Brutal. Just Brutal.
We were 2-4 last week because a couple of the big boys won but could not cover:
When Alabama was up 21-3 at Florida, I was feeling pretty good about the Crimson Tide covering that 14 ½ on the road. But Florida fought back and Alabama won by only two points (31-29).
With Georgia playing at home against and undermanned team from South Carolina, I was confident the Bulldogs would cover the 31 ½. Nope. Georgia wins by 27.
I picked Auburn, a five-point underdog, to win straight up at Penn State. The Tigers had two chances to score in the final minutes of the game but couldn’t get into the endzone in a 28-20 loss.
After watching Mississippi Stat beat N.C. State the week before I was convinced the Bulldogs (a three-point favorite) would beat Memphis straight up at the Liberty Bowl. But a very controversial punt return for a touchdown gave Memphis a 31-29 win.
The only favorites who covered were Ole Miss, which was favored by 15 over Tulane (61-21) and Arkansas, favored by 15, which beat Georgia Southern 45-10.
So that puts us at a very average 9-9 after three weeks. Let’s see if we do a bit better as we close out the month of September:
The game: Texas A&M vs. Arkansas in Arlington, Tex (plus 5 1/2), 3:30 p.m., CBS.
The winner: The over/under in this game is 44 ½. You’ve got two great defenses and two coaches who want to establish the running game first. So we’re going take the under.
The game: Kentucky at South Carolina (plus 5 1/2), 7 p.m., ESPN2
The winner: Kentucky.
The score: Kentucky 31, South Carolina 24.
The skinny: Kentucky got quite a scare last week before beating Chattanooga 28-23. It says here the Wildcats bounce back and beat South Carolina for the seventh time in the past eight seasons.
The game: LSU at Mississippi State (plus 3 ½), Noon, ESPN.
The winner: LSU
The score: LSU 28, Miss. State 24.
The skinny: I can’t overstate how badly LSU coach Ed Orgeron needs this win. The Tigers played two cupcakes (McNeese State and Central Michigan) after losing to UCLA to open the season. After this game LSU plays Auburn, Kentucky, Florida, Ole Miss, Alabama, and Arkansas in the span of seven weeks. Lose this one and it’s going to get ugly in Baton Rouge.
The game: Georgia at Vanderbilt (plus 31 ½), Noon, SEC Network.
The winner: Georgia.
The score: Georgia 42, Vanderbilt 6.
The skinny: Don’t expect the Bulldogs to get too fancy with Arkansas coming up next week in Athens. They’ll run the ball and protect the quarterback. It’s a noon ET (11 a.m. local) start and weird things sometimes happen in these games. But not this Saturday.
The game: Tennessee (plus 20 ½) at Florida, 7 p.m., ESPN
The winner: Tennessee.
The score: Florida 42, Tennessee 24.
The skinny: This game used to be appointment viewing as both were ranked in the top five. No more. Florida has now won 15 of its last 16 meetings with Tennessee.
Florida wins the game but a post-Alabama hangover keeps the Gators from covering the 20 ½.
The game: Missouri at Boston College (plus 1 ½), Noon, ESPN2.
The winner: Missouri.
The score: Missouri 30, Boston College 28.
The skinny: There is a little edge to this game because earlier in the week Mizzou coach Eli Drinkwitz had the audacity to tell the truth when asked about this trip to Chesnut Hill, Mass. He said he would rather be playing a regional opponent that would help recruiting. Boston College is without quarter Phil Jurkovec, who suffered a hand injury in the second game against UMass and is likely out for the rest of the season.