All season long, as we drink in whatever gets set in front of us, we'll be picking the SEC games each week in various forms. I will be going against the spread (and expect to suffer brutally), Peter Venkman will face off against a most beastly competitor, who is also an actual beast and goes by the name Mr. Blue, and Cameron Poe will challenge ESPN.com blogger Chris Low in a challenge we call Poe Versus Low (note: Chris Low has no idea he is being challenged, so no nasty emails when he is defeated by the former Green Beret).
Additionally, in order to not deprive you of the entertainment of the three of us tearing each other apart, we will attempt to pick the winners from a rotation of conference games each week. Most likely, it will be ones we know very little about, like the Sun Belt, WAC, Mountain West, or even the ACC, where every team will finish 4-4 and make it impossible to get more than three games right.
These picks should give you all the evidence you really need to remind yourself none of us has the slightest damn clue what we're talking about.
DOUBLE YOUR PAYCHECK*
(Using the Las Vegas Hilton line, or if not listed there, some line found on a site where degenerates are able to freely gamble on the Pro Bowl)
Mississippi State (-30) at Memphis
30 points? Surely you jest. A team replacing its first-round draft pick left tackle, best two linebacker, and best defensive lineman can't be that loaded. I mean, it's....wait, what? Oh. I see. Well then. Apparently, Memphis was 119th in points scored and 117th in points allowed in last season. And they lost their last nine games. YIKES. As a general rule, I tend to shy away from teams of which I cannot name a single player and who generally stink. I'll take State and I already hate the late Memphis touchdown that's going to screw me here.
Kentucky (-18) at Western Kentucky (Nashville)
If you're in Nashville and need tickets, you can still find one for a friend, another friend, one more friend, eight more after that, 12 more after that, and 200 of those twelve friends' closest friends. I don't even know if Kentucky can score 18 points, but I'm taking that chance.
Utah State at Auburn (-22)
I think Auburn will have a season much like 2009. Terrible quarterback made effective by Gus Malzahn, good running game, and a defense that drifts in and out of effectiveness. One of the things they did do consistently well that year was beat the holy hell out of bad teams. Louisiana Tech (37-13), Mississippi State (49-24), Ball State (54-30), and Furman (63-31). Is Utah State a bad team? /checks last year INDEED THEY ARE. I'll take Auburn and remain scared of the backdoor cover.
Kent State at Alabama (-38)
I'd probably take it as high as -44, but -45 would be out of the questions. I truly have no idea what I'm doing.
BYU at Ole Miss (+3)
Experience has taught me that until you see Ole Miss do something the complete opposite of what they always do, don't ever believe any of the good news you've heard. All summer long and in August practice, we heard how much faster the team was, particularly the defense. That there was a renewed dedication and effort to never let what happened last year happen again. It all sounds great, and I hope to little tiny baby Jesus in his manger with his Baby Einstein that it proves to be true, but until they show some ability to not give up multiple hundreds of yards passing and make open-field tackles (wait, no, nevermind, that will never happen ever, no matter how good they are), I cannot cast my lot with them.
The good news for Ole Miss, and should help in keeping it close, is that the heat index should be bouncing around 110 to 115, which could only be simulated by BYU if Bronco Mendenhall required all his players to sit in front of their ovens as it slowly cooked a pot roast for four hours. However, Cougars minus the points.
East Carolina at South Carolina (-20.5)
A Ruffin McNeill defense matching wits with a Steve Spurrier offense? Blake Mitchell could be quarterbacking the Gamecocks and I'd take South Carolina at any spread.
Montana at Tennessee (-28)
SNEAKY COVER OF THE WEEK SPECIAL. OR NOT. NO IDEA. I like the idea of a solid I-AA program taking on a team that wasn't that good last year and doesn't know a damn thing about their opponent. Give me the points.
Missouri State at Arkansas (-39.5)
One thing is for certain, Bobby Petrino will not have a bunch of assholes from Missourah keep his fine-tuned offense from scoring half a hundred. Or hell, even a hundred. Razorbacks it shall be.
Florida Atlantic at Florida (-35)
/check to see if John Brantley will play
/learns he will
I'll take all the points, thank you very much.
Elon at Vanderbilt (-11)
Uncle Johnathan's corn cob pipe! Is Vanderbilt really in a state in which they are only favored by 11 over Elon? With terrific caution, I'm taking Vandy.
Also, no matter the state of Commodore football, they'll beat Ole Miss or make it excruciatingly painful for Ole Miss to win.
Oregon at LSU (+3.5) (Dallas)
Is there any doubt Jarrett Lee will stink for 58 minutes, put together the greatest two-minute drill college football has ever seen, and lead LSU to a last-second win? If you have that doubt, you are a FOOL. Until the Les Miles Experience fully derails and kills everyone on board and all of those in the neighboring towns, you never turn your back on it. Tigers and the points.
Boise State at Georgia (+3) (Atlanta)
Georgia's offense without A.J. Green last season (not-counting crappy non-conference game): 14 PPG. Georgia's offense with A.J. Green last season (not-counting crappy non-conference game and bowl game disaster): 37 PPG. So no A.J. Green this year, plus like one running back total, who is also a true freshman, a shaky offensive line, and Mark Richt manning the controls.
Boise has a better coach, a more experienced and successful quarterback, and an offense that slowly and steadily carves people up. So there's no reason to take Georgia in this one, which means that is why I have to take Georgia and the points. Georgia thrives on no expectations, but the moment you pay attention to them, bed-shitting commences, which is why they'll go out next week and lose 34-3 to South Carolina.
*You will NOT double your paycheck
MAN AGAINST BEAST
Mr. Blue selects his winners by wolfing down the most attractive piece of two pieces of meat designated as a specific team in each game. He then eats the other piece of meat as well because he is a dog and will eat anything you put in front of him.
POE VERSUS LOW
Mississippi State v. Memphis
The Liberty Bowl is one of the few places that is more miserable than Vanderbilt Stadium. I went to one game at the stadium and vowed never to return. I don't really like Mississippi State fans, but I pity them for having to go to this game. As for the game, I expect State to beat the shit out of Memphis. (42-10 State)
Auburn v. Utah State
Auburn kicks off their national title defense at 11:00 am CST. The temperature will be 40,000 degrees. It will be so hot that that Auburn fans will become delusional. Instead of a pond with palm trees in the middle of the desert, Auburn fans' oasis will be that Barrett Trotter looks like Cam Newton. Against Utah State, Trotter will be enough. (35-14 Auburn)
Alabama v. Kent State
I know two things about Kent State: 1) There was an incident with the National Guard. 2) Nick Saban went to college there. I think Nick will be nice to his alma mater. (31-7 Bama)
Ole Miss v. BYU
This games means everything for Ole Miss. If they win, I see a 6-6 season and a trip to the BBVA Compass Bowl. If they lose, I see four wins and a trip for Nutt to the unemployment line. Call me crazy, but I like the Rebs in a thriller. (39-38 Rebs)
Tennessee v. Montana
The biggest story out of Tennessee this week was that Derek Dooley banned his mother from appearing on the Finebaum show. This tells me that this isn't a very big game. 28-12 vols
South Carolina v. East Carolina
I hear the Ol'Ball Coach is saying that he is going to bench the my main man, Stephen Garcia, in favor of Connor Shaw. Did he forget what happened in last year's Auburn game? I don't think it will matter in this games as ECU's coach has been more worried about his own weight loss than than this game. (27-10 Cocks)
Arkansas v. Missouri State
Blah. . . (49-6 Hogs)
Florida v. Florida Atlantic
Blah . . . (21-10 Gators)
Elon v. Vandy
Blah. (9-7 Vandy)
Georgia v. Boise
I hope I'm wrong about this, but I think Boise is going to take down Georgia. The reason I hope Georgia wins has nothing to do with avoiding endless talk about how Boise deserves a shot at the national championship because they beat a mediocre SEC team. My worry has to do with the fact that I am scared shitless about what Georgia could become if they hired a real coach.
I have done no research on this Boise team, but I know what happened the last few times UGA messed with their uniforms. If I was Georgia's athletic director, you would have to shove bamboo shoots under my fingernails before I would agree to change the uniforms again. (31-28 Boise)
LSU v. Oregon
I'm delighted by the return of Jarrett Lee. History will be made on Saturday night in the Big D. He will become the first quarterback to throw two interceptions that are returned for touchdowns and, in the same game, lead his team on a last minute 99 yard game winning touchdown drive. (24-21 LSU)
KING OF THE RING
Bowling Green at Idaho
Gray: Idaho - I feel confident Dennis Erickson left that place in as poor of shape as he found it, but Bowling Green loses all points for deciding to play a game at Idaho
Venkman: Bowling Green - I like the color green
Poe: Bowling Green
Utah State at Auburn
Venkman: Auburn - Look for B. Trotts to throw two of his five TDs on the year in this game
San Jose St. at Stanford
Gray: Stanford - ESPN is a five touchdown performance away from moving into Andrew Luck's apartment
Venkman: Stanford - I’ve heard Stanford’s QB craps gold bricks and farts cinnamon dust
Fresno St at California
Gray: Cal - Let us remember Fresno was PUMMELED by a horrid 4-8 Ole Miss team last year
Venkman: Cal - The last time I watched Fresno State play on TV, Trent Dilfer was under center
Ohio at New Mexico State
Gray: Ohio - As long as they are not blinded by the sights of the Land of Enchantment
Venkman: Ohio - Used Mr. Blue's secret method and picked the team nearest the most attractive meat
LA Tech at Southern Miss
Gray: Southern Miss - You don't come into The Rock and push the Golden Eagles around
Venkman: Southern Miss - Anyone need a good laugh?
Poe: Southern Miss
Colorado at Hawaii
Gray: Hawaii - Now that they're a West Coast school, there's no way Colorado can avoid being seduced by the tasty waves (/assumes everyone who lives on the West Coast surfs)
Venkman: Hawaii - My latest movie pitch: Mad Max 4: Rainbow Road Warriors starring Rupert Everett