Friday, December 1, 2006

ACC, SEC Championship Predictions

SEC Championship Atlanta 6:00 CBS
#8 Arkansas vs #4 Florida
Line: Florida -3.5, 44.5

Steve Spurrier always told his Gators that our goal was to win the SEC because if you did that you would be in the national title mix.  Not much has changed as Florida is looking for its first conference title since 2000 and a berth in the BCS Championship Game.

I think this game will come down to two things:  the offensive balance of Arkansas and ability of Florida's offense to move the ball consistently.  Last week, Casey Dick had an awful game at QB in the Razorback's loss to LSU.  This allowed LSU's defense to stick 8 in the box and string out the reverses and sweeps of Arkansas' Darren McFadden and Felix Jones.  Dick must be able to find his receivers, especially Marcus Monk, and keep Florida's defense off balance.  On the other side, Florida has been carried at times by their defense this year.  The offense will need to control the ball as much as they can with long scoring drives and keep it out of Arkansas hands as they have scored 26 touchdowns in five plays or less this year.  Turnovers, of course, will play a big part as well when you have two very evenly matched teams.  

I like Florida in this game to win, but I am not sure they can cover.  Florida has not scored more than 28 points on a DI team this year and it won't happen this week, so I also like the Under.
Prediction: Florida Wins, Arkansas Covers, Under

ACC Championship Jacksonville 1:00 ABC
#23 Georgia Tech vs #16 Wake Forest

Line: Ga Tech -2.5, 40.5

Not exactly the game in the dreams of the ACC, but someone is going to a BCS bowl from this game.

Custer had his last stand at Little Big Horn and this may be Reggie Ball's last stand.  If the four year starter does not win this game, he will be remembered as a disappointment no matter what happens in the bowl game.  Georgia Tech has the ACC's leading rusher in Tashard Choice, but this team lives and dies by Reggie Ball.  The Senior does not have to do anything special, but he does have to hold onto the ball.  Historically, he has rebounded well from playing poorly the prior week.  Wake Forest is not a particularly ball-hawking defense, but they could force Ball into some bad decisions creating turnovers.  I think Georgia Tech has more talent and speed, but they need to execute at a similar level to Wake Forest and that will fall squarely on Ball's shoulders.

I like Georgia Tech to bounce back and defeat Wake Forest behind Tashard Choice.
Prediction: Georgia Tech Wins, Covers, Over

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