Need winners? You've come to right place
We’ve got big games this week, lots of them. And on the heels of back-to-back 9-1 weeks, I’m here to give you the winners once again.
I should begin by pointing out that I was 9-0 with college picks last week, missing only on my pick of the Saints over the Jets — that after pointing out all the reasons why the Jets were primed to upset the Saintly ones. Sometimes I don’t listen to myself… Still, I am 78-25 on the season, for 75.7 percent, a winning percentage only Nick Saban could hate.
OK, drum roll please, your winners…
Ole Miss 41, Arkansas 13 — If I hear one more coach refer to Arkansas as “dangerous” or “a sleeping giant,” I think I might throw up. The Hogs have lost six straight since opening with wins over Louisiana-Lafayette, Samford and Southern Miss. In five straight SEC losses, Arkansas has allowed 214 points or 43 per game. The Hogs aren’t sleeping Giants; they are sleeping, period. They get an early wake-up call Saturday morning in Oxford. Won’t do any good. Ole Miss is a 17-point favorite and I think they cover.
Texas A & M 37, Mississippi State 17 — You know the old saying about from the frying pan into the fire. The Bulldogs played at South Carolina last week. They are at Aggie-land this Saturday. And next week they are in football hell, which is known as playing Alabama anywhere. State could use an open date or at least a conveniently scheduled non-conference November game.
Louisiana Tech 35, Southern Miss 14 — This is what it has come to: LaTech, which has lost four of six, is a 15.5-point favorite. It started at 14 and bettors flocked to lay money down on Tech. Tech won handily on the road last week against Florida International, which won earlier this season at Hattiesburg.
Alabama 31, LSU 14 — Both teams have had two weeks to prepare. The guess here is that Nick Saban made better use of his. He usually does. Here’s my stat of the week: Johnny Manziel, whom I didn’t even mention in my State-A & M synopsis, put up 42 points against Alabama earlier this season in a 49-42 loss. The seven other Bama victims this season have scored total of 36. In the six games since Manziel did his thing, Alabama foes have scored right at four points per game.
Tennessee 31, Auburn 30 — My upset special. Yes, Tennessee has been clobbered in back-to-back games with Alabama and Missouri, but both those were on the road. Like most, the Vols are a much better team at home where they are undefeated this season and beat South Carolina as a 7.5 point underdog three weeks ago. Don’t look now, but Auburn is a 7.5-point favorite.
Texas 30, West Virginia 27 — Have you noticed Texas has won five straight games since losing to Ole Miss. I have.
Florida 20, Vanderbilt 17 —The Gators are 10-point favorites, but a Vandy victory wouldn’t shock me.
Duke 27, North Carolina State 17 — Bowl-eligible Duke — I say, bowl-eligible Duke — has won four straight and has had two weeks to prepare since knocking off Virginia Tech. David Cutcliffe has to be in the running for Coach of the Year.
East Mississippi Community College 34, Jones 31 — For the state championship. East Mississippi, with about three tons of Division I prospects, is out-scoring opponents about 60 points per game en route to a 10-0 record. But Jones, 9-1, plays in the stronger south division and Ray Perkins will have the Bobcats ready to play. An upset wouldn’t shock me here either, but EMCC gets the nod at home.
Saints 34, Cowboys 31 — The injury-riddled Saints are perfect in the dome this season and Dallas ranks No. 30 in the league against the pass. Wish I knew if Darren Sproles was going to play. Wish I had known he was going to leave the game after the third play against the Jets. I’d have picked the Jets.