My week Nine Picks and Viewer Guide
The picks continue to fight the good fight and meet with much resistance.
After nailing three of the five SEC upsets last week -- Mizzou on the money line bet to win, Vandy against Georgia and Auburn on the road at Texas A&M -- plus missing on South Carolina at Tennessee despite saying for the two weeks prior that Tennesee was the bet before switching because I bought into the Gamecocks destruction of an awful Arkansas team -- I felt pretty good about things.
We were 4-2 rolling into LSU at Ole Miss and my most confident pick all weekend was LSU -8 and the over at 59.5.
Then LSU's offense completely vanished, killing me on the pick and on the over.
A double loss in a game which killed the weekend, knocking me back to 4-4.
So now we're sitting at 24-25 and what looked like a great weekend turned into a total push.
But, never fear, like Sisyphus we keep pushing that great betting boulder up the hill.
Kentucky at Mississippi State -10
Nobody circles the wagons and beats bad football teams better than Dan Mullen.
This is the last game that Mississippi State wins all season and Mullen will win big to take the Bulldogs to 4-3 and instill false optimism in Bulldog faithful.
Because that's what Dan Mullen does.
"Hey," Mississippi State fans will all think, "maybe we aren't that bad after all!"
Nope, you're that bad.
By the way, need a sign that your program isn't really clicking on all cylinders?
You have a bye week before Kentucky. (I know, I know, it's a Thursday night game)
This will be the saddest SEC game of the year until Mississippi State and Arkansas play on November 23rd in Little Rock. Get your tickets now!
Vanderbilt +18 at Texas A&M
Here's the deal, Texas A&M can't stop anyone on defense.
Plus, Johnny Manziel is playing hurt.
What does that all mean?
Eighteen is way too many points to give to Vandy here.
My biggest concern on the Commodore side is that defensive coordinator Bob Shoop, while very good against pro style offenses, has not done well stopping spread offenses this year. But I think that will be neutralized this week because Manziel won't be scrambling that much. Indeed, he hasn't run that much this year at all.
So take the Dores even with uncertainty at quarterback.
And if you want a play that could really pay off, take the Dores +600 on the moneyline.
Tennessee +28.5 at Alabama
Derek Dooley lost three consecutive games against Alabama by 31 points. All of them were sound beatings, but none of them were truly humiliating defeats.
Hence my Nick Saban as a vampire theory, he wanted to take just enough blood from Dooley to keep him around as long as possible.
Thankfully, Derek Dooley is now gone.
The last two games Tennessee's played have been the best the Vols have looked since 2009, the year Alabama escaped with a miraculous 12-10 victory.
Tennessee's not great, but the Vols have markedly improved since early in the season.
Bama wins by three touchdowns, but Tennessee covers.
(By the way, my co-hosts on 3HL have convinced me to make this pick. If it's wrong, it's on Blaine and Brent too).
South Carolina at Mizzou -2.5
And Maty Mauk is going to celebrate Mizzou winning the SEC East by getting arrested with three girls on the back of his scooter.
God bless him.
Meanwhile, Steve Spurrier is going to take all three of his second half timeouts on the Gamecocks first drive of the third quarter leaving Carolina fans to wonder whether Spurrier has gone all John Nash in "A Beautiful Mind."
Baylor -34.5 at Kansas
Kansas has not scored more than 19 points all year.
So let's give the Jayhawks 21.
Do I think Baylor can score 56?
Baylor wins huge.
(The only risk here is that Baylor has not played well on the road. But Kansas is not really a road game because only 25,000 or so people are showing up for Kansas football games these days.)
UCLA at Oregon -22.5
Sooner or later Oregon is going to have a close game.
But it will not be this week.
The Ducks win big, showing off an elite defense for a change.
Here's my weekly TV viewer guide:
1. Start off your day with us on Fox College Saturday on FS1, the nation's second highest rated college football pregame show!
I will be in a Mizzou and Ohio State jersey for part of the show.
Making me the most awkward looking man to wear a Mizzou jersey since Chase Daniel.
2. Vanderbilt at Texas A&M, 12:21, est ESPN
I have no idea what station this game is actually going to be on.
Honestly, this is why the SEC Network is going to make so much damn sense next year.
Do you know how many crappy stations have had decent SEC games this year? It's extraordinary.
Florida-Mizzou was buried last weekend. In fact, I think some Gator fans are still pretending this game was never played because they couldn't find it on television.
3. Tennessee at Alabama, 3:30 et, CBS
Boy, there really aren't very many good games early in the day, are there?
Might be a good morning to take the kids out to breakfast and then let them run around and get tired before naps.
Or, if you're without kids, to go out hard on Friday night and sleep until noon. Man, I remember those days.
By the way, the above photo, which is sure to win the Pulitzer prize due to the amazing difficulty required in taking a photo of a sign on the side of the road, is from @carigervin.
Your next, Saban.
4. Texas Tech at Oklahoma, 3:30 et, Fox
Can Kliff Kingsbury really take the Red Raiders to 8-0?
If so, does he suddenly find himself on USC's coaching list?
Oh, my, can you imagine the work Kingsbury could do in LA?
The guess here is no, Oklahoma wins by six.
5. UCLA at Oregon, 7 et, ESPN
Win this game and the Ducks will vault back to second place in the BCS, never to relinquish that spot so long as they keep winning.
Can UCLA slow down the Ducks? Will anyone in the Pac 12 all season?
Here's a bet for no.
6. South Carolina at Missouri, 7:30 et, ESPN2
Pretty crazy fact, Missouri was unranked until October, now the Tigers are inside the BCS top five.
Win in the SEC and you climb in a hurry.
Another crazy fact? Missouri has not beaten three ranked teams in a row since 1939.
Meanwhile for all the mess at South Carolina, win and the Gamecocks just have to win home games against Mississippi State and Florida to post a 6-2 SEC record by November 16th. Georgia, also with two losses in conference, still has games against Florida and at Auburn. Meanwhile, Missouri would still have Tennessee, at Ole Miss and Texas A&M.
But if Mizzou wins?
Well, the SEC east is pretty much decided before October ends.
7. Texas at TCU, 7:30 et Fox Sports 1
Oddsmakers say this game is pretty much even.
Could Mack Brown really start 4-0 in the Big 12?
If so, will Terry Saban have to stop house hunting in Austin?
8. Stanford at Oregon State, 10:30 et, ESPN
Oregon State quarterback Sean Mannion is the best player in college football that no one has ever seen play.
Please, I beg you, manage to stay awake for a late night game -- or at least set the DVR -- Mannion has 29 touchdown passes and he's throwing to Brandin Crooks, the best wide receiver in the country that no one has heard of either.
Stanford's on major upset alert in this road game.
I promise you guys will love it.