6 things you need to know before this weekend's games
1) Conference bragging rights...
Every year we hear the debate: can the best college team in the country compete with the worst team in the NFL? The resounding answer is no and should always be no because 19 year old boys aren't beating grown men in a violent sport. The act of throwing out a point spread guess is an exercise in futility but the debate led me into looking at how each conference matriculates players to the next level. Currently the SEC represents 16% of players on all active rosters with the next closest BCS conference, the ACC, sending 89 fewer conference alums to the NFL. As far as NFL franchises home to the most SEC talent; the Steelers, Chiefs, and Chargers all have more than 20 former players while the franchise with the least amount of SEC talent is the Redskins with 7.
2) Defense wins championships...
Notre Dame has allowed fewer touchdowns this season than Alabama. The Irish have surrendered 5 to opposing offenses while Alabama checks in right behind them at 6. Notre Dame also remains the only team in the BCS yet to allow a touchdown of more than 75 yards. Defense may win championships but there's a good reason Notre Dame is an 11 pt underdog this weekend while Alabama is laying 24 to fellow SEC West unbeaten foe Mississippi St.
Prediction: Alabama 38 - Mississipi St 10
Prediction: Oklahoma 24 - Notre Dame 14
3) Dog days in Athens...
Georgia is a 7 pt underdog on Saturday in the World's Largest Cocktail Party. Keep in mind the last 8 times Georgia has been listed as an underdog, the Bulldogs are 0-8 against the spread. The outright winner in this rivalry is 26-3-1 ATS so something will have to give in Jacksonville if UGA is to get into the win column on Saturday.
Prediction: Florida 23 - Georgia 20
4) Changing of the guard...
If Tennessee was headed to Nashville this weekend, Vandy would open as a 3 pt favorite. Going back to 1999, this would mark the first time Vanderbilt is listed as the favroite in back to back meetings
Historical odds: '99 Tenn -23, '00 Tenn -18, '01 Tenn -25.5, '02 Tenn -17.5, '03 Tenn -21, '04 Tenn -12.5, '05 Tenn -11, '06 Tenn -7, '07 Tenn -11.5, '08 Vandy -3, '09 Tenn -17, '10 Tenn -8, '11 Vandy -1.5
5) Blind betting dominance...
The teams currently ranked in the top 5 of the BCS are 22-12-1 against the spread
Alabama 4-3, Florida 6-1, Kansas St 5-1-1, Oregon 3-4, and Notre Dame 4-3
6) Best bets of the weekend
Cincinnati Bearcats +3.5 & Philadelphia Eagles -1.5