I cooled off a bit last week, going 5-1 and missing Kentucky’s upset of Georgia.
So that means I’ve hit 20 of my last 21. Notice the trace of disappointment in my voice? You see, we strive for perfection in the SEC.
One bad season, one bad week … and you’re gone in this league.
For the year, I’m now 75-14 (.843). Big week coming up. But, then, they’re all big.
Here are my picks for week 13:
Alabama 27, Auburn 21: Something says that Auburn is going to rise up and play one of its best games of the season. The Tigers have had a week off, and you know Gus Malzahn is going to have a few wrinkles for the Alabama defense. Look for another fourth-quarter game … and another Alabama win.
Ole Miss 24, Mississippi State 17: This has classic letup written all over it for the Rebels, who are coming off two huge wins at home. Meanwhile, this is the Bulldogs’ last chance to salvage their season and keep from finishing 4-8 for the second year in a row. It won’t be easy, but the Rebels will make enough plays on defense to survive this Egg Bowl test.
Georgia Tech 38, Georgia 28: The Bulldogs haven’t lost two in a row to the Yellow Jackets since dropping three straight in this series from 1998-2000. You just wonder where this Georgia team is emotionally right now. It’s already been a long season for Mark Richt and Co., and it’s about to get even longer.
Florida 37, Florida State 13: It’s sure to be a teary-eyed sendoff for the Florida seniors, who’ve compiled a 46-6 record during their stay in Gainesville. None of those guys have ever lost to the Seminoles, either, and they’re not about to start now. Tim Tebow and his classmates will go out in style in the Swamp.
LSU 28, Arkansas 24: While realizing that the Hogs haven’t been the same team on the road this season, the real mystery in this one is how the Tigers will respond from the bitter Ole Miss loss and the avalanche of negativity this week surrounding Les Miles. Look for the Tigers to rally around their embattled coach and lock up a trip to the Cotton Bowl.
Tennessee 24, Kentucky 20: A lot of signs point to the Wildcats breaking through and ending the drought once and for all. They’re playing well. They’re playing with confidence, and the Vols are beaten up on defense. But seeing is believing, and for whatever reason, Tennessee has always seemed to find a way to win this game and Kentucky has always found a way to lose it.
South Carolina 21, Clemson 20: Talk about going against the grain. Clemson has won 10 of the last 12 meetings in this series and is streaking toward a date with Georgia Tech in the ACC championship game. South Carolina, on the other hand, is trying to avoid a late-season collapse for the third straight year. The Gamecocks have had a week off and are good enough on defense to keep C.J. Spiller in check. They’re also due for a big win at home.