Obviously I missed Wednesday for SEC Wednesdays, but it’s not a full week coming up anyway. I thought I should give people something to read for the morning even if you don’t stay up this late wherever you are.
There are no moral victories, or so we’re told. But I’m going to claim some anyway.
I have no idea why in the world Alabama couldn’t run out the clock instead of scoring an extra touchdown with 26 seconds left against Auburn. Saban, Kiffin, Malzahn, and Muschamp have got to be making enough money that they don’t need to be shaving points. It was a nine-point game or less almost the entire night apart from a 47-second period in the third quarter. It’s just so bizarre how the universe keeps conspiring to make me look bad whatever I pick Auburn to do or not do.
I read some commentary later that maybe it was to build the Heisman resume, but that’s still cheap in my book.
Including the point spread, Kentucky led 28-7 at the half, well beyond my wildest expectations for the team; but the Wildcats were outscored 31-0 in the second half. And I thought LSU had some bad halves this month.
LSU was only beating the spread by half a point until their late touchdown.
I was only far off in two of them.
I really got Tennessee/Vandy wrong. I’m really surprised the Vols managed 53 points against such a good defense. The Vols had averaged just 23 points per game over the last three games against powerhouses South Carolina, Missouri, and North Texas.
Florida/Florida St. was pretty far off. The Gators usually play better for that game even in a mediocre season, but maybe they’re just no good at this point.
I made the correct against the spread picks with South Carolina (who was pretty good against the spread this season despite all the losses), Arkansas, Ole Miss, and Georgia. Georgia was only correct by a couple of points, so I’m grateful not to lose all the close ones.
I finish 28-43 against the spread. It was generally positive the last few weeks, but the 1-7 mark two weeks ago killed me. If it weren’t for that, I would have finished a respectable 43%. That erased all my gains over the last month, so I basically stayed at 40%.
I improved to 55-22 in picking winners. The only one I got wrong was Florida. I guess I should have known, but Florida St. wasn’t inspiring confidence either.
Tomorrow, Alabama is favored by 17.5. The Tide beat a similar team by 29 when it beat Missouri to win the SEC last year. Picking the Gators hasn’t been a good bet in a while, so I’ll pick Alabama minus the points.
Alabama likes to score points that don’t matter too. In addition to the end of the Auburn game I mentioned above, they also poured it on in the championship last year, winning the fourth quarter 21-0.
I decided against picking the bowl games. I like to judge teams on what they’ve done and what kind of seasons they’re having, but a lot of times that goes out the window for bowls. Some very good teams have the ball bounce the wrong way a couple of times, and then they don’t care when it’s time for bowl prep because they’re not playing for a championship. Whereas other teams who aren’t very good are thrilled to be in a given bowl (or any bowl) and anxious to prove themselves. I’ve had good seasons picking bowl teams in the past, but I just don’t think it’s in keeping with this series.
I’m not sure what exact format this will take next year. I might just concentrate on games within the conference and keep it going the whole season.
Just to comment on the playoff briefly, if there is an upset of either Clemson or Alabama, I’ll be very interested to see whether Stanford (assuming they win) or Ohio St. finishes higher. It seems like the winner of the Big Ten and Oklahoma have their spots already.
I also did a top 10 poll on another site with some other bloggers. You can check that out here.