Thursday, November 3, 2011

SEC Game of the Century? We mean it!

At my old job at the News-Gazette, we used to joke about that week's big game in the SEC as the "Game of the Century of the Week." Always seems like there's on each week -- Auburn-LSU, Florida-South Carolina, Tennessee-Alabama, et al -- that's larger than life; the loser has to live with finishing the season in the Peach Bowl or something.
Saturday night's LSU-Alabama game fits the bill. SEC Game of the Century, and 'das it.

Number One vs. Number Two. The defacto "playoff" people are calling this a BCS title game national semifinal. I say they're probably right, having seen them both play. Come Saturday night, if this game is won by more than 7 points, then somebody got a defensive or return touchdown.

Neither team is going to be able to move the ball on the ground, there's just too many hungry wolves on those defenses. Whoever passes the ball the most effectively is going to win, which in the SEC is a scary thing; when you throw the ball, three things can happen. Two of them are bad. I really hope this doesn't come down to the showdown of Jordan Lee vs. A.J. McCarron, I have to go with McCarron, although I expect Les Miles to sell a little more of his soul (Does he have any of it left?) and work Jordan Jefferson in there, which throws this thing even more askew.

My prediction? Since I figure Alabama (-4.5) will win this matchup like 53% of the time, I'll take the home team. Crimson Tide by 3. More picks to come, by the way. But I have to approach what will happen after this week.

Saturday's winner is definitely in the driver's seat for a shot to win it all. Their opponent? Oklahoma State? Stanford? What if they slip, to say Oklahoma or Oregon. Who does that leave? Boise State? Of course it does. And of course they're gonna get screwed and the voters would put Saturday's loser back in it over them (even though I thought the powers that be added a rule that a team that didn't win its division couldn't play for the BCS title).

So, without the "plus-one" game that college football could use more than decent compliance, do you think Boise State wishes it was in the Big East right this moment? Speaking of which, let me get this straight: it's completely dumb for the Bluefielders to go to the Big East, but it's okay for West Virginia to make three 2,000-mile trips to Big 12 schools a year?

Put Boise in the Big East. TCU's in the Big 12. Utah made it to the Pac-12. Are there any other teams with real "BCS-buster" aspirations not in a BCS conference now? BYU? Puh-leeze. This round of conference realignment fixes a lot of ills. (Add the plus one, and it's the perfect game.)

But, just to show that perfect is an abstract concept, here's some more picks for the weekend:

Tulsa at UCF (-1): Really? Knights favored? We've been as consistent as wet paint. Tulsa has three losses. To Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Boise State. Golden Hurricane by 4 in "I Believe, But Just Not Enough" Upset Special.

Florida State (-15) at Boston College: 'Noles have been inconsistent too, but Eagles could conceivably be 2-10 at the end. 'Noles by 17.

Vandy at UF (-11): Don't be surprised if Commodores make Gators fans really nervous, or even win. Fighting Muschamps by 7.

South Carolina at Arkansas (-4.5): The SEC B-game of the week, and it's a bitch, too. Hogs by 1.

 Michigan (-3.5) at Iowa: Iowa's tough at home. With that said, Wolverines by 3 Denard Robinson big plays.

 Cincinnati (-3) at Pittsburgh: A coach who I worked with in Kissimmee has a son (Pat Lambert) at Cincy. I'm still not allowed to pick against them and I don't even work there anymore. Bearcats by 6.

 The paid professionals:

Miami at KC (-5.5): Wanna make money at this racket? Here's an easy tip: pick these Dolphins to lose every week. Chiefs by 7.

Tampa at N'awlins (-8): Saints score 62, then lose to St. Louis. Time to go back to the other side of the inconsistent side, right on schedule. N'awlins by 11.

NY Jets at Buffalo (-1.5): A game primed for unscripted goofy-ness. I don't feel like reading the script. Bills by 3.

Green Bay (-5.5) at San Diego: Chargers are still really good when they play well, they're at home, a place way in the corner of the country, and the Packers are primed to let a little air out of the balloon. Call me nuts, but Bolts by 3 in "Hey, the Rams won last week" Upset Special.

Baltimore at Pittsburgh (-3.5): What do the Steelers have left after last week's emotional win over the Patriots? Enough to beat a decent Ravens team, but some weeks they're world beaters in purple. When they're bad they can't beat an egg, but I'll take a flier. Quoth the Ravens, win by 4.

Chicago at Philadelphia (-8): Eagles are rolling, but an eight-point fave? Um, whatever. Birds by 7.

If you want to go head-to-head with me, shoot me an email. If you beat me, I'll holla at'chya boy in the blog next week.

Thought for the Day: Lucky rabbit's foot -- wasn't so lucky for the rabbit, was it?

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