spread in College Station.  I selected South Carolina to win and leave Vanderbilt alone in the bottom of the SEC East.  Part of why I picked South Carolina was that I counted on Brandon Wilds coming back, and he ran for 119 yards against Vanderbilt.  Vanderbilt had the chance to ruin the spread late in the game, but South Carolina forced a four and out on Vanderbilt's last possession.  Unfortunately, I also picked LSU, who covered the spread if you got them early enough in the week, but not if you picked them on Thursday, which is what I did.  Both of the Harris quarterbacks exceeded my low expectations.  Some LSU special teams blunders played a large part in two of Florida's touchdowns, and LSU also scored a touchdown on a fake field goal because that is how Les Miles runs things.  Our voters went 1-3, tying on Auburn vs. Kentucky and Mississippi vs. Memphis, winning the Alabama pick, and incorrectly picking Georgia, LSU, and Vanderbilt, who received one vote.

2015 Results

Lock of the Week: 7-2

Myself: 5-5

Overall Votes: 20-21

Auburn at Arkansas (ARK -6) in Fayetteville

The further in the season we get, the more it appears that the Toledo loss wasn't as bad as everyone thought.  Toledo is 6-0, and has a small but realistic chance of winning out.  Both teams have average defenses, and with Arkansas's home field advantage and superior running game, they could cover the spread.  One negative possiblity for Arkansas is that Auburn could get a breakout game at any time from freshman Kerryon Johnson.  Auburn has the much better record at 4-2 than Arkansas at 2-4, but Arkansas's schedule has been much more difficult up to this point.

Tennessee at Alabama (UA -15.5)

This is a game where almost everyone will pick Alabama to win, especially with them being at home.  However, the spread is big enough to where Tennessee could cover with a touchdown late in the game against Alabama's second team defense.  Alabama has a big advantage on defense, which is something you have probably read before, and while Tennessee has a couple of good runningbacks, none of them are as good as Derrick Henry.  Tennessee does have an advantage at quarterback, but Dobbs can be an inconsistent passer, and it is really difficult to beat Alabama by running the football excessively.  It is up to Dobbs to keep this game competitive.

Missouri at Vanderbilt (UM -2.5)

If you are watching this, you are probably a fan of one of these teams, someone who gambled on this game, or an NFL scout watching Missouri linebacker Kentrell Brothers.  Both teams have respectable defenses and terrible offenses, so we could see a game similar to Missouri's loss against Georgia last week.  The over under for this game is historically low at 35 points, but it is very possible that the point total could be below 35.  Both teams do have decent runningbacks, but haven't had good seasons up to this point.  It has been too easy for opposing defenses to focus on stopping Ralph Webb, and I'm skeptical that Russell Hansbrough ever completely recovered from an injury early in the season (I'm not suggesting Missouri's coaches are risking his long term health, players play when they aren't 100% sometimes).

Texas A&M at Mississippi (UM -5.5)

Both teams have offenses that rely on passing the ball, and Texas A&M is two sacks away from Alabama as the SEC sack leaders.  Tunsil is back from his NCAA suspension, which is really important because Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett might go first in the NFL draft.  Mississippi has gotten 10 interceptions, and Texas A&M has only gotten 3.  However, only 3 of those interceptions have come in SEC play (all against Alabama).  Mississippi is a slightly better team, and at home, but I could see Texas A&M covering the spread due to their pass defense.  This game should be close.

Western Kentucky at LSU (-16.5)

Western Kentucky isn't typically good enough to only be 16 point underdogs to LSU, but they are 6-1.  I don't know much about Western Kentucky because I've only watched them play one half against Louisiana Tech, but from what I've looked up about them, they appear to be a top 50 team.  They might be even with teams such as Auburn and Kentucky.  So far, LSU hasn't played well in out of conference games when they have been heavily favored.  They struggled with Syracuse, and while they beat Eastern Michigan by 22, they could have beat them by 40 or 50.

Kentucky at MSU (MSU -11.5)

Towles can be a volatile passer, and had one of his best games against MSU last year.  It is up to A.J. Jefferson and Ryan Brown to bring the pain.  MSU's passing offense should do well against Kentucky.  This should be a high scoring game where the spread is accurate.

The Pick

Arkansas