First of all, I’d like to thank my hosts and hostesses in Auburn last Saturday. You were all fantastic, despite my less-than-stellar post-Alabama loss attitude. Ross and I didn’t fare so well picking games last Saturday. We both had four outright games and three ATS games correctly picked. This brings my record on the year to 24-12 (12-23-1 ATS), and Ross’s to 17-9 (7-18-1). Yikes! However, it’s a new week, and this week I have a good feeling that my picks will be good, because they are brought to you by Phyllis from Mulga. Phyllis’s epic Finebaum rant can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6n6jxMKUluE. The slate includes: Auburn vs. Mississippi State, TCU vs. Baylor, UCLA vs. Oregon, and Ole Miss vs. Texas A&M.
Auburn vs. Mississippi State
This is the biggest showdown between these two teams since the famous Cam Newton Bidding War. Can the Bulldogs avenge missing out on the 2010 Heisman trophy winner? Will Auburn go “All In” again and win big? Does Danny Sheridan still know the identity of the Auburn “bagman”? I don’t know the answer to these questions, but I can provide mediocre answers based on questionable logic. There are similarities between these two teams, which is a recurring theme for the weekend. Both teams have playmaking Heisman candidates at QB. Both teams boast a pair of deep threat receivers. They also have solid power backs, although State likely doesn’t have a speed back to match Auburn’s Corey Grant. They also both have offensive linemen with questionable character. Reese Dismukes has made some questionable off-field decisions, which has led to him being called a racist. Dillon Day has made some down right bad on-field decisions that make him look more like John Cena than Jeff Saturday, and got him suspended from last week’s game.
Dak vs. Nick. (Insert obligatory “Heavy Weight fight” analogy here). Saturday in Starkville will showcase these dueling quarterbacks. I expect these two quarterbacks to “exchange punches” all afternoon. One of them may even have himself a Heisman moment late in this one. It should be a wild showdown in Starkville. Auburn is probably the better team, but if the MSU defense can give Dak a shot in the 4th then he may have some magic in the tank.
Prediction: Mississippi State-38 Auburn-31 KISS MY BUTT!!!!! HAIL STATE!!!!
This is a battle of Heisman trophy candidates in Nick Marshall and Dak Prescott. Both teams have high powered offenses, but the key will come down to defense. Auburn has been much improved in year two under Ellis Johnson’s 4-2-5 scheme. Mississippi State is stout against the run, but terrible against the pass. Duke Williams and Sammie Coates beat the Bulldog secondary like a red-headed step child. I like the Tigers 34-24.
TCU vs. Baylor
Trevone Boykin managed to outduel Katy Perry’s favorite college quarterback on Saturday. He will have another good QB to duke it out against this Saturday. The Horned Frogs travel to Waco to take on Bryce Petty and the Baylor Bears. Boykin has had an interesting road to becoming the Frogs’ QB, he is like the Blake Sims of the Big 12. He has a slightly better frame (2 inches taller and about 15 pounds heavier), but they are both dual threat and have both been moved to running back at some point in their college careers. The main difference is that Boykin has more game experience, thanks to his predecessor pounding drinks like Mickey Mantle and driving like Richard Petty. AJ McCarron never did any of those things; therefore, Sims only got to play when Alabama was up huge.
Gary Patterson’s 4-2-5 defensive scheme is known as a “spread buster”. It is also a favorite of mine, because in the spread offense era of football, and with the evolution of the modern athlete, more DB’s equals more defensive success. Bryce Petty and the Baylor Bears have one of the most efficient and explosive spread offenses in football, and Art Briles is an excellent offensive mind. Baylor will put up points, but TCU’s defense might be able to do enough to give Boykin an opportunity to rack up another signature win.
Prediction: Baylor-41 TCU-35 KISS MY BUTT!!!!!!!! SIC ‘EM BEARS!!!!!!!
Baylor is known for its fast paced offense and QBs, like RG3, who put up big numbers. This year is no exception as the Bears are leading the nation by averaging 51 points per game. Granted that is against a cream puff early season schedule. TCU is coming off of a big win against Boomer Sooner. Can they come back down to earth in time for another big game in Waco? The winner probably secures a spot in the playoff while the loser will be playing in the “Party Like Tim Tebow” Bowl that no one watches. I like the Horned Frogs to follow up last week’s big win with another 34-33.
UCLA vs. Oregon
These Pac-12 teams are eerily similar. Both teams came into the season with enormous expectations. Each team has a stud quarterback who, at their best, masks severe deficiencies defensively and on the offensive line. Oregon has better running backs, and UCLA likely has a slightly better receiving corps. At the end of the day, it may come down to whose line holds up long enough for their quarterback to make a play.
Pick one. These teams are so similar on each side of the ball that it’s hard for me to isolate one specific matchup that is the biggest key to victory. I’ll take the obvious matchup and go with Brett Hundley vs. Marcus Mariota. These are the best two players and the quarterbacks of their respective teams. They figure to touch the ball the most, and the one who makes the most plays will probably come out victorious. I’ll take Hundley and the Bruins at home.
Prediction: UCLA-35 Oregon-34 KISS MY BUTT!!! U-C-L-A FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT!!!!!
Both teams are coming off of upsets at home in last week’s upset madness. Both teams have All-American caliber QBs who aren’t 100%. Both teams have high octane offenses which is the norm out west. This could be a classic Pac-12 shootout. UCLA averages 36 points/game. Oregon averages 43.6 per game. I like the Ducks in a shootout 43-36.
Ole Miss vs. Texas A&M
Fins up Rebel nation! Bo Wallace is irritated with the “Hot Bo” and “Cold Bo” garbage and he’s ready to take his frustrations out on the Aggie defense. Ole Miss travels to College Station fresh off of their biggest win at Vaught-Hemingway since besting future national champion Florida in 2008. They must avoid the post-victory hangover if they want to win this week though, because Texas A&M will be out for blood and vengeance Saturday night after getting smoked in Starkville.
Ole Miss might have best secondary in the SEC. Texas A&M might still have the best passing attack in the country. This strength-on-strength matchup is the key to victory for both teams on Saturday night. At the end of the day, I think the Rebs’ secondary is up to the task, and “Hot Bo” comes out and roasts the Aggie secondary.
Prediction: Ole Miss-34 Texas A&M-24 KISS MY BUTT!!! HOTTY TODDY GOSH ALMIGHTY WHO THE HELL ARE WE? HEY! FLIM FLAM BIM BAM OLE MISS BY DAMN!!!!!
Kenny Trill and the Aggies are coming off of an upset loss in Starkville by Quasimodo (Dan Mullen) and the Mississippi State Bulldogs. The Rebels are coming off of a huge, tear down the goal post and carry it through downtown win against Alabama. It’s the first SEC night game at the newly expanded Kyle Field. Texas A&M is out for revenge. The Rebels may still be celebrating the win against the Tide. Who am I taking? POWDER BLUE ALL THE WAY! Ole Miss 38-31