Sorry for the delay. I’ll mention it briefly below, but I was caught a little bit offguard when I read about the Spurrier resignation/retirement. Naturally, I wanted to know more details. As I mentioned, I thought he was on his way out in the near future; but I thought that was a couple of months to a couple of years away.
He was basically a childhood villain of mine, but I’ve learned to enjoy him enough that I think I’ll always have a bit of a smile when remembering him. Even the blowouts against LSU in the Florida years were good in a way. He reminded us we had a way to go. I may elaborate more later in the week. For now, you can revisit my two rivalry blogs: South Carolina and Florida.
Ole Miss beat the spread of 43.5. I thought that was pushing it, but I was glad to get one back after LSU came nowhere close to a similar line against lesser competition the previous week.
However, for the second week in a row, I was wrong about LSU. The Tigers’ fourth-quarter touchdown made the difference against South Carolina.
It looked like the same exact thing would happen in the Troy-Mississippi St. game, but I was saved by a late Trojan field goal to win by just two points.
I felt good about my Georgia pick until about two minutes left in the first half with the Bulldogs up by 21. Looks like Georgia has another up-and-down season in store for us.
Speaking of inconsistent (at least against the spread [ATS]), I didn’t think Alabama would let Arkansas hang around, but the Tide needed 17 points in the fourth quarter just to win by 13.
After barely getting by East Carolina, Kentucky, and Tennessee, Florida dominated its last two opponents, so the Gators’ big win gave me my second losing record in three weeks and drops me to .500 ATS overall (11-11). I picked the wrong favored road team; but at least I picked the Gators to win, so I was 5-1 for the week in that category to bring my overall record to 18-6.
Given the above, I was on the fence about LSU winning until I found out that the quarterback and now a defensive back have been suspended. Apart from their Week 2 opener in Starkville where they seemed to let off the gas a little too early, LSU seems to do enough to win without making it too dramatic regardless of opponent. So I have to lean toward my Tigers at home at night. It takes a pretty good team to go there and win. The Florida we saw last week or the week before might have qualified.
Treon Harris isn’t a pushover though. I think he gave them a bit of a spark last year at times. Florida has come a long way since last year in other areas though, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Harris did about as well as Jeff Driskel did against the Tigers last year (14/25, 183, 1 TD, 2 INT). Florida nearly won that game. I had wondered if one of these Florida/LSU games would be Harris vs. Harris, although neither played in the game in Gainesville last season.
Maybe if I pick LSU not to beat the spread (9.5 in this case) two weeks in a row, I’ll be right once. This has been frustrating so far. I picked them not to do it against Auburn or South Carolina and then to do it against Eastern Michigan. The only LSU game I’ve been right about ATS so far was Syracuse.
I’ll return to my regular order of discussing games as they are scheduled.
Auburn is a favored (by 2.5) road team in Lexington. I’ll take Kentucky to win. People are saying the Tigers will benefit from a few extra days off, but why won’t the Wildcats?
I don’t understand Ole Miss. They beat Alabama by almost as much as they beat Vanderbilt (6 points instead of 11), but then they’ve won three games by 49 or more. Memphis hasn’t won its games very comfortably—apart from the game against Kansas, who just seems to be killing time before basketball season—either. It may be close early, but my guess is Ole Miss by a couple of touchdowns (the line is 10.5). Don’t bet the farm on it though.
I mentioned Jeff Driskel above. He’s now at Louisiana Tech. The Bulldogs of Ruston took Kansas St. to overtime, and Mississippi St. hasn’t been impressive in the past few weeks. So I’ll take Tech and the points (13.5), with State to win.
Alabama is the favored road team in College Station. I’ll take the Aggies and four points, but I think Alabama finds a way to win. I don’t think either team will crack 40 like both did in their last contest in College Station two years ago, but I think Alabama wins by about one possession like they did in that game. I just think there is a slightly better than even chance that one possession will be four points or fewer.
I have a feeling Vanderbilt will want it more against South Carolina. The Gamecocks played respectably in LSU’s stadium (although it didn’t quite measure up to a typical LSU home game, and they still failed to beat the spread), but I don’t know if we will see a rejuvenated team so soon after the abrupt departure of Spurrier.
The Commodores haven’t really had a bad final score yet, although Georgia did pull away late to win by 17 in Nashville. The Bulldogs have gone downhill since then, and Vanderbilt has gone on to play a good game at Ole Miss, followed by a win over Middle Tennessee on the road. South Carolina is more talented than Middle Tennessee, but I wonder what (or whom) they’re even playing for at this point. ESPN gives two different lines depending on where you look. I’ll take Vandy to win but the +4 just in case.
Finally, Georgia is picked to beat Missouri by 18 between the hedges. I know Mizzou didn’t do well against Florida (unless Ole Miss is really good after all), but 18 points seems excessive. Remember, Georgia didn’t even beat Vandy by that much. Also, in their last home game, Georgia was favored against Alabama but lost by 28. The Tigers and the points but the Bulldogs to win.
Week 4 Preview (predictions only)
By the way, I was notified that I have now been with WordPress for five years. Time moves so quickly sometimes it’s scary.