Friday, November 28, 2008

Georgia-Georgia Tech Preview and Prediction



Georgia vs Georgia Tech
Line: Georgia -9
Saturday 12:00 PM

Most people would have agreed at the beginning of the season that one of these teams would have possibly had a conference championship game waiting for them after this game, but not too many would have said that team would be Georgia Tech. Although Georgia's season has not lived up the pre season #1 ranking, they still have a chance to extend their winning streak in this rivalry to eight straight with a win. Meanwhile, Paul Johnson will be entering his first game of the rivalry as GT's coach and is hoping to bring his success against his rivals while at Navy to "Clean, Old Fashioned Hate"

Keys to the Game:

1. Turnovers

It has been pretty simple for Georgia Tech this season; when they win the turnover battle they win, when they don't they lose. Paul Johnson is 14-0 in his last 14 games where his team has won the turnover battle. Georgia Tech's offense can be high risk/high reward. The option brings a lot of big plays into the fold, but can also lead to turnovers especially with a young team like Tech's. If Tech wins the turnover battle, they will win the game.

2. Knowshon's Carries

So far in 2008, Georgia is undefeated when Knowhon Moreno gets 20+ carries in a game. The Bulldogs have been quick to get away from the running game if things are not going well early on. If Tech stops the run early, UGA needs to stick with the Doak Walker Finalist. If Moreno gets 25 carries or 100 yards, then Georgia will win this game.

3. Stack the Box

Some teams have tried to put eight or nine players into the box in hopes of stopping Georgia Tech's rush offense, but it has largely been unsuccessful. When I rewatched the Florida-Georgia game, I noticed Florida stacked the box early and was able to stop Moreno. But Georgia Tech should careful of this with such a young secondary against the most talented WR group Georgia has had in at least five years. However, if I am the Tech DC I take my chances with Matt Stafford beating me as opposed to Moreno. And the same goes for Georgia who would like to force Tech to pass.

Prediction

This is one of the most anticipated games in this series in a while. Maybe it is still a secret to the rest of the world, but Chan Gailey was fired and Paul Johnson brought into Tech because of the Yellow Jackets losing streak against UGA. I think Georgia Tech will be able to run the ball successfully, but a costly turnover late will sway the tide to Georgia. The Bulldogs win, but Tech keeps it close and covers.

Georgia 28 Georgia Tech 24
Georgia Tech Covers +9

Last Week: 1-3 ATS, 2-2 SU
Season: 29-21-2 ATS, 34-18 SU


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Florida vs Florida State Preview and Prediction


Florida State vs Florida
Line: Florida -16.5
Saturday 3:30 PM


This rivalry has lost a little bit of its luster over the past few seasons, but there is still plenty on the line for the Florida Gators who need a win to set up a showdown with Alabama next week. FSU will have one eye on the Florida Gators and one on the Boston College-Maryland game hoping for a Terps win to send the Noles to the ACC Championship Game. I am sure Seminole fans would also not mind knocking the Gators out of the national title picture as well.


Keys to the Game:

1. Turnovers

Any time a team is this big of an underdog the will need turnovers to help sway the momentum and talent difference their way. I went back and watch Florida's win over Georgia and realized just how big all of those UGA turnovers were. FSU cannot afford to turn the ball over Florida's offense and they need to force a few of their own.

2. Keep It Close Early

We have seen just how explosive this Florida offense is the last month of play. FSU needs to keep it close early to stay in this one. Otherwise, that Florida offense could get a roll like it did last year and hit the 45 point mark again. Also, you do not want the Florida defense to be able to pin their ears back against a one - dimensional offense led by a freshman QB.

Prediction

I think a big plus FSU has this year over last is a very good running game. I think the 'Noles can keep the ball away from Florida with a solid ground game. If they can limit turnovers they will have a chance in the 4th quarter. However, Florida has too much talent on both sides of the ball and puts the game away in the 4th quarter.

Florida 35 Florida State 24
FSU Covers +16.5

Last Week: 1-3 ATS, 2-2 SU
Season: 29-21-2 ATS, 34-18 SU

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Clemson vs South Carolina Preview and Prediction



Clemson vs South Carolina
Line: Pick'em
Saturday 12:00 PM
The Battle of the Palmetto State has huge implications for both teams. Clemson is fighting for bowl eligibility while a South Carolina win could posture them for a New Years Day Bowl Bid. Clemson has an interim coach, Dabo Swinney, in his first role as head coach in the rivalry. He will be going against an SEC legend in Steve Spurrier who is only 1-2 against Clemson thus far. Much like the state of Alabama, this game means everything to a state with no pro sport teams and the win (or loss) lasts 365 days.

Keys to the Game:

1. How will the South Carolina QBs Play?

Spurrier has gone back to his pattoned QB revolving door playing both Chris Smelley and Stephen Garcia. Last time out both were swarmed by the Florida Gators defense and played from behind the entire game. It is very important for these QBs to settle in early because the Gamecocks don't have much of a running game to bail them out.

2. Can Clemson Stick With The Run?

Clemson has a very talented duo at tailback, but has to fight the urge to go away from it if it not working early. CJ Spiller and James Davis are talented enough that you have to give them a chance to move the ball for you. The Clemson offensive line has played better later in the season, but is young and has been up and down this season.
3. Emotion

Emotion is always big in rivalry games, but I think it is racheted up in this one mostly due to the precense of Swinney. The Clemson interim coach has pulled nearly every trick out of the book to get his teams fired up to play since Tommy Bowden's departure. I think his emotion and intensity has helped Clemson to get to this position where a win puts them in a bowl most likely. On the other hand, South Carolina has had the better season thus far and would like to reverse the recent trend of losses in the series very badly.

Prediction
The pick'em line accurately represents how close this game will be. Clemson is at home and has won more in the series as of late, but I think a big factor being overlooked is that South Carolina had a bye week last week and has had two weeks to prepare. I think Clemson comes out hot, but South Carolina hangs around and makes a big play late to steal the game, much like 2006.

South Carolina 17 Clemson 14
South Carolina wins pick'em

Last Week: 1-3 ATS, 2-2 SU
Season: 29-21-2 ATS, 34-18 SU

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Clemson-South Carolina Rivalry Has Deep Roots

One of the featured rivalries this weekend is the Clemson-South Carolina game on Saturday. These two teams are not only in state rivals, but also from rival conferences, the ACC and SEC. The Tigers have gotten the best of this series as of late, but the Gamecocks have the better record thus far in 2008. I asked a Clemson fan and South Carolina fan from ACCvsSEC Forums to give me a perspectives on this rivalry from those who live with it everyday. And the loser of this game will live with it for 365 days in the state of South Carolina.


The rivalry between Clemson and South Carolina has its roots steeped in hatred. The University of South Carolina was originally known as the South Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts. It was renamed to South Carolina College in 1882 to the dislike of the farmers in the community. They felt that agricultural education was important and should be emphasized. Benjamin Tillman, a Democrat from South Carolina, became the leader of this movement. Taking a cue from what would become Mississippi State University, he became convinced that it would be a better idea to start a separate agricultural college altogether. Tillman attempted to obtain the funds to start the college but the funds were instead given to the University of South Carolina.

When Thomas Green Clemson died in 1888, he willed Tillman his Fort Hill estate for the establishment of the college. Tillman used his pull to have a bill passed accepting the bequest of Clemson. The state had become divided in their support for the two colleges. Tillman attempted to close the University of South Carolina but only succeeded in reorganizing it into a liberal arts college. The bitterness between the two schools and its supporters have continued throughout the year and while it's origins are in political and social issues it has extended into the field of sports. Many people don't know the behind the scenes reasons for the rivalry beginning but many people just know that they're supposed to hate the other team.

Having been born in another state, I realized upon moving to South Carolina that you basically have to pick a side to root for. The rivalry has become one of the most underrated rivalries in college sports, having been dubbed so by Ivan Maisel of ESPN. The Rivalry has also been dubbed, "The Battle of the Palmetto State". It is the longest and uninterrupted football rivalry in the South and third longest in the country. The rivalry has seen many memorable moments in its history. The first game was held in 1896, a game that Carolina won 12-6. In 1902, a full scale riot broke out after a Carolina victory over an insulting poster made by Carolina fans. The rivalry was suspended until 1909 as a result. In 1946 another riot broke out after a Clemson fan strangled a live chicken at midfield after halftime. In 1961 the South Carolina fraternity members wore fake Clemson uniforms and ran on the field and mocked the football team which prompted Clemson fans to angrily storm the field. The most recent brawl took place in 2004 between the football team. Both schools voluntarily banned themselves from a bowl game. Clemson leads the football series 64-37-4.

While obviously important to the players, the rivalry has become very important to the fans as well. The winner of the game each year has year long bragging rights. Because of Clemson's domination of South Carolina in recent years in football, many Carolina fans look to the game as sort of a validation for accomplishment in the sport. This is not to say Clemson fans don't hate losing to South Carolina equally as bad. The fact that both teams now play in two competing conferences in the South only adds to the competitiveness of the rivalry, with South Carolina fans frequently mentioning the fact that they play in a superior conference to Clemson. It seems that both team’s fans and players agree on one thing though. Each would like to meet one year with something more on the line than just bragging rights. The highest ranked matchup between the two teams took place in 1987, when the #12 Gamecocks defeated the #8 Tigers by a score of 20-7.
And here is the South Carolina perspective...

The reason that USC and Clemson are rivals dates back all the way to the
formation of Clemson. Clemson Agricultural College of South Carolina was founded
in 1889 on a piece of land left by Thomas Green Clemson in his will. The
governor of South Carolina at the time was “Pitchfork Ben” Tillman, and he was
one of the main figures that lobbied for the creation of the College. Clemson
and Tillman both being Populists and wealthy planters wanted a college in South
Carolina dedicated to agriculture and they designed the college to be similar to
Mississippi A&M (Mississippi State).

From the beginning the two school’s social, political, and academic beliefs
and objectives have been different thus creating a discourse between the two
schools outside of athletics.Saying that South Carolinians like football is like
saying fish like water. South Carolina is only the 24th biggest state in the US
with only 4.4 million residents however; on any given Saturday in the fall
160,000 people can be found inside the football stadiums of our two biggest
schools. This rivalry is also intensified by the fact there are no professional
teams in the state and South Carolina and Clemson athletics provide the highest
level of athletics for the residents of the state, which make’s the annual
football game between the two schools the biggest sporting event in the state.

Winning the game Saturday for USC would be a very big deal. Firstly beating
Clemson in football at any time is always a source of pride for all Carolina
fans. Winning this game would also propel USC to a New Year’s Day bowl for the
first time since the 2001 season, and at the same time making Clemson ineligible
for a bowl game for the first time since 1998.

I agree with Ivan Maisel in regards to the underrating of this rivalry. It is similar to Auburn-Alabama in that there are not pro sports in South Carolina, but hasn't gotten the notoriety of the Iron Bowl because Clemson and South Carolina don't have the long standing traditions of Auburn and Alabama. I remember reading a few years back in the AJC regarding this rivalry - "there are going to be some people rolling around the dirt before this one is over".

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Virginia vs Virginia Tech Preview and Prediction


Virginia Tech vs Virginia
Line: Va Tech -8
Saturday 12:00 PM

The Hokies and Cavaliers meet in Blacksburg on Saturday in their annual battle for the Commonwealth Cup with an ACC Coastal Division Title on the line. If Virginia Tech wins their fifth straight in the series, then the Hokies will be going to Tampa. If UVA can pull off the upset, then Georgia Tech will go. The Cavaliers also need this win to become bowl eligible.

Keys to the Game:

1. Cedric Peerman of Old or New


Peerman's performance running the ball has set the tone for Virginia this season, but he has really struggled of late. He had just 45 yards last week in a loss to Clemson, 43 the previous week in a loss, and just 71 in a loss three weeks ago to Miami. In the Wahoos last win, Peerman torched Georgia Tech for over 100. Which Cedric Peerman will we see?

2. Can The QBs Bounce Back?

Both teams had 3 INT thrown by their QBs last week. Virginia QB Marc Verica has played pretty well most of the season, but threw 3 INT last week against Clemson. Va Tech's QB duo of Sean Glennon and Tyrod Taylor threw 3 picks combined against Duke. I would say Verica has out played the Hokie duo for most of the season reconfirmed by the fact that VT got their first TD reception by a receiver last week.

Prediction


In addition to having the stats advantage, the Hokies are undefeated at home in 2008. They have also covered the last four against UVA. For the Cavaliers to win, they will need to have an outstanding performance from Cedric Peerman and a solid game from Marc Verica. However, I think the Hokies defense will be too tough for the Cavs duo to overcome. Take VT with the win and the cover.

Virginia Tech 21 Virginia 10
Va Tech Covers -8

Last Week: 1-3 ATS, 2-2 SU
Season: 29-21-2 ATS, 34-18 SU


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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Alabama vs Auburn Preview and Prediction



Alabama vs Auburn
Line: Alabama -14
Saturday 3:30 PM

Alabama will be looking to finish the regular season undefeated and more importantly break a 6 game losing streak to Auburn. Meanwhile, the Tigers need a win just to become bowl eligible. This is the most bitter rivalry in the South and if you don't believe, listen to the Paul Finebaum radio show; this game is 365 days a year in the state of Alabama.

Keys to the Game:

1. Alabama Impose Their Will

Every time Alabama has been challenged this season, they come out firing on all cylinders and run the ball down the other teams throat. While the Tide may not feel much of a challenge in this one, I bet Nick Saban wants Auburn to know pretty quickly who has the advantage on the offensive and defensive lines. If Auburn can slow Alabama's running game they may have a shot with John Parker Wilson throwing the ball.

2. Turnovers

Auburn will need Alabama to do something uncharacteristic this season and that is turn the ball over. I don't think Auburn can consistently drive the ball on Alabama's defense. Conversely, the Tigers have to take care of the ball. Learn something from the LSU game tape and do not throw to Rashad Johnson over the middle.

Prediction

I want to say that you 'throw the records out' in this rivalry, but you can't when the disparity is this big. Alabama dominated Auburn in every statistical category and the Tigers have not shown anything this season that they can beat a team like Alabama. I will take the Crimson Tide with the win and the cover.

Alabama 28 Auburn 7
Alabama Covers -14

Last Week: 1-3 ATS, 2-2 SU
Season: 29-21-2 ATS, 34-18 SU


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North Carolina-Duke Preview and Prediction


Duke vs North Carolina
Line: UNC -8

Saturday 3:30 PM


What is arguably the best rivalry in college basketball is also a pretty fierce one on the gridiron as well. Despite Duke's troubles in football, they have played North Carolina very tough the last few years including losing in OT last season. North Carolina is bowl eligible, but is out of the Coastal Division title race after losing to NC State last week. Duke will fall short of a bowl in David Cutcliffe's first year, but has shown vast improvement over previous years.


Keys to the Game:


1. Run Defense


Neither of these teams are very good at stopping the run allowing over 145 ypg on the ground. When UNC is at its best, they are able to run with Shaun Draughn and Ryan Houston in tandem - see Ga Tech win. Last week, they had to pass so much because they were so far behind NC State. Duke has not run much this year and their leading rusher last week was backup QB Paul Asack. I wonder if Duke can exploit UNC's run defense this week.


2. QBs Back From Injury


TJ Yates returned from injury last week and did not have a great game against NC State. He was relieved by former starter Cam Sexton who played his worst game of the year. Duke is in a similar situation where Thaddeus Lewis will play this week, but it is not certain whether he will start. His backup, Asack threw 4 INT last week in the loss to Va Tech. Both teams need to have their QB settle in early and have a good game.


Prediction


Duke has covered in four of the last five meetings in this one furthering my point of how close the Blue Devils have been lately in this rivalry. North Carolina played very poorly last week as did Duke. If both play like that again, the pre season basketball magazine may provide some good entertainment in the 2nd half. UNC is the more talented of the two by a good margin, but I think Duke keeps it close with their defense. Take North Carolina on the money line, but take Duke on the points.


North Carolina 23 Duke 17

Duke Covers +8

Last Week: 1-3 ATS, 2-2 SU

Season: 29-21-2 ATS, 34-18 SU


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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Vanderbilt-Wake Forest Preview and Prediction



Wake Forest vs Vanderbilt
Line: Wake Forest -4
Saturday 7:00 PM

Vanderbilt travels to Wake Forest in a forgotten ACC vs SEC matchup this weekend. The Commodores are bowl eligible for the first time since 1982, but are coming off an ugly loss to Tennessee last week. Wake Forest lost out on a potential ACC Championship last week and will try to break a two game losing streak.

Keys to the Game

1. Turnovers

Both of these teams rely on turnovers to generate points. Wake and Vandy have been out gained in seven of their last 10 games. Both teams average under 300 ypg of total offense and will need every opportunity they can get on offense. The team that wins the turnover battle will likely win the game.

2. Can Vandy Settle on a QB?

You know the old saying that if you have two QBs you don't have one? I think this applies to Vandy this year. When they are able to get solid QB play from the starter then they have done much better than switching back and forth.

Prediction

This game may get real ugly. Neither team is explosive on offense, heck they barely have a pulse. Turnovers will overwhelmingly decide this game. I like Wake Forest at home, but they will not cover the 4 spot

Wake Forest 21 Vanderbilt 20
Vandy Covers +4

Last Week: 1-3 ATS, 2-2 SU
Season: 29-21-2 ATS, 34-18 SU


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Tennessee-Kentucky Preview and Prediction


Tennessee vs Kentucky
Line: Tennessee – 4.5
Saturday 6:30 PM

This is Phil Fulmer’s last game as Tennessee head coach and he is playing a team he has never lost to, Kentucky. The Vols currently own the longest active winning streak (23) over an opponent (UK) and have not lost to the Wildcats since 1984.. Kentucky had an off week to prepare for this rivalry game after a loss to Vandy.

Keys to the Game:

1. What will Tennessee do at QB? Can They Do Anything?

Will they play Jonathan Crompton who threw one pass last week for an interception? Will they go with Eric Berry at QB who played both ways last week? Or maybe WR Gerald Jones. I don’t think the Vols can depend on getting ahead and holding on for dear life like last week because Kentucky has a better offense than Vanderbilt. I think UT needs to get something positive out of the QB position this week unless they are going to run for 300+ yards.

2. What Kind of Performance Will Randall Cobb Have?

Will we see something like the game the UK freshman had against Georgia or the letdown we saw against Vandy the following week? Being a freshman his psyche is fragile, but he should have been able to put away the bad game during the off week. UT Safety (and sometimes QB) Eric Berry is licking his chops at playing the freshman hoping to further increase his national INT lead.

Prediction

Tennessee played with a lot more emotion last week than they did in their prior game against Wyoming. The Vol Nation will have Phil Fulmer on their mind wanting to send him out a winner in his final game. But If I am Rich Brooks and the Kentucky Wildcats, I am stacking 9 guys in the box and making whomever Tennessee puts at QB beat me through the air. If Kentucky’s Cobb can limit the turnovers, the Wildcats have an excellent chance of ending this streak. I will take Kentucky in the upset.

Kentucky 27 Tennessee 24
Kentucky Covers +4.5


Last Week: 1-3 ATS, 2-2 SU
Season: 29-21-2 ATS, 34-18 SU


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LSU-Arkansas Hope To Generate Excitement of '06 and '07 Games


Arkansas vs LSU (Friday in Little Rock)
Line: LSU -4.5

The Battle for the Golden Boot will take place in Little Rock with both teams trying to rebound from losses last week. LSU has lost four of their last six and the defending BCS Champions sit at just 7-4 while Arkansas lost a heartbreaker at Miss State last week and is playing for their fifth win of the year.

Keys to the Game:

1. Can Anyone Stop Anyone?


This will be a matchup of two of SEC’s two worst defenses. Arkansas is very weak against the run where LSU is usually strong. The Tigers have been very suspect against the pass and that happens to be an Arkansas’ strength. Which unit “mans up”?

2. Is Jarrett Lee a plus or a minus for LSU?

I have probably been unfair to the redshirt freshman, but he is just not helping LSU at all. Unless Charles Scott can get going at running back, Lee will be asked to move the ball by passing. I don’t like my chances if I am an LSU fan if that is the case. His backup Jordan Jefferson will likely see time as well, but he can’t get the ball to the Tigers talented WR corps. It would also help if LSU receivers held onto the ball more. But Guess Arkansas’ Casey Dick isn’t a whole lot better!

Prediction

This game has come right down to the wire the last two years. Arkansas has been very good in Little Rock as of late, but two of their losses came against LSU. If LSU can stick with the running game they can control the clock and open up the field for Lee to pass more easily. I think Les Miles plays it safe with a heavy doss of Scott against a weak run defense. Arkansas will need a super human performance from SEC leading rusher Michael Smith to pull off the upset. I like LSU to win and I will take the points.

LSU 35 Arkansas 28
LSU Covers -4.5


Last Week: 1-3 ATS, 2-2 SU
Season: 29-21-2 ATS, 34-18 SU


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Ole Miss Looks To Avenge Last Season's Egg Bowl Loss


Ole Miss vs Miss State (Friday)
Line: Ole Miss -14

The Rebels and Bulldogs square off on Friday for the Egg Bowl in Oxford. Ole Miss is coming off a resounding win at formerly ranked LSU while Miss State played a barnburner with Arkansas winning 31-28. Ole Miss is going bowling while the Bulldogs are not, but Miss State won this game last year and the two have split the last 10.

Keys to the Game:

1. Can Jevan Snead Reproduce...
A game like he had last Saturday? Because if he can it is lights out for Miss State. I am banking that he will play well, but not like last Saturday. The Texas transfer has other options including Dexter McCluster and a stout defensive line to help him out.

2. Miss State Likes to Run, Ole Miss Stops The Run
What gives in this game? Ole Miss held LSU to under 100 yards rushing, something even Alabama couldn’t do. Miss State’s Anthony Dixon put the Bulldog offense on his back against Arkansas. Which unit blinks first?

Prediction

Ole Miss has the talent advantage and many Rebel fans will tell you Houston Nutt is a way better coach than Sly Croom. I may not go that far in the coaching disparity, but Nutt has certainly proven his worth in year 1 in the Grove. It will be tough for Jevan Snead to replicate a performance like last week, but he has options in the running game and a stout defensive line to back him up. I like Ole Miss at home, but give Miss State with a two TD spread.

Ole Miss 24 Miss State 14
Miss State Covers +14


Last Week: 1-3 ATS, 2-2 SU
Season: 29-21-2 ATS, 34-18 SU


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Sunday, November 23, 2008

SEC Power Rankings After Week 13

SI.com

Lets go ahead and say it - the SEC is down this year. They have two teams who are in the stratosphere of college football - Florida and Alabama. One team who is pretty good. Then nine teams who could beat each other on any given weekend.

1. Florida
2. Alabama
Big drop off here
3. Georgia
Massive drop off here
4. Ole Miss
5. LSU
6. South Carolina
7. Kentucky
8. Tennessee
9. Vanderbilt
10. Auburn
11. Miss State
12. Arkansas

The SEC should be better next year. The conference really suffered from a lack of experience at the QB position. Two perennial powers suffered from not having a QB this year (LSU, Tennessee) and another (Auburn) only found one about eight games into the season and was very average. That Florida-Alabama game should be a doozy and even though all the TV analysts have pegged Florida to win I think it will be a barn burner.

National Top 5
1. Florida
2. Alabama
3. Texas
4. Oklahoma
5. USC

I am a bowl guy, but that would be in awesome playoff scenario with these five teams squaring off.


Last Week: 1-3 ATS, 2-2 SU
Season: 29-21-2 ATS, 34-18 SU

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ACC Power Rankings After Week 13

I think I will make an attempt at ranking the ACC 1-12 this week after going for the "tier rankings" the past few weeks. I am hoping to offend as many fans as possible.

1. Virginia Tech
2. Georgia Tech
3. Boston College
4. Florida State
5. Maryland
6. North Carolina
7. Miami
8. Wake Forest
9. Clemson
10. Virginia
11. NC State
12. Duke

1-11 was pretty hard to pick from each other. #1 lost to #7 who lost to #6 who lost to #11 who lost to #5 who lost to #10 who lost to #12. The top four are there because they are still in contention for the division title. Virginia Tech and Boston College win and they are in. If they lose then Georgia Tech and Florida State would go. GT beat FSU and BC this season, while Va Tech lost to FSU. It should be interesting.

National Top 5
1. Florida
2. Alabama
3. Texas
4. Oklahoma
5. USC

I am a bowl guy, but that would be in awesome playoff scenario with these five teams squaring off.

Last Week: 1-3 ATS, 2-2 SU
Season: 29-21-2 ATS, 34-18 SU


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Ole Miss Makes A Statement

I thought LSU would come out and make a statement with a win over Ole Miss. They made a statement alright and that was their season ended two weeks ago against Alabama. The same thing happened to the Tide last year. After their loss to LSU their season fell apart. Ole Miss' Jevan Snead was flawless at times throwing three perfect passes on a TD drive in the first half. Houston Nutt has beaten Les Miles two straight in Baton Rouge.



One of the keys I thought would be the pick 6 battle. LSU threw two INT and while none were returned for touchdowns, Ole Miss threw 0. LSU is really handicapped on offense by their QB. Arkansas will stack nine guys in the box. And speaking of stuffing the box, Ole Miss did a much better job against the rush than LSU. The Rebels allowed just 32 yards of rushing from LSU. Meanwhile, the Rebels had 102 rushing yards.


Tennessee showed up against Vanderbilt! The Volunteers employed S Eric Berry at QB and the sophomore returned another interception for a TD. I think Berry may be the best player in college football. Vanderbilt got behind and that has spelled doom for them in 2008. I thought that would be a big key for Vandy as they are anemic at times on offense, but they got behind 20-0 at half. Another key would be the impact DJ Moore had for Vandy. Moore had 2 receptions, but was not nearly the factor like a week ago. The 3rd key would be Tennessee's running game because like LSU, they don't have a QB that helps them. The Vols rushed for 222 yards in Fulmer's last game in Nashville.



Elsewhere in the SEC...Florida just barely got by The Citadel 70-19. Urban Meyer may not be welcome anymore at the Swamp bar. Miss State came from 14 points down to upend Arkansas. The Bulldogs looked like spring chickens on offense with 445 yards of total offense. Sly Croom is trying to schedule Arkansas for every game in 2009 as we speak.


Last Week: 1-3 ATS, 2-2 SU
Season: 29-21-2 ATS, 34-18 SU

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