Friday, September 18, 2009

SEC Picks of Week 3

Made while having an airing of grievances with my fantasy football team…

Last week: 5-1
Season: 16-2 (.889)

Louisville at Kentucky

I’ll just go ahead and get it out of the way and tell you that I know nothing about this game. I’m pretty sure Louisville still stinks, although not as badly as they did, and Kentucky is Kentucky, although a more improved version of Kentucky. It’s hard to know much when the two teams have defeated Indiana State and Miami (OH). What I can tell you based in facts is that there was a time Rich Brooks could not beat Louisville, but in the last two years he has. This is a weird game. We should move on. Brooks and the Wildcats make it three straight over the Cardinals.

Directional School at Alabama
The good news for North Texas is that they’ve already equaled their win total (one) from last season. The bad news is that they may not have one total yard of offense on Saturday. Just kidding. But I’m serious. However, the line of North Texas (+38) looks nice only because Alabama’s offense isn’t that great and, even though I claimed there would be no gambling information mentioned here, the Tide is just 10-22-2 against the spread in their last 34 home games. And yes, I am aware that last sentence made me sound like a gambling degenerate.

But I do have a few questions about this game. One, I don’t know how much money North Texas is getting for making the trip to Tuscaloosa (I’m assuming in the $1 million range), but what percentage of their athletic budget is made up of that money? 10%? 20%? 58%? Someone with research ability needs to find out. Two, how long could Nick Saban’s annual salary (roughly $4 million) fund the North Texas athletic department? 6 months? 6 years? And finally, I don’t really know where I was going with any of this. Just trying to make conversation.

Tennessee at Florida

The day of reckoning has arrived for Lane Kiffin, who spent a good chunk of the offseason yammering about singing Rocky Top in the Swamp after a Tennessee win, accusing Urban Meyer of a recruiting violation and removing all humility from his soul. In other words, he spent it poking a sleeping Kodiak bear who, in addition to razor sharp claws and teeth, is also armed with Tomahawk missiles, an arsenal of F5 tornados and a fire-breathing, giant dragon. And that’s just on offense.

Did no one tell Kiffin that his best returning quarterback was Jonathan Crompton? Surely he knew, right? I mean, you wouldn’t run around saying all the stuff he said if he knew unless HE IS COMPLETELY IN OVER HIS HEAD. I said the Lane Kiffin era was going to be a spectacular train wreck and so far it’s right on pace. Unfortunately, it really does look like it’s headed to an end midway through the 2010 season as predicted.

And this just in to Belly of the Beast. It’s a reenactment of a phone call placed earlier today by Florida coach Urban Meyer to Lane Kiffin. Meyer is played by Tom Cruise and Kiffin by an unknown and possibly uncredited Asian actor. And Matthew McConaughey represents the media and its unhealthy man-lust for Urban Meyer.


Well then, I’ll take Florida.

Former Directional School at LSU

The second Sun Belt team of the week placed on the sacrificial altar for the SEC. And it will be 0-2 for the week.

Mississippi State at Vanderbilt

In all seriousness, State might not win another game. Their remaining schedule is a nightmare, made even worse if you’re not very good, which State isn’t. If they lose this game, I can absolutely see them finishing 1-11. If they win, maybe 3-9, more likely 2-10. Hard to believe that the third game of the year for State is a must-win if they want to avoid a totally embarrassing season, but it is. Unfortunately, as long as Tyson Lee and/or Chris Relf are prominently involved in the offense, I don’t think they’ll be able to beat any SEC team. SEC defenses are always some of the better ones in the country (right now, eight teams rank in the top 50 in total defense) and if your offense or the players running that offense stink, you’re not going anywhere. However, the good news for State fans (as if they care what I think) is that I do foresee them beating Middle Tennessee State later this year.

Oceanic Directional School (I think it works) at South Carolina
Was Spurrier found face down in a drain pool last weekend? I hope someone picked him up.

Directional I-AA School at Ole Miss
What an exciting home opener. Here’s a list of all the SEC’s home openers:

Miami (OH) (Kentucky)
Jackson State (Mississippi State)
Western Kentucky (Tennessee)
Charleston Southern (Florida)
Louisiana Tech (Auburn)
Missouri State (Arkansas)
Western Carolina (Vanderbilt)
Florida International (Alabama)
Vanderbilt (LSU)
South Carolina (Georgia)
Florida Atlantic (South Carolina)

Compelling and rich.

Georgia at Arkansas
Everyone is all on board with an Arkansas win here and I’m not sure it’s going to be that simple. Yes, Georgia’s defense appears to suck. Yes, Georgia’s offense appears to suck. And yes, this is the third straight highly competitive game for Georgia. But, let’s look at Arkansas. If you recall, their defense was awful last year, and because they haven’t played anyone yet we don’t know what they’ve got there. Two, we don’t know what Ryan Mallett brings to the table when not playing in Big Ten games (his state line from Michigan: 61 of 141 (43.3%), 892 yds, 7 TD, 5 INT). And three, did I mention how bad Arkansas was on defense last year?

Now, Arkansas may come out in this game and blow Georgia away and answer all of my questions and doubts I have about them. But, until I see some proof, and Missouri State is not proof, I’m not fully buying into the hype surrounding an Arkansas transformation. I’m taking Georgia here and when Arkansas hangs 50 on them, please be sure to remind me of my stupidity on Monday.

West Virginia at Auburn

I just realized there’s a pretty good chance Auburn could start out the year 5-0, which would double Gene Chizik’s career win total coming into this season. In the next two weeks, they play Ball State and Tennessee, one of which is a certain win and the other could be called a probable win. I know nothing of West Virginia other than moonshine, crystal meth and no black people live in that state (except those on the UWV sports teams), but I am quite certain their football team is going to be thrashed on Saturday.

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