Kathy Ireland? 1 bold prediction for every Week 3 SEC game
So those first two weeks, we’ll just call those preseason picks, right? You can’t fault a faulty prognosticator for trying to forget his mistakes. But like a bad QB, I’ve got a short memory and a tendency to sling crazy stuff all over the field. Here’s what I see coming in Week 3:
Not only will Alabama beat Ole Miss, they’ll outpass them: Little secret here: Alabama is a passing team. I know, it goes against everything we’ve pretty much ever seen. And don’t sleep on Damien Harris or Bo Scarbrough, but with Jalen Hurts doing what he does, the biggest plays are coming through the air. The Ole Miss secondary is dinged up, and if Nick Saban has ever lost to the same team three times in a row, I don’t remember it. (P.S.: I ignore the Big Ten.)
Tennessee will be flat, not cover, and concern its fans again: This really isn’t especially bold. You all saw Week 1. UT is capable of laying an egg now and again, and in a game between the Battle at Bristol and TMATGOTY (that’s The Most Anticipated Tennessee Game of the Year, my instantly created acronym for the Florida game), it’ll be hard not to have a letdown. Ohio isn’t good, but the Bobcats aren’t awful either, and Frank Solich won’t be intimidated.
UT will win, and it won’t take any Week 1 style heroics, but I see a 24-10, 27-14 kind of game in the works Saturday. Don’t worry though, Vol Nation. It’s all just a pregame for TMATGOTY. (#MakeTMATGOTYathing)
Zach Cunningham will lead the SEC in tackles, but Vandy will lose: Against Paul Johnson’s triple option attack, the Commodores’ hard-hitting linebacker will put up an insane stat line. But unless Vandy can discover some attempt at a passing game themselves, Tech will laugh last. On the upside, Vandy fans, I predicted a Week 1 win and a Week 2 loss, and the Commodores have messed me up both times.
Take Boom Williams for surprise SEC player of the Week: Kentucky has been brutal in two weeks, and will entertain a horrible New Mexico State team. Don’t be surprised if the Wildcats pull an Olivia Newton-John and decide to get physical, and further don’t be surprised if Stanley “Boom” Williams has 150-200 yards rushing. Next week is when Kentucky’s season will get interesting, albeit briefly, if they play like the last six quarters they’ve wasted.
East Carolina rallies late, upsets Will Muschamp and the Gamecocks: If you can’t stop the run, you can’t win games. And South Carolina turned Nick Fitzgerald into Dak 2.0 last week against Mississippi State. Considering that South Alabama turned him into an average QB, that doesn’t bode real well for Carolina. Muschamp’s team will take some tough freshman losses, and I think this is one of those.
Aggies roll by two scores: I don’t understand how Auburn is favored. Yes, they topped 700 yards last week, and yes, their defense is capable, but A&M looks solidly like the second best team in the West — and maybe the entire SEC — so far. I like Knight, I like their stable of running backs, and I like a 13-17 point win in this game for A&M.
LSU wins, doesn’t cover, grumbling against Les Miles increases: I feel so confident in this, I can’t even claim that it’s bold. I know Leonard Fournette is the best football player on the planet, but I also know that this LSU team is doing less with more than anybody in the SEC West. Mississippi State, on the other hand, will probably play out their season on a steady uptick. This will be a competitive game, and while the Tigers will win, Miles’ seat stays hot.
Arkansas has a Tennessee-like let down, fails to cover against Texas State: How could you blame Arkansas? That TCU game was craziness. The Razorbacks will be fine, but won’t be at their sharpest Saturday. Texas State (weren’t they the team in Necessary Roughness?) has no chance to win, but if Manu Manu the Slender can sack Austin Allen a couple times, and Kathy Ireland can hit a couple of field goals, they won’t get embarrassed. I just hope we can all be there at halftime for Coach Rigg’s electric NSFW speech. … Let us pray.
Florida will have their third different leading rusher in three weeks — Mark Thompson — as they roll: Florida’s offense, aside from having the good luck to play Kentucky, has been pretty pedestrian. I think the best way out of this is to increasingly feature stud running back Mark Thompson, who is fast enough to be a second level guy, and strong enough to bull through the SEC — as well as North Texas, by a long shot. North Texas will wish that Mean Joe Greene could suit up Saturday, but he won’t, and Florida will roll as they get ready for TMATGOTY next weekend.
Georgia answers the bell, wins by two scores or more: I don’t buy into Missouri’s passing game, at least not against legitimate SEC defenses. And I think this is the week that Kirby Smart starts to earn his millions. Nick Chubb will redeem himself for a dozy performance last week and vault back up the Heisman standings, and Mizzou is exposed as perhaps the best of the second-flight SEC teams — but still a mile back from the three big dogs.