Friday, 5 September 2003

SEC Week 2 prognostications

I started doing these a couple of seasons ago for a mailing list I subscribe to; now, since I have a blog, I’ll be posting them here too…

Yes, they’re back… the worst game predictions on earth. (Sorry, last week kinda snuck up on me.) No SEC games this week, so Ole Miss is still in the bizarre position of leading the conference by virtue of its early opener against Vandy. On to the predictions… home team in caps; record and TV in brackets. Listed in order of kickoff.

  • Ole Miss [1-0/1-0] 24, MEMPHIS [1-0] 21 [ESPN2]: Ole Miss travels by bus this week to face a longtime foe on the road that cares more about the rivalry than the Rebels do. The home team is, by all accounts, much improved over last year’s disappointing squad and is beginning to gel under its relatively-new head coach. However, it will be home-away-from-home for the Rebels, as the stadium will be a sea of red. And, in the end, despite the Rebels’ continued lack of a running game, the opponent’s QB will be outmatched by Manning and some creative defense.

    Of course, this exactly the same description I could have written about last week’s Ole Miss-Vanderbilt game in Nashville. Hence, I predict exactly the same outcome, although I don’t expect the need for late heroics by Jonathan Nichols this week. Field conditions in the Liberty Bowl Memorial Oven will no doubt be unpleasant; if you have a line on heatstroke deaths, take the “over.”

  • Virginia [1-0] 35, SOUTH CAROLINA [1-0] 27 [JP]: I know nothing about either of these teams, but this seems as good a guess as any. A seven-point win over Lousiana-Lafayette doesn’t inspire confidence in Carolina’s likely performance against Big Six competition.

  • GEORGIA [1-0] 38, Middle Tenn. State [0-1] 17: Despite a record of competing fairly solidly against SEC competition, MTSU falters down the stretch against Georgia’s ball-control offense.

  • Auburn [0-1] 21, GEORGIA TECH [0-1] 17 [ABC regional]: Two early-season disappointments meet in downtown Atlanta. I back Auburn on a coin-flip, since they lost to better opposition.

  • Marshall [1-0] 24, TENNESSEE [1-0] 17 [ESPN2]: The MAC gets its big chance to prove it can play with the big boys. Against an overrated UT squad, they might actually pull it off. Upset special alert.

  • ARKANSAS [0-0] 42, Tulsa [0-1] 14: It won't be the most exciting game in the universe, but Arkansas cruises in its opener. Ex-SWAC foe Texas next week will be more of a challenge.

  • VANDERBILT [0-1/0-1] 31, UT-Chattanooga [0-1] 14: If Vandy plays like they did against Ole Miss last week, they should pound UTC. However, if Vandy plays like they play against every other team, this one could be close.

  • Oklahoma [1-0] 35, ALABAMA [1-0] 17 [ESPN]: The Sooners come into Tuscaloosa for the Tide’s real home opener. However, this isn’t your father’s Bama team, and Mike Shula isn’t the Bear. Or even Jack Nicklaus, for that matter. The Crimson Tide’s tune-up against USF’s barely-I-A squad isn't much of a leading indicator; this will be the big indicator of whether Alabama is going places or just sulking. My money’s on the latter.

  • KENTUCKY [0-1] 35, Murray State [1-0] 10: I-AA Murray State drives most of the way across the state to get pounded in Lexington for the Wildcats’ home opener, then faces a long drive back. Pretty scenery though.

  • MIAMI (Fla.) [1-0] 49, Florida [1-0] 21 [ABC]:’s hit counter explodes by half-time as Brock Berlin dismantles Ron’s NFL-depleted team, picking up where Ken Dorsey left off. But at least last week Zook put up Spurrier numbers…

  • ARIZONA [1-0] 21, Louisiana State [1-0] 17 [TBS]: A close game that would probably go the other way if it were played under the lights in muggy Red Stick, rather than the dry desert heat.

  • MISSISSIPPI STATE [0-1] 1, MSU Scout Team 0 (by forfeit): Kevin “I can get you a deal on snow tires” Fant and Jackie Sherill lick their wounds down in Starkvegas after losing to Oregon and having their retinas damaged by Oregon's hideous unis. State had better get some wins now before the Bayou Bengals come calling September 27.

As always: remember, kids, these picks are just for fun. So no wagering!