Earlier this week I wrote that Oct. 9 was the best college football Saturday in my lifetime. Given the quality and intensity of the games, I was more than pleased to finish 4-2 against the spread.
Of course, one of the two losses was by Alabama, a 16 ½ favorite, losing straight up to Texas A&M (41-38) at College Station. I had a lot of company on that one.
I bet that Florida, due to lack of interest, would not cover 35 ½ against Vanderbilt. But the Gators did, winning 42-0. Vanderbilt is just bad, folks.
Among the four winners, there was only one close game. I took Arkansas and the 2 ½ points against Ole Miss. It turned out to be one of the best shootouts in the history of the conference as Ole Miss won 52-51. But Tony won with the 2 ½ points.
Georgia rolled over Auburn (34-10), Tennessee won its second straight conference game over South Carolina (45-20), and Kentucky beat LSU easily 42-21.
So on the season that puts us 20-16 against the spread.
Let’s get on with this week's picks:
The game: Kentucky (plus 22 ½) at Georgia, 3:30 p.m. CBS.
The winner: The over/under this game is 44 ½. Take the under.
The score: Georgia 27, Kentucky 10
The skinny: The boys in Vegas like Georgia by three touchdowns but I just think it will be closer than that. We know Georgia’s defense is the best in college football (5.5 ppg). But Kentucky has the No. 4 scoring defense in the SEC (17.5 ppg). That’s why we’re taking the under.
The game: Auburn (plus 4 1/2) at Arkansas, Noon, CBS.
The winner: Arkansas.
The score: Arkansas 28, Auburn 23.
The skinny: The Hogs are coming off very tough back-to-back road losses to Georgia (37-0) and Ole Miss (52-51). Auburn was overmatched at home last week against Georgia (34-10). I was very impressed with the way Arkansas quarterback K.J. Jefferson played against Ole Miss. The Hogs win and cover at home.
The game: Florida at LSU (plus 11 1/2), Noon, ESPN.
The winner: Florida
The score: Florida 35, LSU 21
The skinny: At 3-3 and with turmoil surrounding Coach Ed Orgeron, I just don’t know how interested LSU is going to be in this game, which starts at 11 a.m., local time. Two stats to consider: Kentucky ran for 330 yards last week against the LSU defense. And LSU is a double-digit underdog at Tiger Stadium? Really? Florida wins and covers the 11 ½.
The game: Texas A&M at Missouri (plus 8 ½), Noon, SEC Network..
The winner: Texas A&M.
The score: Texas A&M 34, Missouri 23.
The skinny: It’s reasonable to assume that Texas A&M will come out flat after last Saturday’s huge win over No. 1 Alabama. But it is not going to matter because Missouri’s defense is dead last in the SEC, giving up 499 yards per game. That’s 129th out of 130 FBS teams. Aggies win and cover the 8 ½.
The game: Alabama at Mississippi State (plus 17½), 7 p.m., ESPN.
The winner: Alabama.
The score: Alabama 42, Miss. State 24.
The skinny: It will be interesting to watch Alabama’s body language as they make the drive from Tuscaloosa to Starkville for this game. For the Crimson Tide, ranked No. 5 after the loss to Texas A&M, it is very simple. Alabama (5-1, 2-1) must win the rest of its games and beat somebody (probably Georgia), in the SEC championship game to advance to the College Football Playoff. Alabama wins and covers.
The game: Ole Miss at Tennessee (plus 3 ½), 7:30 p.m., SEC Network.
The winner: Tennessee
The score: Tennessee 52, Ole Miss 45.
The skinny: This could be the most entertaining game on the schedule. Ole Miss scored 52 against Arkansas last week and leads the SEC in scoring (46.2 ppg). Tennessee has scored 107 points in its last two games against Missouri and South Carolina. The Volunteer fans are starting to get excited. I’m taking Tennessee and the 4 ½. I expect the Vols to win straight up.