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
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
#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
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
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