It was yet another hot weekend for the crystal ball as it went undefeated in the picks department, going 7-0, a sizzling 34-3 on the year. However, the old gal gets much more of a test today as the contenders are parted from the pretenders. Here’s the way the ball went...
MISS. ST. AT KENTUCKY – Predictably, Kentucky played South Carolina tough early, then reverted to its normal self. Believe it or not, the best team ‘State has played thus far is Auburn, so nobody knows how much they’ve improved. Enough to win in Lexington.
State by 11.
VANDY AT MISSOURI – Thus far the SEC has appeared to baffle the former Big 12 members with its speed and physical nature. And they probably haven’t heard about Vandy’s well-deserved reputation for pulling off an upset or two every year. Missing one its top players, the Tigers could be had today, but here’s thinking they survive.
Missouri by 10.
TEXAS A&M AT OLE MISS – Admit it, that was the most physical Ole Miss we’ve seen last week against Alabama since the days of Billy “Dog” Brewer. And with Hugh Freeze’s new lightning-quick offensive approach, if you’re gonna beat the Rebs, better do it in a hurry. Thinking they left a lot of emotion in Tuscaloosa, a slight edge to rifle-armed Johnny Manziel and the Aggies.
Texas A&M by 3.
LSU AT FLORIDA – Nobody thought they’d be much to this back in August, but it’s amazing how the perception of teams can change with a couple of close calls from LSU and impressive league road wins by Will Muschamp’s bunch. I think it comes down to the trenches. Can LSU pound the ball on the ground and protect a fragile quarterback and can Florida also run the ball and keep Jeff Driskell out of obvious passing situations? LSU has more talent, but right now, especially in Gainesville, Florida is playing with more passion and purpose. Mild upset.
Florida by 7.
GEORGIA AT SOUTH CAROLINA – A showdown for early supremacy in the SEC East. I think both teams’ national ranking is legit, and both are hard to stop. They also have skilled defensive players and I’d expect this one to go down to the final buzzer. Georgia’s propensity to turn the ball over bothers me though, and there’ll be little room for error in Columbia.
South Carolina by four.
ARKANSAS AT AUBURN – As Pat Dye boldly proclaimed this week, Gene Chizik is going nowhere, regardless of what happens the rest of the way. Now offensive coordinator Scott Loeffler might be another story. The Hogs have apparently quit on defense, but playing the offense rated last in the league should serve as something of a get-well pill. If I’m Auburn, I pound away on the ground, taking the game totally out of Kiehl Frazier’s hands. Make no mistake, Auburn better play with the intensity as it did against LSU or this could be a long, long walk to midfield to shake John L. Smith’s hand for Chizik.
Auburn by 10.
Phil Paramore column appears Tuesday and Saturday in The Dothan Eagle. He can be heard weekday from noon until 2 on AM 560 WOOF, 100.1 FM or at www.woofradio.com. He can be reached at the same website.