Monthly Archives: September 2011

The Dweller’s Week 5 Handicapping Competition Selections

Here are who the guys are rolling with for Week 5:

Sadler
Arkansas +2.5 (vs. Texas A&M in JerryWorld), risking $220 to win $200
South Carolina -10 (vs. Auburn), risking $330 to win $300
North Carolina -6 (at East Carolina), risking $275 to win $250
Wisconsin -9 (vs. Nebraska), risking $220 to win $200

Darrin
Alabama – 3.5 (at Florida), risking $605 to win $550
USF -2.5 (at Pitt), risking $550 to win $500
Kentucky +30.5 (at LSU), risking $275 to win $250

Chris
USF -2.5 (at Pitt), risking $550 to win $500
Arkansas/Texas A&M UNDER 44, risking $275 to win $250
Kentucky +30.5 (at LSU), risking $220 to win $200
Baylor -3.5 (at KState), risking $330 to win $300
South Carolina -10 (vs. Auburn), risking $275 to win $250

Jeff
Ark +2.5 (vs. Texas A&M in JerryWorld), risking $220 to win $200
USF -2.5 (at Pitt), risking $165 to win $150
Bama -3.5 (at Florida), risking $230 to win $200
Auburn +10 (at South Carolina), risking $165 to win $150
MS St +6.5 (at Georgia), risking $165 to win $150
Purdue +11.5 (vs. Notre Dame), risking $220 to win $200
FIU -3.5 (vs. Duke), risking $220 to win $200

Games of Week 4: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

I think I’m officially going to change the name of my picks column from Games of the Week to “I Curse You”.  Over the first three weeks of the season, I have kept my record afloat by correctly picking the worst games of the week with amazing accuracy.  On Alabama games that I’ve picked, in particular, I’ve been within about 3 points of the actual score every week.  On the games that actually matter, though, I’ve managed to go a whopping 1-5 so far.  If I pick your team to win, I apologize ahead of time because odds are that I’ve given them the kiss of death.

That being said, I feel pretty good about my picks this week and think that you should probably put any and all money in your name on all of them.

On to this week’s picks:

Best of the Week:

#2 LSU at #16 West Virginia

West Virginia fans aren't scared to burn a couch

Roughly a week after word came out that the Mountaineers had been rejected by the SEC as a potential 14th member, they will have the chance to prove their worth against possibly the best team in the conference (or the country for that matter).  West Virginia is coming off a 37-31 win over Maryland last week and while Maryland looked good against Miami earlier in the season, they aren’t LSU.  West Virginia will have trouble moving the ball against LSU’s smothering defense.

After this game, LSU will have played 3 ranked opponents, on the road, in the first four weeks of the season.  In a time where teams are loading up on cupcakes early, this is an impressive stat and one that will most likely benefit the Tigers once they get to the meat of their conference schedule.  Jarrett Lee looked in control against Mississippi State last week and they’ll need him to do the same this week.

Pick:  LSU 27  West Virginia 7

Tyler Wilson leads Arkansas' high powered offense into Tuscaloosa

#14 Arkansas at #3 Alabama

You’ve heard plenty about last year’s collapse by the Hogs at home against the Tide.  Ryan Mallett self-destructed in the final quarter to let the Tide steal a game that Arkansas should have won.  Much like last year’s Iron Bowl is bulletin board material for the Alabama, this one is for the Hogs.  Tyler Wilson has looked good early and no one has forgotten his performance against Auburn in relief last year.  He is more than capable of carrying the Arkansas offense against the Tide’s stingy defense.

Much has been made of Alabama’s defense versus Arkansas’ offense but this game will most likely come down to the other matchup:  Arkansas’ defense versus the Alabama offense.  Alabama hasn’t looked incredibly explosive in their first three weeks but anyone who has watched the Tide since Nick Saban took over knows that’s not his teams’ strength.  Alabama wants to grind the ball and wind the clock down to keep Arkansas off the field.

This one will be close but I think the Tide will control the clock just enough to keep their defense fresh against the high-powered Hog offense.

Pick:  Arkansas 17  Alabama 24

Dry Games of the Week

Georgia at Ole Miss

How could you fire this guy?

Should Mississippi State versus Louisiana Tech be in this place instead?  Probably, but there’s something about a horrible SEC on SEC matchup in Week 4 that got my attention.  Many are calling this the “Hot Seat Bowl”, including us during our Week 4 preview earlier this week and to me that says all I need to know about this game.  Any time there are two coaches facing off against one another that are both fighting for their jobs, I’m not going to be too interested in watching.

Houston Nutt claimed this week that he’s not listening to all the noise surrounding his job security but I’m guessing that he’s seen the writing on the wall.  Mark Richt, on the other hand, has been on the hot seat for about 14 years it seems like.  The winner of this one will do nothing to help their job security but we’ll act like this is a must-win to try and turn it into an actually interesting game.  On the field, Georgia is a much better football team and should roll.

Pick:  Georgia 41  Ole Miss 14

FAU at Auburn

Hopefully Ted Roof taught Auburn how to tackle this week

Nothing like a nice cream puff to follow up your first loss in 18 games.  Auburn’s defense has been horrible this season but fear not Auburn fans, FAU ranks 120th in the FBS in points scored AND they rank 115th in points scored.  All that tells me is this:  FAU might be the worst team in college football.  Auburn’s defense is bad but they’re not THAT bad.  You don’t back Ted Roof into a corner!  Auburn would win this one with nine guys on the field.

Pick:  FAU 10  Auburn 54

Get Your Officially Licensed NCAA Duct Tape.

Good news sports fans.  Next time you need to patch a tarp, put a taillight back together or jerry-rig anything at all, you can do it with duct tape with your official school logo.  It seems that Duck Brand knows the first rule of marketing, know your audience, as 10 of 12 SEC schools are represented (sorry MSU, Vandy).  Even, new possible probable SEC addition Texas A&M is represented.  The one that jumps out at me as odd is Wake Forest, why would Wake Forest sell more tape than MSU or Vandy?  I think duct tape is third behind only asphalt and concrete in Mississippi’s infrastructure.  Do more research Duck Brand.  Check out all available teams here.  And, if you do not know the difference between ‘duck tape’ and ‘duct tape’ then please, educate yourself.

The Dweller’s Week 4 Handicapping Competition Selections

Here are who the guys are rolling with for Week 4:

Jeff
Arkansas +11.5 (at Alabama), risking $165 to win $150
Vandy +15.5 (at South Carolina), risking $330 to win $300
Mizzou +21 (at Oklahoma), risking $165 to win $150
FSU +2.5 (at Clemson), risking $210 to win $200
Ole Miss +9 (vs. Georgia), risking $165 tow in $150

Darrin
Arkansas +11.5 (at Alabama), risking $275 to win $250
LSU -6 (at West Virginia), risking $275 to win $250
Vandy +15.5 (at South Carolina), risking $165 to win $150

Sadler
Georgia – 9 (at Ole Miss), risking $330 to win $300
LSU -6 (at West Virginia), risking $385 to win $350
OK St. +4.5 (at Texas A&M), risking $220 to win $200

Chris
Georgia -9 (at Ole Miss), risking $550 to win $500
Florida Atlantic +33 (at Auburn), risking $315 to win $300
LSU/West Virginia UNDER 49.5, risking $220 to win $200
FSU +2.5 (at Clemson), risking $315 to win $300

SEC Week 4 Preview

Week 4, for many teams, represents the start of some brutal SEC schedules.  I know, we’ve already had some SEC matchups but this week is when you start to get into the “meat” of the schedule.  Games mean more.  Wins mean everything.

Here is a look at this weekend’s slate of games for the SEC….

11:21AM CT  Georgia (1-2, 0-1 SEC) at Ole Miss (1-2, 0-1 SEC) – We are dubbing this as the “Hot Seat Bowl”.  Both coaches are feeling the heat this year after early conference losses.  Ole Miss fans have the most to complain about after shelling out a hefty contract to Houston Nutt.  Richt has been here before and a win, in Oxford, is a must if the Dawgs are going to try and compete against South Carolina and Florida this year.

2:30PM CT No. 14 Arkansas (3-0, 0-0 SEC) at No. 3 Alabama (3-0, 0-0 SEC) – By far the biggest conference game this weekend.  The Hogs will try and avenge a heart breaking loss from last year but will have to do it on the road – a daunting task.  Look for both teams to open the playbooks in this one as the SEC’s best offense squares off against it’s best defense.

6:00PM CT Vanderbilt (3-0, 1-0 SEC) at No. 12 South Carolina (3-0, 1-0 SEC) – Vandy looks for another signature SEC win after embarrassing Ole Miss 30-7 last week while USC looks to further solidify itself as the top team in the East.  Vandy has looked impressive, thus far, but will have to win on the road against one of the most talented teams in the conference to be considered a contender.

6:00PM CT No. 15 Florida (3-0, 1-0 SEC) at Kentucky (2,-1, 0-0 SEC) – Kentucky will try and slow down what appears to be another fast Florida team when these division foes face off in Commonwealth Stadium.  Kentucky’s rushing attack will look to burn some clock and keep Florida’s playmakers off the field.  A win at home would be huge for the Wildcats but that won’t be easy.

6:00PM CT Florida Atlantic (0-2) at Auburn (2-1, 1-0 SEC) – After beating Mississippi State, Auburn dropped a tough game against Clemson last week.  The Tigers will look to score early and often against an opponent allowing 42.5 pts a game.  Auburn needs a confidence booster heading into a matchup with No. 12 South Carolina next week and get it against an over-matched Florida Atlantic team.

6:00PM CT Louisiana Tech (1-2) at Mississippi State (1-2, 0-2 SEC) – After playing Auburn and LSU, the past two weeks, MSU gets a break from SEC play and squares off against a LaTech squad scoring 33 pts a game.  Already down 0-2 in conference play, Dan Mullen’s squad needs to regroup, get a win at home, and get ready for next week’s road trip to Athens to face the Georgia Bulldogs.

7:00PM CT No. 2 LSU (3-0, 1-0 SEC) at No. 16 West Virginia (3-0) – A win against West Virginia would give the LSU Tigers 3 wins over Top 25 teams in the first 4 weeks.  An impressive feat.  College Gameday will be at Mountaineer Field for the matchup but we don’t see this being too close.  LSU’s defense is looking stout and the offense is starting to come together….slowly.  A win here will put LSU on the fast track to Atlanta until November, when they face Alabama and Arkansas.

– Hasley

SEC Expansion? No Thanks

In the latest drama, Dan Beebe may be asked to step down as Big 12 commissioner

Conference realignment is all that anyone is talking about in the college football world these days.  The Big East is basically imploding on itself and everyone in (or who recently left) the conference is turning on one another.  The Big 12 is even worse, with Oklahoma and Texas recently deciding to stick it out after the PAC-12 decided not to expand.  Oklahoma demanded that Dan Beebe, commissioner of the conference, be forced out in order for them to stay.  Originally they acted like they would bolt to the PAC-12 if he wasn’t fired but then people found out that apparently Oklahoma saw that they weren’t getting in anyway and had simply seen an opportunity to oust the controversial commissioner.

It’s like watching one of your mom’s afternoon soap operas when you used to stay home sick from school.  But what would college football be without all the backstabbing and double-dealing?  If there’s one thing I’ve always hated about college football, it’s the hypocrisy.  This conference realignment issue is right at the heart of the hypocrisy of the higher ups in the sport.  They talk about the welfare of their student-athletes but don’t seem to think it’s a problem to make the volleyball team travel 2,300 miles for an in-conference game during the season if it will make them more money during football season.

Could Missouri be the 14th member of the SEC if expansion happens?

One of the big issues at the center of all this talk, is what will the SEC do in the event of massive conference realignment?  Who the SEC would add as it’s 13th, 14th and possibly 15th and 16th members, is the talk of the league right now.  Rumors are swirling around several teams, from West Virginia supposedly being rejected to whether the conference could still potentially steal Virginia Tech or Florida State despite the ACC recently adding two new teams in Pitt and Syracuse.  Will Missouri be added after Texas A&M and force the league to move one team (most likely Auburn) to the East?  These are all questions that are being asked and it seems that the majority of fans are for the conference expanding.  But I have to ask the question:  is expansion/realignment really what’s best for the sport or the SEC?

I understand that if other conferences continue on their path of adding teams and expanding, the SEC can’t be reactionary in adding new members.  I get that it is in the conferences’ best interest to look into what options they have before the dominoes start falling.  If the Big 12 implodes in a year and conference realignment soon follows, the SEC doesn’t want to be unprepared and end up with Memphis and Louisville as their final members.  I completely get that and if expansion happens, I will adapt and so will every other fan of the game.  We will keep watching and the people in charge of these decisions know that.

I do, however, have my doubts about how the decisions currently being made will change the game and I don’t think they’re for the best.  One of the biggest scenarios being mentioned is the addition of Missouri and the subsequent move of Auburn to the SEC East.  I firmly believe that this would be a huge mistake for the conference.  Some of the greatest traditions in the conference would be thrown out the window to make room for Missouri?

The Third Saturday in October could be no more

Alabama would most likely have to choose between Auburn and Tennessee as their permanent SEC East rival.  They of course would choose Auburn, ending a rivalry with Tennessee that has been played every year since 1928 and the Iron Bowl would most likely be moved up from the final conference game of the year to earlier in the season.  LSU would no longer play Auburn every year, a game that has become one of the most exciting rivalries in the conference in recent years.  The list goes on and on of games that the conference would lose because of these decisions.

A friend recently said to me that fans of the SEC fought the idea of an SEC Championship Game when it was first introduced to the league, saying that it would kill traditions, and this is true.  People got used to the change and now the SEC Championship Game is annually one of the most anticipated games in college football.  Alabama fans may have to get used to watching the team travel to Columbia, Missouri every other year on the Third Saturday in October.   Florida fans may have to start finding a way to make the long trip to College Station, Texas every few years when A&M rotates their way onto the schedule.  And I realize that if these things happen I will (and you will) get used to them and life as an SEC fan will go on.  I’m just not really sure I want to.

-Sadler

Games of the Week: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

So far for the season, I’m fairing pretty well on the worst games of the week, where I have an undefeated record.  Of course, most of those games have been huge blowouts so it’s not much of an accomplishment on my end.  So far I am 5-4 on my picks but I plan on changing that this week.

I have to admit right here that I continue to underestimate God’s love for the Auburn Tigers (how else can you explain them) and once again they proved me wrong by beating a team that many had proclaimed to be vastly superior.  Cough, cough, including myself.  So in the spirit of giving, I am finally going to give the Tigers some love this week.  On to this week’s games of the week:

#21 Auburn at Clemson

Auburn continues to test fate and win

This game is mainly high on appeal because of the way that it went last year.  Clemson had a chance to shut up the “War Cam Eagle” chants pretty early on in the season but failed to do so.  This year Clemson has struggled against Wofford and beat Troy pretty handily.  The narrow win against Wofford, especially, doesn’t bode well for Clemson.

As for Auburn, as I mentioned, they obviously have some sort of deal with either God or the Devil considering the way that they are winning games during their current 17 game winning streak.  I have finally given in and will refuse to pick against them until they finally lose.

Pick:  Auburn 38  Clemson 31

Tennessee at #16 Florida

Tyler Bray will show no respect to the Gators defensive backfield

Before this season, this game had kind of lost its’ appeal in recent years.  Tyler Bray, however, has finally got Vol fans talking again and with good reason.  So far on the year Bray has a 78.5% completion rate with 7 touchdowns and no interceptions to go along with nearly 700 yards passing.  Pretty gaudy numbers for 2 weeks, no matter who you’re playing.  Bray has Tennessee buzzing and I’ve even heard some talk that he may be the best UT quarterback since Peyton Manning.  I’m not willing to go there yet but let’s give it some time and see how it turns out.

The Gators, on the other hand are quietly looking pretty solid so far this season.  Their defense has only given up 3 points on the season, albeit to Florida Atlantic and UAB, and the offense has looked good enough, as well.  Surprisingly, I think this game may actually have a chance to decide the East.

Upset Special:  Tennessee 24  Florida 17

Dry Games of the Week

Coastal Carolina at Georgia

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Pick:  Georgia 41  CC 10

North Texas at #2 Alabama

Look for Trent Richardson to finally break out this week

Bama continues their streak of making the picks column but twice it’s not been for the right reasons.  Yet again the Tide is playing a cupcake and yet again they will Roll by halftime.  Next week Arkansas and the beginning of true SEC play for the Tide.

Pick:  Alabama 45  North Texas 3