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Enjoy your season!
Finally, it get’s interesting.
We, as a Conference, are in a place where Auburn, Ole Miss and Mississippi State are not only 3 of the best teams in the Conference but in the Country. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any weirder than Kentucky beating South Carolina, we have Mississippi State vs. Auburn possibly playing for the #1 ranking in the polls.
Georgia at Missouri
MALCOLM FREAKING MITCHELL!!! Back from 2 years of injuries the best WR/CB/KR/PR in the Nation will provide just enough spark to carry UGA to a win. The loss of Todd Gurley is immeasurable but Nick “Baby Gurley” Chubb is a more than adequate replacement and Jeremy Pruitt will finally get a full effort from his defense. Georgia wins in Columbia.
Ole Miss at Texas A&M
Yeah, yeah, yeah they beat Bama. I know, but if you think Bo Wallace can put together back to back pressure performances you think better of him than I do. A&M has little defense but they do have freshman DE Myles Garrett and Ole Miss doesn’t have much of a running game. I like A&M to score quickly, Ole Miss to rely on the passing game, Myles Garrett to make Bo Wallace revert to his real self and the Kyle Field crowd to provide support. Oddly, Ole Miss LT Laremy Tunsil is the most important factor in this game.
Alabama at Arkansas
Alabama finally gets to play an old school SEC team and will get more than a split millisecond to line up on defense. Arkansas has a great running game but Bama has a better defense and a way better offense. Watch ILB Reggie Ragland shut down the run and if former #5 RB Altee Tenpenny gets to play for Bama, remember that he is from Arkansas. Tenpenny has moved up the depth chart to the #3 RB in the Tide rotation.
UL Monroe at Kentucky
The Wildcats are getting fundamentally better and are no longer a joke. That’s Vandy.
Charleston Southern at Vanderbilt
Chattanooga at Tennessee
Because the Vols own that State! They are definitely the best team out of them, Vandy and UT Chattanooga. Sarcasm doesn’t come across well in print does it?
LSU at Florida
But who knows anymore with these two? I’ll be honest with you – I just deleted LSU and typed in Florida. I may change it again.
Auburn at Mississippi State
Benardrick McKinney is the best LB in the conference and he will stuff Cameron Artis-Payne all day. Might even hurt him. As usual my pick is drastically different than most and this week I think it has less to do with Dak Prescott than the MSU defense. Nick Marshall will have to have a career passing day, in terms of accuracy, to beat the Bulldogs.
Enjoy your weekend!
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Week 7 Preview
Ok. Well, this is awkward. If there are two things I’m not good at it’s talking to women and admitting I was wrong. They’re both so difficult. I guess that’s why I rarely do either. That being said…
I was wrong last week. I was wrong in so many ways. I was wrong like Nic Cage’s career choices were wrong after he did “Con Air.” I was wrong like Britney Spears’ hair dresser was wrong that one time when she was like, “Hey, let’s do a no guard up top because I’m pretty sure that Cone Head fad is totes gonna make a comeback.” I was wrong like Lloyd was wrong with he thought Samsonite was a last name in “Dumb and Dumber.” I was wrong, and man does it hurt to say so. For the second straight year I was 1-5 in Week 6, as I went 1-5 ATS and 2-4 SU. AND, my one win was with an underdog when Florida beat UT. That means I was dangerously close to getting shutout last week. What the shit is that?!
For the season, I’m now 45-10 SU and 26-22-1 ATS. Those numbers aren’t acceptable. Luckily for you, I’ve spent the last week preparing harder than ever trying to right the ship. I’m kidding. I’ve been drinking wine through a straw and listening to Coldplay songs while a muted replay of the Alabama-Ole Miss game plays on repeat in the background. Regardless, it’s time to get my shit together, and make a run at this in what looks to be another fantastic weekend of SEC football…
Charleston Southern (5-0) @ Vanderbilt (1-5(0-4)) – Nashville, TN 7:30 PM EST FSN
For those of you keeping score at home I have still yet to correctly pick a Vandy spread correctly this season. Luckily there isn’t a line in this game, so I can’t miss it. Last week’s 1-5 record for me was a real eye opener. When things like that happen you have one of two choices. One, prepare better and make rational predictions based off logic instead of emotion. Or two, spiral out of control. One is obviously the correct path. However, I’m still reeling after the Alabama loss and my first losing record for a weekend. I’ve been drinking til I can’t feel feelings and throwing darts at a picture of Bo Wallace. Why stop this tornado of self-destruction? Fuck you Vandy. I’m slamming on the gas and headed over the edge of reason “Thelma and Louise” style.
Score – Charleston Southern 21 Vandy 20
Booze – Mat shot. Or a Jersey Turnpike as it’s known in some circles. What’s that? It’s a shot that I’ve given to countless patrons at my bar when I’ve had enough of them, and Vandy I’ve had enough of you. Outside of a public make out session, it’s simply the worst thing you can have at any bar ever. It’s comprised of every liquid that’s been spilled into the bar mat that night. Remember making a “suicide” out of every fountain drink offered at self-serving beverage stations when you were a kid? It’s like that, but instead of orange soda and Mr. Pibb it’s Fireball and Bailey’s with a gaggle of other gross things you don’t want in your stomach. I’ll be sure to pour it where you can’t see it, and then call it a “Jersey Turnpike”, so the ingredients seem like a cool mystery and not something that’s gonna ruin your next 24 hours. Vandy, you’ve been the bane of my existence all season in regards to my picks. Vandy, I hope you don’t throw up from this unsportsmanlike vengeance I’m giving you. No. I hope you throw up all night, and get pink eye from sleeping on the toilet. That’s how upset I am with you. Oh by the way you’re welcome for actually allowing you to drink alcohol this week.
UL-Monroe (3-2) @ Kentuck y (4-1(2-1))-21.5 – Lexington, SC 12:00 PM EST SEC Network
The Warhawks from ULM come into Lexington to face one of the most surprising teams in the conference this year. While most of you were already in bed, or blackout drunk due to your team losing (that’s me!), Kentucky had a comeback for the ages last week against South Carolina. The Cats capped it all off with a Pick six to seal the victory with 2 minutes remaining. This team is a lot better than people are giving them credit for. They’re holding opponents to under 20 ppg and the secondary has 9 INT’s so far this year. Kentucky is a triple overtime loss, and delay of game penalty being called, away from being undefeated. They may be on let down alert after an emotional victory, but they’ll still get the W.
Score – Kentucky 34 ULM 14
Booze – Vodka and G2 Gatorade. Specifically, Smirnoff, glutamine, and Glacier Freeze G2. Man y’all need this. It’s time to recover and refuel Wildcats. Last week was a thrilling win against South Carolina, and next week you head to Death Valley to take on an LSU team that you’re better than right now. I know. Crazy. However, this week we need to take care of some things: Louisiana Monroe and our gameday drunk. So, grab an almost nice bottle of vodka because we still haven’t proven that we’re worth anything more than that yet, and two, a few packs of blue G2’s. It’ll help you recover and hydrate, and the electrolytes will help the vodka get in your bloodstream faster (that’s real trust me). That way we can speed along our process of getting drunk all the while getting hydrated for next week’s game against mighty LSU. Also, put in a scoop or 2 of glutamine to help rebuild your muscles faster. Just be sure to appease Matt Elam and tell him that it’s cake mix that he can make a delicious treat with because I’m sure he’s already pissed that he’s drinking diet Gatorade.
UT-Chattanooga (3-2) @ Tennessee (2-3 (0-2)) – Knoxville, TN 4:00 PM EST SEC Network
In honor of the battle of the Volunteer State I’ll ask someone to volunteer one damn reason I would want to watch this game. I’m waiting…
Tennessee looks to bounce back after an embarrassing home loss to Florida last week. They will also do so without their best offensive player, RB Jalen Hurd. Two weeks ago UT fans were riding high after a 3 point loss at UGA. They followed that by scoring 9 points and losing for the 10th straight year to Florida. That’s why you don’t count moral victories in the SEC y’all. Losing a close game on the road doesn’t mean you’re elite, nor does it guarantee you a win against a mediocre team the following week. It means you’re also a mediocre team and you’re only elite in regards to being overconfident.
Score – UT 41 UT- Chattanooga 17
Booze – A keg in the closet of Corona. Why? Because I’ve racked my brain trying to think of something the people of this state should be proud of, or something that makes this state relevant. It’s obviously not football. And, we have iPads now so who gives a shit about going to “See Rock City.” The Grand Ole Opry? No thanks, I’ll just wait til “Family Guy” does one of those Conway Twitty music video interjections that last way longer than they should because I imagine the two are the same. No, you get this drink because the only thing relevant I can think of when I think of Tennessee is Kenny Chesney. Settle down Vol fans because I know you’re insulted, but hear me out on why it’s so perfect. I mean Chesney is a huge Vol fan for one. Two, Coronas are fancier than the moonshine you’re used to drinking. And sure, UT and tequila make you crazy, but the symbolism of the keg in the closet is of the utmost importance. One, it’s one of Chesney’s best songs. Two, your team is still in a “closet” of sorts as they’re still a year away from being a legitimate contender in the SEC. And three, Chesney is definitely still in the closet. I mean there’s just nobody that wears that much Hollister clothing over the age of 35 who isn’t let’s be honest.
LSU (4-2 (0-2)) -1.5 @ Florida (3-1 (2-1)) – Gainesville, FL 7:30 PM EST SEC Network
This game has brought up a question for me that I’ve been trying to figure out all week. What is worse than a dumpster fire? Because that is literally the ONLY way to describe this game. The only thing I can come up with is mentally challenged midget wrestling, but I don’t think my editor will allow that to be published even though anyone involved in said event would probably be a more capable QB for either team.
Do you want to know how sad this game truly is? Follow me through this. The line for this game opened at LSU -1. That’s after LSU lost 41-7 to Auburn, AND reopened their QB competition because Brandon Harris couldn’t steal the job from a QB who had a POINT ONE QBR. On the other side, Florida finally replaced QB Jeff Driskel with Treon Harris after Harris led the Gators to a comeback victory at Tennessee last week. Then Harris celebrated like most college QB’s in Florida celebrate a big win – sexual assault! So, Harris was suspended indefinitely, and to make matters worse the 3rd string QB was arrested for getting into a fight. So, Driskell was awkwardly renamed the starter despite throwing for 3 picks and only 59 yards his last time out, and this time he doesn’t have a backup QB to bail him out. After all of that…After everything I just mentioned…the line in this game moved in LSU’s favor from -1 to -1.5. Jesus Christ, I may spend my afternoon watching a replay of the Vandy Spring game instead. This game will be comically bad. By the way the over under is set at 47. It could be set at 4.7, and I’d still probably take the under.
LSU is 24-1 under Les Miles following a loss. Also, Jeff Driskel is the worst quarterback I’ve ever seen in the SEC, and that includes when Alabama once had a kid named Brian Burgdorfh (I hope I spelled your name wrong Brian).
Score – LSU 13-7
Booze – 2 40’s of Old English malt liquor. Specifically duct taped to your hands for a good ol’ fashion game of Edward 40 hands. If you don’t know what I’m talking about then chances are you didn’t go to enough parties in college. Edward 40 hands is a game where you duct tape a 40 to each hand and have to drink all 80 ounces of awfulness until you are allowed to use your hands again. Because that’s what you do when you go to college in Milledgeville, GA and your other options for Friday night entertainment were the asbestos filled bowling alley or the movie theater that was still a full sequel behind on the Big Mama’s House movies. But, I digress. This is a dumb game that provides nothing more than cheap entertainment at the expense of those involved. Which means it’s exactly like this fucking football game. The Old English isn’t for any reason in particular other than to try and make this shit storm of mediocrity sound somewhat fancy and exciting. The good news is that Edward 40 hands will probably be more competitive, and that even with a 40 of OE attached to my hand I am 100% confident that I could throw better than any QB in this game.
Alabama (4-1 (1-1)) -8.5 @ Arkansas (3-2 (0-2)) – Fayetteville, AR 6:00 PM EST ESPN
Last week I was emphatic with my pick that Alabama would run Ole Miss out of the building. That obviously didn’t happen, as the Rebels beat the Tide for the first time in 10 years. However, what was lost in all the excitement of the upset was the fact that Bama didn’t play a very bad game they just simply didn’t execute. They also lost 3 starters during the game in addition to the 2 that were already absent. Anytime you enter the final minutes of a tie game without 5 starters and proceed to fumble on your own 25 you’re destined to leave town with a loss.
Arkansas comes into this matchup off a bye week and looking to end a 14 game conference losing streak. The Hogs have one of the best backfields in the country led by RB Alex Collins, and are averaging nearly 7 yds per rush. The offense has been fantastic averaging nearly 45 ppg. They will undoubtedly pose a very big threat to a Bama defense that was less than dominant a week ago. QB Brandon Allen has been deadly off play action passes, and has thrown only 1 INT this season.
The loss to Ole Miss was Bama’s 3rd consecutive loss to a ranked team. And, it marked only the 3rd time in 81 games under Nick Saban that Bama has led by 7 in the 4th quarter and lost. Numbers like that have led many to claim that the Bama dynasty has officially come to a close. What do I think? Calm your tits SEC. It’s still a very, very long season. Bama will come out more focused this week following the loss to the Rebels, and running offenses play into the strength of Saban’s defenses.
Score – Bama 31 Arkansas 20
Booze – Dos Equis. This is simple. Because, Dos Equis is Spanish for Two X’s, or in this case 2 strikes. As in one more, and you’re out Bama. Last week’s lost to Ole Miss is the earliest loss in a season for Bama since 2007. They’re not used to their backs being against a wall, but that’s where they are heading into the halfway point of the season. According to ESPN Bama has only a 4% chance of going undefeated the rest of the season which means they will have to pull off a crazy run that would rival most of the stories told in those Most Interesting Man in the world ads. That’s why this drink is perfect for this game. It’s also perfect because the dialogue and improbability of those ads are eerily similar to how Bret Beliema ended up with his wife. She is a 10. Beliema is a 4. The only 10 that pertains to Beliema is number of Baconators he once ate at a Wendy’s after a long night of drinking. Yet, just like the most interesting man in the world, his apparent charm and charisma created an absurdly memorable story, as he won her over while drunkenly teaching her to play black jack in Vegas 2 years ago (that’s true by the way). This led to one of the most romantic lines in non-cinema history when she said, “I don’t always chase chubbies, but when I do I prefer they live in Arkansas and make fart noises out of their armpits for entertainment.” I can only assume he won’t get as lucky this weekend.
UGA (4-1 (2-1)) -3 @ Missouri (4-1 (1-0)) – Columbia, MO 12:00 PM EST CBS
For the past few weeks I’ve worked tirelessly to get my article in by Thursday morning. That means that most Tuesday and Wednesday nights were spent burning the midnight adderall oil while I looked at statistic after statistic, so I looked like I knew what I was talking about come Saturday. However, this week I decided to be lazy, and thank God I did because late Thursday afternoon it was announced that the best player in the country would be ruled ineligible for this game.
That’s right; UGA RB Todd Gurley was ruled ineligible by the NCAA because he pocketed roughly $400 from selling his own autographs. $400 y’all. The University of Georgia has made a minimum 1,000 times more than that off of Gurley since he’s been there through ticket sales, jersey sales, etc. However, he was suspended today for “receiving monetary benefits because of his likeness.” In laymen’s terms he was earning money for himself because of…himself. Wow. So, let’s get this straight y’all. Laundering nearly $200k for a QB through his father’s church – no suspension for $cam Newton. Alleged rape and stealing from Publix because you didn’t want to wait in line at Joe’s Crab Shack for dinner – no suspension for Rapeist Winston. But, if you’re a kid with no prior history of any kind of wrongdoing and you accept what would equate to be only a portion of your rent payment then you are suspended for a minimum of one game. Wow. Fuck you NCAA.
In regards to the game, without Gurley this got a little more difficult to pick. He did account for over 35% of UGA’s total offense, AND his two backups are also out. It also doesn’t make it any easier that Mizzou is coming off a bye, and UGA QB Hutson Mason is averaging only 137 ypg through the air. Lastly, this game is being played on the road, and UGA is only 2-5 in their last 7 games played away from Sanford Stadium. Even with all those stats there’s still one that jumps out to me, and that’s the fact that even with the loss of Gurley the Vegas line on this game didn’t budge from the Dawgs being a 3 point favorite. I think UGA will rally as a team, and get a huge offensive boost from the return of WR’s Justin Scott-Wesley and Malcolm Mitchell. Also, get to know the name Nick Chubb, because he’s going to be a star once he’s out of Gurley’s enormous shadow.
Score – UGA 34 Mizzou 28
Booze – Skinny Margarita. Because much like this game this beverage is missing a very key ingredient. I was gonna give you a virgin daiquiri for the same reason, but I’ve met too many girls from both schools and “virgin” is the last thing I think of from the co-eds of either university. The Skinny margarita was made up a few years ago when a few girls finally decided to conquer eating disorders by just creatively cancelling out calories in their favorite things. The margarita for example includes a lot of unnecessary calories in the sour mix, so we should just take that part out and that way we don’t have to do Zumba before girls night at your favorite almost authentic Tex-Mex themed chain restaurant. Brilliant! This is perfect for UGA fans because it continues our theme of Gurley/ Girly drinks. It’s also perfect for Mizzou fans, as they will want to watch the calories because they have a long day of sports induced drinking ahead of them considering that the Cardinals and Royals both play after the Tigers.
Ole Miss (5-0 (2-0)) @ Texas A&M (5-1 (2-1)) -2.5 – College Station, TX 9:00 PM EST ESPN
Ole Miss doesn’t have much time to celebrate their biggest win in school history last week, as they head to College Station to play a team they’ve never beaten in 6 tries. The Rebels pulled off a huge upset last week at home against Alabama, and looked great in every phase of the game. Bo Wallace accounted for 3 TD’s, the defense held Alabama to only 1 offensive TD, and special teams forced a fumble that led to the game winning TD late in the 4th quarter. A&M is on the polar opposite end of that spectrum, as they enter this matchup after being embarrassed against Miss St last week.
This is a very interesting matchup because of how different each team is. One team is coming off a huge win and one a terrible loss. One team leads the SEC in every offensive category while the other has the stingiest D in the conference giving up the least amount of ypg and ppg. The one thing they do have in common is that both teams have a wealth of talent and playmakers that make this game very tough to predict.
All week I’ve had two primary thoughts about this matchup. One, Ole Miss continued their celebration well into the week and it’s hard for a team to follow a victory like that and not have an emotional letdown after everyone has patted you on the back all week. Two, A&M’s offense got exposed last week against a team that was ranked last in pass defense in the SEC. However, they were also without their top WR and had 9 drops against MSU. I really don’t know if Ole Miss will be focused this week following the historic win a week ago. I also hate having to trust Bo Wallace. There are pyramid schemes that are more trustworthy than Bo Wallace. However, Ole Miss’ defense, especially their secondary, is legit, and Kenny Hill has looked average at best in his last two SEC games completing only 54% of his passes.
Score – Ole Miss 35 A&M 34
Score – Woodford Reserve and Coke. Last week an Ole Miss friend of mine chastised me for my pick and my not so subtle ignorance towards the Rebels. However, what he was most upset about was the fact that I paired a top shelf bourbon with the likes of Coke Zero. Well, you were right sir, and I was wrong on so so so many accounts. That being said, this week I’m trying to remedy that booze selection by calling for an actual appropriate pairing. Now, don’t get crazy y’all. This is in no way a gesture of sportsmanship, as I am still bitter that a team led by Bo Wallace beat my Crimson Tide. This is merely the right choice. This is still a marquee game that calls for a marquee drink. However, most importantly it calls for a repeat performance or a shampoo effect if you will. What better way to continue the drunken highs of a week ago than by going to the well on short rest to get you right back in the same groove. So, double down on that giant bottle of Woodford, and see if the Rebs can’t shock the world two weeks in a row. Just make sure you don’t tell Johnny Manziel you brought a bunch of coke to the party because he’ll start rolling up dollar bills faster than Rick James at a party with Charlie Murphy.
Auburn (5-0 (2-0)) -3 @ Miss St (5-0 (2-0)) – Starkville, MS 3:30 PM EST CBS
Jesus the SEC West is a nightmare this year. We’re barely at the halfway point of the year and have yet another Top 10 matchup. This week the eyes of the nation will be on Starkville, Mississippi (God help us), as the Auburn Tigers come to town. This game offers one of the best QB matchups in the SEC. For Miss St you have a QB with one of the most unique names in college football. And, for Auburn you have a QB who can’t spell the word “Dak”, “unique”, or a single word in that last sentence.
For two consecutive weeks, I’ve gone against my better judgment and picked against Mississippi State. And, for two consecutive weeks the Bulldogs have proved me wrong. In that same time span MSU has gone from being unranked to being ranked 3rd in the country with a Heisman leading candidate at QB. Dak Prescott has been sensational for MSU accounting for 20 TD’s while the offense has gained over 500 yards in every game this season. The defense has been legit as well with a dominating front 7 that is holding opponents to under 100 ypg rushing and pressured Kenny Hill into an uncharacteristic 3 INT’s a week ago.
Last week I went with a hunch and picked LSU to upset Auburn on the road. Holy shit, that was dumb. Auburn embarrassed LSU 41-7 while I sat in a corner and made spit bubbles into my vodka soda questioning everything I believed in. Auburn is the best team in the country right now plain and simple. They are still nearly unstoppable on offense averaging almost 500 ypg, but their defense has truly been one of the most underrated units in the country so far this season. They rank 9th in scoring D at 14 ppg and 14th in total D giving up just over 300 ypg. However, the scariest stat from this D is that in SEC play they are allowing only 8.8% of 3rd down conversions, and haven’t allowed a single conversion in 18 straight attempts. That’s stupid. Like Nick Marshall’s grasp of the English language level stupid.
Score – Auburn 37 Miss St 31
Booze – Vodka Redbull. Specifically Grey Goose Vodka…with a roofie. Let me explain. These are two of the most high-powered offenses in the country led by two offensive geniuses in Dan Mullen and Gus Mahlzahan. The only person that’s wants to go faster than these two teams is Ricky Bobby. Like a 15 year old getting to 2nd base for the first time they’re fast paced and explosive when you least expect it. That’s what the Vodka Red Bull is for. And, yes break out the Grey Goose because this is as top shelf as it’s gonna get in the SEC this year. Hell, go ahead and my that 20 oz Red Bull that’s usually reserved for finals week and meth addicts looking for a fix. However, just know that no matter how amped up you are during this 60 minute wave of adrenaline and emotion one of these teams will wake up tomorrow with a dizzying headache. That’s what the roofie is for. Because one of these fanbases is going to wake up Sunday in a panic asking, “What happened last night? Was that real? Did we really lose that game? Are we really not undefeated anymore?” And the answer will be yes because one of you wasn’t ready to take it to the next level.
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Dyke L. Marler
September 20, 2014
“He just grinned and shook my hand, no was was all he said…” The Band/The Weight
The question was “do you think Florida can beat Alabama in Tuscaloosa and Mississippi State can beat LSU in Baton Rouge?.” Some people will fall for anything.
Alabama vs Florida
This game is going to be close from start to finish Bama fans so hold onto your Houndstooth hats. This won’t be the blowout you’ve become accustomed to.
Blake Sims will be tested and Amari Cooper will be matched against Vernon Hargreaves III so this game will come down to the superior running game of Alabama. If the Gators can get more than 2 turnovers inside the 50 yard line, they can pull the upset.
Arkansas vs. Northern Illinois
If you like 1950’s 3 yards and a cloud of dust, this game is for you. These two teams run the football but Arkansas plays at home and will eventually wear down the Huskies.
Georgia vs. Troy
Georgia is quickly running out of personnel in the defensive secondary but Troy doesn’t have enough weapons to capitalize. Todd Gurley and a never ending supply of running backs lead the Dawgs to an easy win.
LSU vs. Mississippi State
Yes MSU is improved and yes they have a chance to pull the upset. Baton Rouge, Saturday night, first hint of fall in the air (or is that Bourbon?) and that weird voodoo that seems to effect every opponent except Alabama is all that matters. LSU’s ground game is about to get punishing and the defense is rugged.
Missouri vs Indiana
Maty Mauk and the Mizzou defense make this a total mismatch.
Vanderbilt vs. South Carolina
After pulling a stunning upset of Georgia last week, Carolina travels to Nashville to play a Vandy team that is one of the worst in the Country. They beat UMASS last week on a missed FG that, if spotted any closer to the goal line, would’ve been a touchdown. Any high school sophomore could’ve made that kick.
SMU vs. Texas A&M
SMU has the worst defense in the Country and compliments that humility with an offense that has scored 6 points all year. This will be ugly and afterwards we can expect to hear more accusations of cheating by Eric Dickerson which is roughly equivalent to Hitler accusing Sweden of war crimes.
Enjoy your weekend!
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Dyke L. Marler
September 18, 2014
Auburn at Kansas State
Auburn goes to Manhattan, KS tonight to play a rare September game on the road in the hostile confines of Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium (yes, that was a joke).
The Tigers lead the Nation in rushing offense at 328 ypg and although most have this game pegged as a marquee matchup of evenly matched teams, I like Auburn decisively. Auburn QB Nick Marshall is completing only 50% of his passes in 2014 but tonight sees the return of his best big play threat in WR Sammie Coates. RB Cameron Artis-Payne has dropped 10 pounds and still has the strength to run between the tackles but is a little more elusive in the open field. RB Corey Grant provides speed to the corner and I believe Auburn will pound KSU with a talented offensive line and ground game and the quick strike ability of Nick Marshall and a receiving corp that is deeper than the average fan realizes.
The possibility of an upset for KSU comes in QB Jake Waters who, last week, led a comeback victory against Iowa State with 91 seconds remaining. He passed for 239 yards and ran for 138 yards with 2 TD’s. He will be passing against a defensive secondary that is ranked 96th in the Country and will be missing starting safety Jermaine Whitehead who, I’ve been telling you for 3 years, is hands down the worst DB in the SEC. The Tigers have already lost starting CB Robinson Therezie for the season.Share on Facebook
“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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