Thursday, November 1, 2007

Alabama LSU Highlight Weekend Action

I got off to a good start with the Virginia Tech win, lets see if you the momentum keeps rolling.

Boston College vs Florida State 8:00 ABC
Line: BC -6.5, 44.5
Open: BC -6.5

Boston College comes into this game sustaining its number two ranking after a come from behind win at Virginia Tech. Florida State rebounded against Duke holding a pass happy Blue Devil offense to single digits. A win will take the Eagles one step closer to an Atlantic Division title. The QB controversy in Tallahassee is over for the mean time as Xavier Lee is serving a two game suspension for “violation of team rules” – you know it must be serious for Bobby to suspend someone.

I like BC in this game and here is why:
They had a big scare in Blacksburg, but the necessary plays at the end of the game to win. Every championship team has that game where they have to pull out all the stops to win. Drew Weatherford has not shown the ability to lead the offense to a big win. The Seminoles have won games over the last couple of years from defense. The BC defense has been very stout against the run and will make the Seminoles one-dimensional – I don’t trust Drew Weatherford to make enough of a positive difference.

One caveat…If the FSU pass rush can get pressure on Matt Ryan like VT did with just 4 rushers

BC Wins, Covers, Under

Boston College 24 Florida State 17

Alabama vs LSU 5:00 CBS

Line: LSU -7, 47.5
Open: LSU -7.5

Both teams are coming off bye weeks into this budding SEC rivalry. I have hear sayings like “Nick Saban is the second most hated person in Louisiana after FEMA”. Saban’s off color comments about LSU fans didn’t help either. He left a lot of talent in Baton Rouge and Les Miles has taken advantage of it – 17 of 22 LSU starters were recruited by Saban. The winner of this game has the inside track to the SEC West title.

I don’t know a whole lot about Alabama, but I do know that they throw the ball around a lot and the front seven is kind of weak, but the secondary is pretty strong. I think LSU is the most talented team in the country. The Tigers did have a little incident over the weekend involving backup Ryan Perrilloux’s status is uncertain as Miles is awaiting more details on the incident.

LSU needed that week off more than any team in the country after 3 straight games that went the full 60 minutes. The Tigers are very balanced on offense. Their highly touted defense has a bunch of talent, but has given up some points this year. Despite his 29-5 record, some LSU fans are not sold on the hire of Miles.

Saban knows most of these LSU players very well, especially the Tiger secondary which will be tested by the pass happy Crimson Tide – Saban was the secondary coach while at LSU.

Why I like Alabama to Cover:
LSU had a distracting off the field incident last weekend with a backup LB dismissed from the team. LSU has needed some luck to pull off their last two victories; luck eventually runs out. LSU’s toughest road game of the year they lost to Kentucky
Alabama is coming off a big win over Tennessee and a bye week and Saban has never lacked confidence.

Caveat…LSU does have a significant advantage in talent over Alabama and Miles’s LSU teams have played their best football in November.
Will Nick Saban be posing like this after Alabama beats LSU? I don't think so, but the Tide will make it close.
LSU Wins, Alabama Covers, Over
LSU 28 Alabama 24

Arkansas vs South Carolina 8:00 ESPN2
Line: Ark -4.5, 50
Open: Ark -4.5

South Carolina’s division title hopes are still there though they need some help. They can start by beating Arkansas, but that will be difficult in Fayetteville. The Razorbacks have been disappointing this year and although Darren McFadden and Felix Jones are having good years, the loss of Marcus Monk has really allowed opposing defenses to gear solely towards the run. The Gamecocks have had issues of their own at QB where Blake Mitchell has assumed the starting position again after Chris Smelley in three straight games.

Houston Nutt definitely has the pressure on him and rumors of a Butch Davis pursuit to Arkansas are already swirling. The Hogs are 1-3 in the SEC and there are no gimme games in the SEC. The Gamecocks, once thought to be the favorites in the SEC East are now long shots. The State breaks the race down with all the tiebreakers.

Why I like South Carolina:
The Gamecocks have lost two in a row and Spurrier doesn’t go three weeks without making adjustments. Houston Nutt has been playing tight enough to squeeze a diamond out of his a$$ this year – you can’t play scared against Spurrier.

Caveat…Arkansas should have Marcus Monk back this week that can stretch the field vertically and open up more of the running game for McFadden and Jones. Monk victimized the South Carolina secondary several times last year.
Me thinks Blake Mitchell will have a good game and pull out the W
South Carolina Wins, Under
South Carolina 17 Arkansas 14

Florida vs Vanderbilt 12:30 Lincoln Financial

Line: Fla -15.5, 50
Open: Fla -16.5

The Gators are beaten and bruised and sit in 3rd place in the East Division. Tim Tebow’s bruised right shoulder (non-throwing) really showed its weakness against Georgia as Urban Meyer ran him significantly less than in previous games. Vanderbilt has beaten South Carolina and played Georgia to the wire already this year; the only game they have not been in was at Auburn.

Meyer would love nothing more than to get out to early lead and cruise in the second half allowing his team some rest because they travel to South Carolina next week. That will be tough against an improved Commodore team who nearly left the Swamp with a win two years ago, but a controversial end zone celebration penalty helped prevent that.

Why I like Vanderbilt to Cover:
Florida is tired and beat up; Tebow has a bum shoulder and will not be very effective running the ball. Vanderbilt should have beaten the team that just beat Florida last week. This game is sandwiched between losing to Georgia and a showdown next week versus South Carolina.

Caveat…If Vandy turns the ball over early in their territory allowing Florida short field, early scores, and the crowd to get into the game. Vanderbilt needs to keep it close in the first half as they are not geared to come from behind.

Did I mention Tebow has a hurt shoulder and isn't feeling good? Tebow has had much better times in Gainesville than right now.
Tebow runs it up the middle.

Florida Wins, Vanderbilt Covers, Under
Florida 30 Vanderbilt 17

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