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“Baby Girl, Jesus was wrong…” Chalky White/Boardwalk Empire
And if he can be, so can I.
South Carolina got a season saving win against Georgia Saturday in the rain but they needed a little help to do it. The Florida Gators almost blew the longest SEC winning streak in the Conference against an inferior Kentucky team and needed 3 OT’s to do it and Arkansas has a legitimate running game.
South Carolina over Georgia
The Gamecocks, in my opinion, got several game changing calls that went their way in a close win over Georgia in Williams-Brice Stadium.
Georgia fans will blow up talk radio this week with complaints about an intentional grounding call (that wasn’t) and a 4th down and 1 inch game ending conversion in which SC QB Dylan Thompson was stopped cold. Mark Richt rarely loses to an underdog on the road.
Arkansas over Texas Tech
Arkansas is pounding the ball with Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams and Saturday, against the Texsas Tech Red Raiders, they totaled 438 yards on the ground and 6 TD’s.
So that would be one more win for an old school approach over a hurry up offense.
Alabama over Southern Miss
Alabama leads the Nation in rushing but has a defensive secondary that is still shaky. Nick Perry’s helmet to helmet collision in the 2nd half, which will cause him to miss the first half of this weeks Florida game, doesn’t help. Alabama has found a pass rush and Amari Cooper needs to start showing up on some Heisman lists.
Florida over Kentucky
Florida needed 3 OT’s to beat the Wildcats, in The Swamp, and did not look good offensively or defensively. Will Muschamp should just paint crosshairs on his chest before traveling to face his old boss in Tuscaloosa this Saturday.
LSU over Louisiana Monroe
LSU still looks good against inferior opponents and doesn’t play on the road until October 4th at Auburn.
Ole Miss over Louisiana-Lafayette
Bo Wallace completed 23 of 28 passes and the Ole Miss D is improving. They have the week off before playing Memphis on the 27th.
Mississippi State over South Alabama
The Jaguars hoped to pull a program building upset over the Bulldogs but it was never close. Dak Prescott took over the game in the 3rd quarter and MSU won easily. 35-3.
Missouri over Central Florida
Missouri looks good defensively. Winning on the road against a George O’Leary coached team early in the year is a good win.
Oklahoma over Tennessee
It wasn’t as embarrassing as it could’ve been. Tennessee put up a fight but they are not a very good football team.
Texas A&M over Rice
That one was easy.
Vanderbilt over UMASS
Barely. With UMASS leading 31-27 late in the 4th quarter, Vanderbilt scored the go ahead TD with 1:06 to play. In typical Vandy fashion they allowed The Minutemen to march the length of the field where the least popular guy in Massachusetts missed a 16 yard FG.
Next week we get serious.
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“Ooh she’s a killing machine, she’s got everything, like a moving mouth, body control and everything……” Deep Purple/Highway Star
We will find out this weekend if all that is true. Mark Richt has the best record of all active SEC coaches for road victories but has not scored more than 20 points in Columbia, SC since 1994.
Georgia at South Carolina
Georgia fans definitely have the moving mouth part down pat. Every year they are going to win it all and then summer rolls around and they lose 2 or 3 key starters and that doesn’t mix well with their tendency to schedule tough, early season games. But body control and everything? That would be Todd Gurley, Keith Marshall and Nick Chubb fronted by a talented offensive line and room to move provided by an improving Jeremy Pruitt defense.
South Carolina’s defense is giving up 566 yards per game and you can’t do that and beat the Dawgs.
Alabama vs. Southern Miss
I have waited 2 weeks to weigh in on the QB issue because I love to sit back and watch the national media report on things that do not matter and get fanbases whipped into a frenzy because they have to have something to write about in August.
So, I’m going to make this as simple as possible. The starting QB for a Nick Saban team is the least important starter on the team and rates just barely ahead of the guy who holds for the kicker on FG’s and PAT’s. I’m not kidding.
Southern Miss has won one game in the past 2 seasons.
Auburn vs. Off Week
Because they have to rest up before playing a rare September road game.
Arkansas at Texas Tech
I’m going to regret this pick tomorrow, I just know it. Texas Tech gives up a ton of yardage on the ground and Arkansas ran for over 400 last week against Nicholls State. The game is at Texas Tech and this is one of those classic ground and pound old school teams vs. a quick strike offense. Arkansas must control the clock and have no turnovers but I still like them on the road.
Florida vs. Kentucky
The Gators are starting to get on track and will easily beat Kentucky.
LSU vs. Louisiana Monroe
I’ve seen no dropoff at LSU this year and they should get some more wrinkles ironed out this weekend.
Ole Miss vs. Louisiana Lafayette
Ole Miss is a team who can beat anybody on the right day. Still young but very talented they are led by Bo Wallace who leads the conference in bad decisions and horribly timed fumbles.
Mississippi State at South Alabama
This is a big deal in the Mobile area and Jaguars HC, and former Alabama WR, Joey Jones could pull this upset. MSU has a number of good pieces in place this year, especially QB Dak Prescott, but they have been inconsistent in Dan Mullen’s tenure.
Missouri vs. Central Florida
QB Maty Mauk will prove to be too much for the Golden Knights and Missouri has bigger, faster, stronger athletes. If Blake Bortles was still there, I would go the other way on this pick.
Tennessee at Oklahoma
Tennessee is about to get embarrassed on National TV just as they did last year against Oregon. This one is a total mismatch.
Texas A & M vs. Rice
A & M
Kenny Hill will light it up again and this team will probably go into Tuscaloosa on Oct. 18th, undefeated. Unless Ole Miss trips them up but we will get into that later.
Vanderbilt vs. Massachusetts
And the honest answer is that it could go either way. UMASS isn’t very good but the ‘Dores are really, really bad.
Enjoy your weekend!
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Dyke L. Marler
September 6, 2014
When Vanderbilt vs. Ole Miss is the best SEC game of the day, you know it’s a pretty thin slate and if I miss more than 1 pick this week I promise that I will wear a Tennessee jersey all week. Not really, but it was the worst thing I could think of other than the puking scene from The Exorcist.
Alabama vs. Florida Atlantic
Alabama got a lot of National media attention last week for having a close game against West Virginia. This week will be very different as Trey Depriest (who I believe to be overrated) returns. CB Bradley Sylve gave up 143 of the 300 passing yards by WVU and you can expect to see freshmen Tony Brown and Marlon Humphrey in the rotation at that position.
Arkansas vs. Nicholls State
Bret Bielema has a good rushing attack in Fayetteville and stayed close to Auburn for 3 quarters last week. This week he will introduce the passing game and eventually Arkansas will look exactly like Wisconsin.
Auburn vs. San Jose State
Auburn changed things up drastically this year in terms of scheduling. Instead of 4 consecutive home games to begin the season they only have 2, followed by a week off before they travel to Kansas State. QUICK, YOU’VE GOT 5 SECONDS – NAME THE KANSAS STATE MASCOT…times up.
Florida vs. Eastern Michigan
Unless it rains again. Who knew Gators couldn’t play in water?
Ohio vs. Kentucky
Kentucky has edged ahead of Vandy as the SEC cellar dwellar but they will settle that on the field Sept. 27th.
LSU vs. Sam Houston State
And they’re already drunk, you can bet on that.
Ole Miss at Vanderbilt
Last year this was one of the best games of the year but the separation between these two teams grew immeasurable when former Vandy Head Coach James Franklin left for Penn State.
Mississippi State vs. UAB
UAB, before traveling to play the South Alabama Jaguars next week before traveling to Tuscaloosa on November 15th. You might startle a Jaguar with a cowbell but certainly not an elephant.
Missouri at Toledo
Watch this y’all I’m going to write about Missouri without mentioning that Michael Sam is gay. See it’s impossible. You try it.
South Carolina vs. East Carolina
South Carolina could get upset by the Pirates this week if they are as flat as they were against A&M. Oddly, Spurrier wasn’t talking a bunch of smarmy shit this week about other teams and coaches. Am I the only one who enjoyed that?
Tennessee vs. Arkansas State
Texas A & M vs. Lamar
I am not jumping on this bandwagon until they find a defense but I have to admit I have one foot on the running board.
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“I’m going out in a blaze of glory. Lord I never drew first but I drew first blood…”Blaze of Glory/Bon Jovi
Without going into a long explanation, this will be one of the last articles I write for a while so forgive me if I revert to my arrogant and obnoxious true self as it relates to writing college football, just as I used to do when covering SEC football (and winning multiple awards) writing for Bleacher Report (DMarler).
Before I get into this I want to get current with my standings in this year’s SEC predictions which includes every national published sportswriter covering SEC football.
I hold a slight 1 game lead over Edward Aschoff and a 3 game lead over Chris Low, who are both senior college football writers for ESPN. Again, I have not looked at their predictions before making mine. The best Aschoff can do is tie me and Low is a few games behind and cannot catch me at all. So, here we go.
Florida State vs. Auburn
BCS National Championship Game
The key to Auburn winning this game is not their rushing attack or Gus Malzahn’s flash in the pan wizardry nor is it luck, as I’ve heard a lot of Georgia and Bama fans opine.
The two keys to Auburn winning this game are senior punter Steven Clark and senior placekicker Cody Parkey.
Steven Clark has had only 5 punts returned this year and is in the top 5 punters in the Country for having his punts downed inside the opponents 20 yard line. His hang time allows Auburn’s punt coverage to get down the field and not allow the punt returner to be a factor in the game. When he drops the ball inside the 20 or 10 yard line it gives Auburn Defensive Coordinator, Ellis Johnson, the ability to blitz and prohibits the QB (Jameis Winston, in this case) to drop back and pass which means the offense has to rely on the running game to move the ball. Obviously, in this situation he brings extra men into the box and defends the run and usually forces a 3 and out, meaning Auburn gets good field position on the exchange and can use the whole playbook and take as many chances on offense as they want to. Look for this trend to continue tonight.
The second key for an Auburn victory is the fact that placekicker Cody Parkey consistently puts his kickoffs THROUGH the endzone, setting up a slightly less critical offensive situation for the opponent than the one explained above. Parkey is also very accurate on FG’s and the combination of his ability to put points on the board and nullify the return game of Florida State will play an important role in this game.
Heisman Trophy winner, freshman QB and probable future 1st round draft choice in BASEBALL, Jameis Winston, and particularly his receivers, are a matchup nightmare for Auburn. The Tiger’s secondary is their achilles heel and has been for 3 years and they simply cannot match up with FSU’s receivers.
The specific matchup I like is FSU TE Nick O’Leary (grandson of legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus) against any of Auburn’s LB’s or hybrid DB/LB’s, including Robinson Therezie.
I like Winston’s ability to make plays with his arm or legs and I also like the fact that Jeremy Pruitt, Sal Sunseri and HC Jimbo Fisher have all coached under defensive genius Nick Saban.
I will not make a point prediction on this one because of Auburn’s uncanny luck this year but I do believe that FSU has enough defense and defensive coaching to stop Nick Marshall and Tre Mason.
If you can, keep an eye on Auburn FB, #35, senior Jay Prosch. He is one of the best blocking FB’s I have ever seen.
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Ft. Morgan, AL
Vanderbilt vs. Houston
BBVA Compass Bowl
I’m going to make this quick. Houston has a weak running game and if Vandy can make them one dimensional with the pass, their defensive backs are capable of taking over the game.
James Franklin is coaching to impress the University of Texas and led the ‘Dores to their first ever season in which they beat Georgia, Florida and Tennessee.
Houston lost their 4 games this year by a total of 20 points. That’s about 3 TD’s from a perfect season.
Ft. Morgan, AL
Missouri vs. Oklahoma State
This is a tough pick. Missouri’s defense did not show up against Auburn and if they have similar problems tonight, Oklahoma State will score a lot of points.
On the other side of the ball Missouri is equally capable of scoring points and I particularly like the play of Mizzou RB Henry Josey and QB James Franklin.
Ok. State won 7 of their last 8 games and QB Chris Chelf is the key. His play this year has been streaky and on a downward trend lately.
I’m going with Mizzou having a slightly better defense and will say they get the win by 2 – 3 points.
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Ft. Morgan, AL
“I am the thief of the Highway…” Born for Adventure/Styx
Alabama vs. Oklahoma
As the sun sets on another football season for Alabama, Bob “Big Game” Stoops (who hasn’t won one lately) gets an opportunity to put his money where his mouth is tonight in N’awlins, Louisiana against Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide.
He is on record as saying that the SEC is overhyped, not the best football conference in America and is promoted by propaganda.
His first order of business will be to stop AJ McCarron, who has lost 1 road game in his 3 years as a starter. That’s 2 less than the number of National Championship rings he has. AJ is making his 40th start for Bama and has a few demons to exorcise. The loss to rival Auburn still stings (his only road loss in his Alabama career) and he is on record as saying that he will not participate in the Senior Bowl which is held in his hometown of Mobile. AJ has decided to let his body of college work do his talking for him. Can’t say that I blame him. When a QB is sporting 3 NC rings, 2 of them as a starter and holds practically every passing record and the highest winning percentage at the U of A, there isn’t much left to prove. It really doesn’t matter how high he can jump or how fast he can run the 40. Winning is what matters, but now I’ve allowed myself to get way off topic.
This isn’t just the AJ McCarron show. Alabama is playing to prove that they are the best team in the Country (unofficially) and are positioning themselves for a high preseason ranking going into next season. Coach Saban – always ahead of the curve – is preparing his team for next year’s playoff system. Underclassmen are playing to get a foothold on the depth chart. Some juniors are playing for team and a higher NFL draft grade. All of this spells bad news for the Oklahoma Sooners, who are still great in name only.
I like Bama by about 18 and look forward to writing the recap tomorrow.
Enjoy the game!
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Without going into a lengthy explanation, I would like to offer an apology to my readers for getting these predictions in so late.
However,, I do have something to report that may not mean anything to you but is monumental to me.
If you have followed my column all year you know that I started the season – same as last year – with an open competition between me and every National college football “expert” I could think of or locate on the internet. As the season unfolded most of those “experts” fell away, including Tony Barnhart (Mr. College Football), Brady Ackerman (SEC Talk Live), etc. In the last few weeks it came down to me (little ol’ me), Edward Aschoff (College Football writer for ESPN) and Chris Low (senior College football writer for ESPN). We entered Bowl season with me and Aschoff at 97-17 and Low at 94-20.
My predictions for yesterday’s game were Ole Miss over Ga. Tech, Miss. State over Rice and A&M over Duke. Low picked the same and Aschoff picked Duke to beat Miss. St., which means…drum roll please…as of right now I HAVE THE BEST RECORD OF ANY PUBLISHED SPORTSWRITER IN AMERICA FOR SEC PREDICTIONS and for those of you who know me personally and know that I am I very shy, soft spoken and have a hard time giving my opinion, you know that it is hard for me to put this in print.
Sista and Blaine, you two can stop laughing now about that last sentence!
This may only last for the next hour but as of right now I an #1 in the whole damn Country!!
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Let me get this in print (so to speak) before any more time has passed.
Today I had Georgia, LSU and Wisconsin.
“‘Well this could be the last time, this could be the last time, maybe the last time, I don’t know…” The Last Time/The Rolling Stones
Is Johnny Football going to leave us behind and go on to a big NFL payday and a city that he likes better than College Station? What do you think Ken Stabler would do? How about Namath or Jim McMahon?
I say he’s leaving and before he does I want to state very clearly that I love this guy and will miss him on Fall Saturdays. I’m not bothered even a little bit by his off the field antics because I’ve never seen him do anything that I haven’t done or dreamed of doing and his off-color, on the field behavior is far overshadowed by his talents as a QB, the likes of which haven’t been since since Michael Vick was a pup (should I have said freshman?).
Anyway, I think the kid is one of a kind and I’m going to miss watching him. Feel free to weigh in with your opinion.
So, that leads us to my predictions of the first 3 SEC teams to go bowling – Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Texas A&M and I want to point out that I have not taken a peek at the predictions of ESPN’s Edward Aschoff or Chris Low.
Ole Miss vs. Georgia Tech
Music City Bowl
My prediction comes down the belief that the defensive line for Ole Miss can stop Tech’s running game and also that I have been watching Tech play for more years that I care to admit and they always find a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Their most recent example of that was losing to Georgia a few weeks ago. I really don’t like to pick Ole Miss because Bo Wallace may play lights out or he may turn it over several times.
Keep an eye of GT’s best pass rusher, Jeremiah Attaochu.
Mississippi State vs. Rice
I really like Rice’s chances in this game and if MSU doesn’t show up at 100% the Owls rushing attack could take over. Rice is 10-3 on the season and in their only shot at an SEC team this year they gave Texas A&M all they could handle – in the first half. BTW, that was the half that Manziel didn’t play.
Dak Prescott is an emerging star.
It’s taking every ounce of integrity I have not to glance at Aschoff’s pick on this one because if I thought he was going with MSU I would pick Rice in a heartbeat. The other side of that coin is that if Aschoff picks Rice in the upset, and they pull it off, I’m going to be hard to live with.
Texas A&M vs. Duke
Peach Bowl (or at least it used to be until some corporate type decided to name it the Chick-Fil-A Bowl)
No team has been better coached this year than the Duke Blue Devils but in Johnny Football’s last game he will not be tamed. A&M receiver, Mike Evans, will meet his match in Ross Cockrell and Jeremy Cash in the Duke secondary but Duke does not have the pass rush to hurry Manziel and even though A&M’s defense ranks 112th in the nation in rushing defense, I still like the Aggies in this one.
In the next day or so we will cover Georgia, South Carolina, LSU, Missouri, Vandy, Alabama and the last BCS National Championship game with FSU and Auburn.
Nick O’Leary, Nick O’Leary and Nick O’Leary. That is my BCS NCG prediction in a nutshell.
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