We’ve got big games; I’ve got guesses
Achiles had his heel. Napoleon had Waterloo. Custer had Little Big Horn. I’ve got the Saints.
My forecast record for this football season is 50-13, which isn’t bad. But consider: In games not involving the Saints, I am 49-10. You can do the math. I can’t predict the Saints any better than they can play defense. We’ll try again on this most huge of huge football weekends in Mississippi. And we’ll save the Saints for last, which is where they currently reside.
Mississippi State 30, Texas A&M 24: The Aggies opened as 2-point favorites and are now 2-point underdogs. Lots of money going down on the Dogs. I just like the way it sets up for State with the Aggies coming off a tough, physical, emotional game with Arkansas, while State was enjoying a week off after knocking off LSU. State needs to control the ball, make long drives and keep A&M offense off the field. I think they will. If you like to watch really good quarterback play, this is one to watch.
Alabama 24, Ole Miss 20 — Again, the open date favors Alabama, which has had a extra week to prepare for Bo Wallace and the Rebels’ fast-paced offense. Regardless of the pace, the key to this game is for the Rebels to be able to run the football with some success and make the game easier for Wallace. Expect Ole Miss to really go after Bama’s young quarterback and the Rebels have plenty to go at him with. Ole Miss’ defense should keep them in any game. An upset would not shock.
Middle Tennessee State 38, Southern Miss 17 — Middle is one of the best teams in Conference USA. USM is not.
Auburn 41, LSU 27 — Auburn just has more weapons and is playing at home.
South Carolina 30, Kentucky 27 — Another game where the betting line has made a huge swing — this one toward Kentucky, playing at home. The Gamecocks opened a 10-point favorite. That has since been bet down to 3. I agree with the gamblers and a Kentucky victory would not shock.
Georgia 45, Vandy 14 — Another big day for the Gurley man.
Tennessee 27, Florida 20 — Florida opened as a favorite and has become the underdog. Tennessee is getting better; can’t say the same for Gators.
Jackson State 24, Prairie View 23 — The View is winless, but has been competitive in every SWAC game. This is no gimmee. Not sure one exists for this JSU team.
Texas Southern 30, MVSU 17 — Valley looking for first conference victory but it won’t come in this one in downtown Houston.
Virginia Tech 27, North Carolina 24 — Larry Fedora needs a victory in the worst way. I just don’t see it here.
Baylor 24, Texas 14 — Never thought I’d see the day Baylor would smack-talk Texas. That day has come.
Saints 27, Tampa Bay 23 — And as I type this, news comes across that high-priced free agent safety Jairus Byrd is out for the season with a knee injury suffered in practice. Still, I’ll take the Saints at home. But if they lose this one, well, the price of paper bags in New Orleans will go up. Supply and demand, you know…
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