Bonus picks this week: from the 3 Stooges
David Brandt of the Associated Press, my son Tyler Cleveland and I are riding up Highway 25, North toward Starkville, for the Egg Bowl. And I was reminded that i haven’t made my picks for this week.
So, we’re going to do something different here today. We are all three going to pick the games.
Let’s start with the Egg Bowl:
David Brandt: Ole Miss 28, Mississippi State 20 — I have a weird feeling State is going to play a really good game and might win. However, in the end I’ve got to believe Ole Miss will out-score them.
Tyler Cleveland: Mississippi State 23, Ole Miss 16 — The Rebels should win, but the Bulldogs have more to play for and it’s at their place. Cold weather favors the Bulldogs.
Me: Ole Miss 24, Mississippi State 17 — Well, I’m trying to figure out how cold weather favors the Bulldogs. Tyler says it’s because they run the ball better. In this game I always pick the team that has had the better season and that’s Ole Miss. The Rebels have more weapons. I think it will be close and if Dak Prescott plays, I’d probably pick differently.
Moving on to Alabama and Auburn.
David Brandt: Bama 38, Auburn 10 — Auburn’s good at running but they are one-dimensional and you can’t be one-dimensional against Alabama.
Tyler Cleveland: Bama 41, Auburn 14 — Auburn is damn lucky to be where they are right now. Auburn slipped by Ole Miss, State, Georgia and got smoked by LSU. They will not slip by Bama.
Me: Bama, 31, Auburn 10 — Alabama is just plain better. Way better.
Texas A & M at Missouri.
David Brandt: Texas A &M, 41-33 — Johnny Football gives one more classic performance in his SEC finale. Missouri stays close but A & M makes one more play.
Tyler Cleveland: A & M, 35-28 — What David said. A & M has only lost one road game in the SEC.
Me: Missouri, 42-38 — I love me some Johnny Manziel, but Missouri is so, so much better than I thought they were and the Aggies’ defense is porous.
Florida State at Florida (as we chuckle), home of Georgia Southern.
David Brandt: 51-13, Florida State — Nothing stopping Famous Jameis.
Tyler Cleveland: 62-10, Florida State — Georgia Southern did not complete a pass; Florida State will — and they will pour it on and rub their faces in it.
Me: 38-7, FSU — And if the Gators block each other, it could get a lot worse.
Georgia vs. Georgia Tech
David Brandt: Georgia 31-20 — The Hutson Mason Era begins with a victory.
Tyler Cleveland: Georgia 21-16 — Would be worse if Murray was playing.
Me: Tech 30, Georgia 24 — Who the heck is Hutson Mason?
Arkansas at LSU
David Brandt: LSU, 35-13 — It’s been a tough year for the Razorbacks and LSU looks back on track after beating A & M.
Tyler Cleveland: LSU, 34-7 — No clock management involved.
Me: LSU, 27-7 — Arkansas is turrible.
Southern Miss at UAB
David Brandt: UAB, 27-17 — Southern Miss puts together one of its best games of the game but the turnover problems comes back to haunt them.
Tyler Cleveland: UAB, 28-17 — I never thought I would pick USM to lose to a 2-9 UAB, but I’d bet the house on this.
Me: UAB, 27-26 —I said I would never pick USM again until they win and, well, they haven’t.
Clemson at South Carolina
David Brandt: Clemson 31-20 — South Carolina will be distracted watching Missouri and Texas A & M, and Clemson won’t win five in a row to Clemson
Tyler Cleveland: South Carolina 28, Clemson 21 — When in doubt, go with the O.B.C.
Me: South Carolina, 20-17 — The Ol’ Ball Coach (OBC) has Clemson’s number.
Cutcliffe at Fedora
David Brandt: Duke, 38-31 — David Cutcliffe’s riding the train of destiny this year. Good for him.
Tyler Cleveland: Duke, 42-38 — The fighting Cutcliffes beat the fighting Fedoras with a furious second half comeback.
Me: Duke 28-27 — Hard pick between two guys I really like. But Karma seems to be a Blue Devil this season.
Saints at Seahawks
David Brandt: Seahawks, 28-17 — Tough matchup for the Saints out in the elements in Seattle. They’ll keep it close, but Seattle is really good.
Tyler Cleveland: Seahawks, 28-24 — Dammit.
Me: Saints, 27-24 — Oh ye of little faith. In Saint Drew I believe.
For those who care — and why would you? — I am 98-32 on the season. That’s 75.4 percent, which is better than, say, Florida.