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SEC Picks: Gone Fishin’ Edition

SEC picks

I’m a winner, y’all. Ice water. Veins. My. In. Add it up, kids — see what you get. I’ll tell you what you get: 37-36-1 for the year. Sure, were I to actually play these pics, I’d be down once you factor in the juice, but you gotta remember, I’ve had a couple of TRAIN WRECK weeks. So, all in all, I’m reasonably pleased. And I’m not even kidding. Last week? I was 5-2. And do you know what those two losses have in common?

They featured teams that meet this week: Vanderbilt (I was on Mississippi) and Tennessee (I was obviously on the Vols).

So, this week’s SEC picks is the Gone Fishin’ edition because there are SEVEN teams in our conference that are playing FCS teams. Seven. That’s gotta be like a record or something. How funny would it be if one of the teams from the mighty SEC fell to an FCS school?

Answer: not as funny as if two lost. Anyone feel comfy throwing a bingo on Kentucky (1-9) straight up over Samford (7-3)? I know I don’t. What about Auburn (2-8) straight up over Alabama A&M (7-3)? Yeah. Me neither.

So, yeah, seven games have no lines. But that leaves four that do. Get ’em while they’re hot, y’all. My…

SEC picks: the Gone Fishin’ edition

Arkansas at Mississippi State (-6)

Mississippi State has lost three straight, but in their defense, those three opponents are pretty doggone good: Alabama, Texas A&M and LSU. And two of those games were on the road. Even so, State didn’t just lose. They got pounded, dropping those games by an average of over 25 points.

Still, it doesn’t change the fact that they got off to a 7-0 start. But do you remember who those seven wins came against? Jackson State, Auburn, Troy, South Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee and MTSU. And those teams all are horrendous.

Luckily for them, Arkansas is horrendous, too. So they’ll win. But they’re not covering the 6 points. Especially in a game that kicks at 12:21. Take the Razorbacks and the points.

Ole Miss at LSU (-18.5)

This is a tough one. A couple of the stats surprised me when trying to figure out who to pick. For example — did you know that LSU’s passing game is much weaker, statistically speaking at least, than LSU’s? Yep. The Rebs average 50 yards more through the air per game. But LSU’s got a decided per-game rushing advantage to the tune of about 30 yards. And both teams average nearly 30 points a game. Which means the deciding factor will be John Chavis’ defense. Even so, unless they pitch a shut out, LSU will have a hard time covering that number. It’s too big.

Take the Rebs and the points.

Syracuse at Missouri (-5.5)

This game has perfectly mediocre written all over it. So it should come as no surprise that it’s a battle of 5-5 teams. Ordinarily, I’d use this logic: the SEC is 5.5 points better than the Big East, so take the SEC team and get on with it.

There’s just one problem with this theory. I still don’t consider Missouri an SEC team. (Which means we’re only 0-5 in the SEC as opposed to 0-6. You’re welcome.) Sure, I’m all in on Texas A&M now. Who isn’t? But Mizzou? Still not feeling it. Even after they defeated my beloved Vols. Because, simply put, you’ve gotta do more than beat this era’s Tennessee to prove you’re something worth crowing about in the SEC. Sorry. But it’s true. Such acknowledgements come with the territory when your team’s only won one SEC contest in nearly two seasons.

So by that logic, I’m going with Syracuse. Plus, I’m on an underdog kick, and I’m super-consistent like that.

Tennessee at Vanderbilt (-3.5)

Did you know that this marks the third time we’ve been underdogs to Vanderbilt in the past five years? I dare you to find another such five-year stretch. Because you won’t. No, I don’t know that for a fact. But seriously, there’s no way. I mean, maybe pre-1920 or something. But certainly not in the modern era.

I got that stat from a comment on the post I wrote for RockyTopTalk. The lines of the past five matchups according to Covers.com:

2012 = Vandy (-3.5)
2011 = Vandy(-1.5)
2010 = UT(-7.5)
2009 = UT(-17)
2008 = Vandy(-3)

Know what all five of those years have in common? Big Orange victories, of course. So what happens this year? I’ll be happy to tell you. But first, I’d like to say this:

You know what Dooley has done this week? He’s handled an impossible situation with uncommon grace. Say what you want about how he’s fared as our head man. Goodness knows that I’ve got my opinion on the matter. Even so, it’s clear to me that he’s put the program before the situation. And I appreciate that greatly.

Think about it. He surely knows that it’s overwhelmingly likely that his time here at UT is over. But he’s somehow risen above it all and is pouring everything he’s got into preparing his team — OUR TEAM — to finish as strong as it possibly can. It’s like he knows it’s too late to save his job, but never too late to save face. At least a little.

Which is why we’re not losing to Vanderbilt this weekend. It’s actually about the only team Dooley’s had success against, as he’s earned half of all his SEC victories (two) and ALL of his SEC road victories (one) against the Commodores. (Can you use the word “all” to describe “one”?)

So that’s where I’m at. Take the points and play the money line if you’re feeling frisky, there, Tiger. Because the Vols are gonna bring back the W. I guarantee it.

GO VOLS!

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