Category Archives: Predictions

Its go time. LSU @ Alabama is upon us.

Since the anticipation for this game kept me from sleeping anyway, I thought why not put together a little pre-game packet for all our dedicated readers (all both of you).  Get caught up on the pertinent information before kick-off.  Come here, let us educate you.

Our key match ups…

Bama’s rushing attack vs LSU’s front 7                                                                   

LSU’s passing attack vs Bama’s secondary

 

 

Keys to the Game

Can’t remember why you hate these two teams, or looking for a new reason.  We’ve got you covered…

Everybody hates LSU 

Everybody hates Alabama

And last but not least, embrace the hype…                                                           

 HYPE

Games of the Week: Week 7

Alright, I’m back this week with my games of the week.  I took a couple weeks off because A) I’m lazy and B) two weeks ago I knew that the Alabama/Florida game was the game of the week and I didn’t want to have to pick a score.  So, now that that’s out of the way, let’s move on to this week’s best (and worst) SEC games.

Games of the Week

Florida at #24 Auburn

This game doesn’t have nearly the appeal that either fanbase would like for it to.  The Gators are coming off of two humiliating losses to Alabama and LSU.  Before those two games it appeared that Will Muschamp had them on the path back to success but after being outscored by a combined 79-21, it’s hard to really know what to make of the Gators.  The fact that they will start their third string QB in this one doesn’t help matters much.

Auburn finally lost a game to Clemson but appeared to have righted the ship with the upset of South Carolina.  Then Arkansas pulled a Toby Keith and put a boot where it didn’t belong last weekend.  Auburn is young and they will be good in the future but right now, they have serious quarterback issues and a porous defense.  If Florida’s speedy backs can get loose, they can win this game.  I don’t think they will, though.

Pick:  Florida 27  Auburn 34

#15 South Carolina at Mississippi State

If you don’t know what to make of this game, join the club.  On the one hand, South Carolina absolutely dismantled Kentucky last weekend with Connor Shaw at the helm and no longer has the distraction of Stephen Garcia hanging over the team.  On the other hand, it was Kentucky.

For some weird reason, I think that Mississippi State makes a statement in this game and Dan Mullen will get some of the haters off of his back.  The West is ridiculous this year and Mississippi State needs this win.  I think that the Bulldogs will pull the upset in Starkville.

Pick:  South Carolina 24  Mississippi State 27

Dry Games of the Week

#2 Alabama at Ole Miss

While typing the matchup, I almost put #2 Ole Miss.  Hahahahahahahahahahaha.  Yeah right.  As if this game wasn’t already probably going to be bad enough for the Black Bears, they suspended pretty much their best player (Brandon Bolden) and their starting center, and two other players whose names I don’t feel like looking up right now.

Note to Houston Nutt:  don’t pick a game where you are already drastically outmatched to take a stand on moral matters with some of your most important players.  Maybe wait a few weeks until the Kentucky game.

Pick:  Alabama 45  Ole Miss 3

Georgia at Vanderbilt

Look, I don’t like picking Vanderbilt most weeks as one of the worst games of the week.  I really don’t.  I think James Franklin has the ‘Dores on the right track and I felt that while they got blown out in Tuscaloosa last week, they actually looked pretty good on offense for a while before the Bama D buckled down and smothered them.  The fact is, though, that it was between this game and LSU at Tennessee for the final spot in the Dry Games this week.  And Vandy don’t got the Honeybadger to keep it interesting.

Even though I picked Georgia to cover the spread in our handicapping contest, it’s probably my least favorite pick I made this week.  I’ll stick with it for the sake of not being wishy-washy but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if A) Vandy made this a game or B) actually won it outright.

Pick:  Georgia 21  Vandy 9

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

Games of Week 2: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

LSU showed them Ducks what SEC football is all about

Last week I went 2-2 in predicting our games of the week, although, I must admit that the two games I got right were actually our worst games of the week.  In what should be no surprise to any true fan of the SEC, the Georgia Bulldogs once again failed to live up to whatever hype they had entered the season with.  Boise State, a team with a good defensive front and a Heisman level quarterback (though I will point out he throws one of the weakest deep balls in football, but I digress), came in and thoroughly dominated the Bulldogs.  Other than a Brandon Boykin touchdown, Georgia mustered little if anything against the Broncos.

In another surprise (at least to me) LSU came out and played really well against what was supposed to be a championship caliber Oregon team.  LSU’s defense confused Oregon from the beginning and Jarrett Lee played just well enough in the absence of Jordan Jefferson, to get the Tigers the win.  LSU has cemented themselves squarely in the National Championship hunt with the win over the Ducks.  We can only hope that they and Alabama both show up undefeated to their early-November showdown.

On to this week’s games:

#3 Alabama at #23 Penn State

No joking, I hope that Paterno doesn't stand on the sideline in this one.

The Crimson Tide come into this game as the heavy favorites, led by their stingy defense but questions surrounding the quarterback situation have people questioning just how well Alabama fits into the National Title chase.  AJ McCarron is the logical choice to get the start after Phillip Sims did little to show that he was ready to be the starter in the game against Kent State.

Penn State also has a young quarterback in Rob Bolden, which could be an issue against Alabama’s experienced defense.  The Nittany Lions are coming off of a dismantling of Indiana State but that’s saying about as much as Alabama dismantling Kent State.

Pick:  Alabama 27  Penn State 9

#12 South Carolina at Georgia

South Carolina is coming into this game following a less than convincing win against ECU, in which their defense allowed 37 points.   I’m not really sure how much stock to put into the Gamecocks offense putting up 56 on ECU, either.

Don’t sleep on Georgia in this game, it has become pretty apparent that Mark Richt is sitting atop a very hot seat and it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see the Bulldogs come out and play well for him.  I know that odds are I’m falling victim to exactly what I said earlier but I, for some reason, can’t shake the feeling that Georgia will come out fired up, considering that the East (and their coaches’ job) may very well ride on the outcome.

Pick  South Carolina 24  Georgia 31

Honorable Mention

#16 Mississippi State at Auburn

This

If this game was between this year’s Mississippi State team and last year’s Auburn team, then this may have been one of this week’s best games.  Unfortunately for the Tigers, it is not last year, as they proved last week against the mighty Aggies of Utah State.  If you require the greatest onside kick in the history of mankind to beat Utah State, your team better not be from the SEC, or I will make fun of you.  Mississippi State rolls in this one.

Pick:  Mississippi State 35  Auburn 14

Dry Games of the Week

New Mexico State at #14 Arkansas

Heaven forbid that the Hogs schedule a game within the first three weeks against someone other than the bottom dwellers of the NCAA.  This week New Mexico State, next week Troy.  Don’t test yourself too much over there boys.  Guess somebody’s gotta get their mind right for a trip to Tuscaloosa in two weeks.

Pick:  NMSU 10  Arkansas 49

Central Michigan at Kentucky

I’m pretty sure I just fell asleep thinking about what to write making fun of this game.  The only thing that could make it more interesting is if Jared Lorenzen came out of the stands weighing about 400 pounds and ran for 250.  And even then, it would be a stretch.

Pick:  CMU 14  Kentucky 21

-Sadler

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

We're going to see plenty of these this weekend

As mentioned yesterday, every week we’re going to put out the top games for each weekend along with a prediction for each of them.  Included in this article will also be the worst games of the weekend, which we’re entitling our “Dry Wedding Games” (because they’re about as much fun as a dry wedding).

This week it was pretty easy to pick the biggest SEC games of the weekend considering that 90% percent of the league is getting one of their cupcake games out of the way.  It was much harder for me to decide which game was actually the worst on the schedule since there were so many awful ones to choose from in Week 1.

Biggest Games

#4 LSU vs. #3 Oregon

I already wrote a little about this game here, so I won’t go into the boring details

Can Jarrett Lee lead the Tigers to victory?

again but this is the biggest game of the weekend.  For the Ducks, it’s a chance to show that they belong in the National Title chase again after making a run to the BCS Championship just last year.  It also is a chance for the upgraded PAC 12 to try and make a statement against the baddest conference in the  land.  LaMichael James and Darron Thomas will look to move the ball against a John Chavis defense that is among the top in the country

For LSU, it’s unfortunately going to be a game in which they’ll have to decide who is going to be their quarterback in the absence of Jordan Jefferson.  Jarrett Lee is the most likely choice  but Zach Mettenberger could also get in on the action.  The Tigers are also without their top receiver, Russell Shepard, who was declared ineligible for violating an NCAA rule.

Even with some of their big playmakers gone, LSU’s impressive defense will most likely keep them in the game but I think Oregon makes one more big play than the Tigers.

Pick:  Oregon 24   LSU 20

#19 Georgia vs. #5 Boise State

Aaron Murray will be the key for the 'Dawgs

Despite the fact that the other game of the week pits two top 5 teams against one another, the argument is that this game is actually more important to the National Title chase.  Boise State will get a crack at an SEC team and if they win, will pretty much have played the toughest game on their schedule and could basically cruise to an undefeated season.  Of course, that was what was supposed to happen last year before Nevada ruined the party for them.

Georgia comes into this game with a lot to prove; Coach Mark Richt is already on the hotseat again, a recurring theme for the Bulldogs over the last several years.  With a win against a top program like Boise State, they could start the season on a strong note and send a warning to the rest of the SEC East.

Boise State returns Kellen Moore but also lost his top receiving threats, Titus Young and Austin Pettis.  How well the offense can perform against an SEC defense without two of their biggest playmakers will be the big question going into the game.

I believe Georgia is on the rise again and quarterback Aaron Murray is one of the best in the conference.  In my opinion Boise is not as good as last year and the ‘Dawgs will pull this one out.

Pick:  Georgia 30    Boise State 21

Dry Wedding Games

Elon at Vanderbilt

I'm guessing that Elon is the equivalent of FCS Southwest on NCAA '12

Ok, so I promise I won’t pick Vanderbilt as the worst game of the weekend every week but even Vandy fans have to admit that this might be the worst game of the entire season.

I didn’t even know there was a school named Elon and I certainly don’t care to watch them play Vanderbilt on opening weekend.  All I know about this game is that Vanderbilt is favored by 14 which means that Elon must be pretty awful because Vandy doesn’t get favored by double-digits too often.

Pick:  Vandy 31  Elon 10

Kent State at #2 Alabama

When reporters are approaching the storyline that Kent State is Nick Saban’s alma mater it’s not a good sign for the quality of the matchup.  Even Kent State knows that this one is going to be horrible because they tried to get some mercy by sending their entire team to help with tornado relief in Tuscaloosa a few weeks ago. (all joking aside, a very classy move by Kent State, bravo)

If this game isn’t over by the beginning of the second quarter it could be considered an upset by the Golden Eagles.  I’ll watch this game because I have to but I won’t be happy about it.

Pick:  Alabama 49   Kent State 3

Honorable Mention

Kentucky vs. Western Kentucky

This game was played last night and if you watched it, I’m truly sorry.  The Cats did their best to embarrass the conference against the mighty Hilltoppers.  At last check before I went to sleep last night, Kentucky had 70 offensive yards on 34 plays and had their only touchdown scored on an interception return.  I’m making this prediction:  Kentucky will end the season with a worse record than Vanderbilt.  You heard me, mark it down.

Welcome Back Football

Get out your croakies, swoop your hair to the side, tighten that tie and get ready for some SEC football!

Can you feel it?  Today is the day we’ve all been waiting for.  Sure, there are only two SEC teams on the slate tonight but you can practically feel the wind blowing through your Bama bangs, the sweat dripping off your croakies, the tie tightening around your neck, the shaker sitting in your back pocket.  You can practically hear Sandstorm over the loud speaker, the fighter jets swooping low over the stadium or the Bear’s raspy voice sending chills down your spine.  It’s football season again, and just like every other season, it feels like it’s been too long.

With the SEC season set to kick off on tonight with Mississippi State vs. Memphis and Kentucky vs. Western Kentucky and all the rest of our favorite teams ready to suit up for the long haul on Saturday, I wanted to get you ready for some of the new features that the Dweller is going to be rolling out throughout the regular season.  Sure, we’ve had a lot of fun putting out stuff leading up to the season but it’s the real games that are what we’ve been waiting for, just like all of you.

As Chris introduced yesterday, every week we’re going to be helping the gamblers out there hopefully pick some games that could help make you a little cash on the side.

I’ll be starting a countdown of the greatest rivalries in the conference, revealing a new one every week until the final week of the season.  If you are passionate about a particular rivalry and want it included, there’s still time to convince me that it belongs near the top of the list.  Just send any comments or questions to thebasementdweller.sadler@gmail.com.

We’ll all be writing about the key matchups each week that you need to be aware of and we’ll be rolling out some stuff about the worst games of the week, as well.  Also, look out for recaps of all the best games of each weekend.

Jeff will be continuing his History of the SEC, Chris will be continuing his Key Games series, the Hate series will of course continue and hopefully we’ll give you all the things that you need to know as the season progresses.

Thanks for continuing to read the Dweller and Roll Tide! (or Go Cats, War Eagle, Go Dawgs’, Ring a Cowbell, sing Hotty Toddy, Go ‘Dores, Go ‘Cocks, sing Rocky Top, Go Gators, Sooooooiiiiieeeee, or Geaux Tigers. . . . or whatever other crazy thing you may say)

Follow us on Twitter @SEC_Dweller and “like” us on Facebook.

-Sadler

Player To Watch: Alabama RB Trent Richardson

Beast

Mark Ingram was the first player from the University of Alabama to ever win the Heisman Trophy, and within two seasons experts are already saying that the school may have a chance to have their second Heisman winner.  Trent Richardson comes into the season as the guy for the first time in his career despite the fact that even last year people were predicting that he may end up being better than his predecessor before he is done.

Richardson is a freak of a human being, a punishing 224 pound straight-line runner who can punish defenders but still has good speed and the ability to move well in space.  The junior from Pensacola has been compared to Emmitt Smith, who went to the same high school as Richardson, an incredible compliment for a player who has been a backup for his entire career so far.

During his sophomore season, Richardson rushed for 700 yards on 112 carries, and in the two games that Mark Ingram missed with a knee injury, Richardson filled in admirably.  Against San Jose State, in limited action before the game turned into a blowout, Richardson carried the ball 10 times for 66 yards and had 3 catches for 46 yards and scored 2 touchdowns.  Against Penn State he rushed 22 times for 141 yards and caught 4 passes for 46 yards.  Richardson also added impressive games against Arkansas, Tennessee and Ole Miss to name a few.

This year, however, Richardson is the guy, and nobody in the country is expecting anything less than a great year from him.  Most pundits will agree that he is on the short list for the Heisman trophy, and with the Tide expected to be playing for the SEC Championship in December, many believe that he may end up being the front runner by the end of the season, similar to how Mark Ingram captured the trophy in 2009.

The Tide will go only as far as Richardson can take them on offense, and odds are that will be pretty far.

-Sadler

Also, check out some of our other Players to Watch:  Arkansas RB Ronnie Wingo, Jr. and Alabama LB Courtney Upshaw

Follow us on Twitter @SEC_Dweller and “like” us on Facebook