Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low
No more bragging for me. The best prognosticators don’t talk about it. They just do it.
After last week’s 4-3 record, I’d say I’ve learned my lesson. I think even my ACC colleague, Heather Dinich, fared better than I did last week.
Obviously, I’ve got to get it in gear. My record for the season slipped to 55-13 (.808). Anything less than an .800 record would subject me to a half-game suspension (no, I didn’t attempt to gouge Dinich’s eyes) and having to watch another entire game where Tennessee dons those hideous black and orange uniforms.
There’s been talk of auctioning off those black jerseys. Here’s a better idea: Burn them.
Black and orange go together about as well Lane Kiffin and Urban Meyer at a Lil Wayne concert.
Now, on to this week’s SEC picks:
Auburn 45, Furman 13: Once a powerhouse (back when Bobby Johnson was running the show), Furman has fallen on some hard times this season. The Paladins have lost three of their last four games and given up a total of 90 points in their last two games to Appalachian State and The Citadel. The Tigers won’t score 50 in this one, but they’ll get close. This is also a chance for Ben Tate to make a big move in the race for the SEC rushing title.
Ole Miss 48, Northern Arizona: 7: Yes, this is the second FCS team the Rebels have faced this season. And, yes, there’s no excuse for that. When you look at their nonconference schedule, it ranks up there with some of the worst in recent SEC history. The Rebels should at least get a chance to play some younger players in this game, though, and rest up guys like Dexter McCluster heading into the home stretch.
Georgia 41, Tennessee Tech 6: There’s no truth to the rumor that the Bulldogs are going to break out those black helmets for a second straight week. After what happened in Jacksonville, you have to wonder if you’ll ever see them again. Georgia coach Mark Richt received the dreaded vote of confidence this week from his athletic director. The entire Georgia team could use some confidence ... and a few more wins.
Kentucky 40, Eastern Kentucky 14: What next for the Wildcats? They lost their starting quarterback, haven’t had All-America cornerback Trevard Lindley for the last four games and have been dealing with the flu this week. They’re coming off a bitter 31-24 home loss to Mississippi State that had coach Rich Brooks questioning his team’s focus. They still need two more wins to become bowl eligible, but that number should be whittled to one come Saturday evening.
Tennessee 31, Memphis 10: It’s always exciting when Bruce Pearl and John Calipari go at it. My bad, wrong sport. Plus, Cal has traded his Memphis blue for Kentucky blue. The Vols are going to be blue if they don’t win this one in a runaway. They’re playing their best football of the season right now and want to go into that Ole Miss game next week on a roll.
Florida 38, Vanderbilt 7: The Gators got it going offensively last week in their 41-17 win over Georgia, and Tim Tebow responded with two touchdowns passing and two touchdowns rushing. It was just like old times. Unfortunately, the same goes for the Commodores, who’ve been anemic offensively. Senior quarterback Mackenzi Adams will step in for the injured Larry Smith the rest of the way.
Arkansas 35, South Carolina 31: Both offenses should be able to move the ball, especially with South Carolina missing a couple of starters on defense, including standout defensive end Cliff Matthews. The Hogs have been hard to stop offensively all season at home. They’ve scored at least 41 points in all four games. They won’t get 40 in this game, but they’ll get enough to move within one game of being bowl eligible.
Alabama 20, LSU 14: With the way these two defenses are playing, one touchdown and a field goal might be enough. It’s hard to envision either offense taking the ball and consistently driving it against the other defense. So the team that can hit a few big plays and also get it done on the offensive line during key situations is the team that will emerge. Between them, Mark Ingram and Julio Jones will make just enough plays for a rested Alabama team to remain unbeaten and punch its ticket to Atlanta.