Texas A&M vs Alabama didn’t need a lot of hype after Johnny Manziel beat the Tide almost single-handedly in 2012, and was great in 2013 too. The rivalry took some time off in 2014 and 2015, after the games were basically a replay of SlaughterHouse 5: Saban Version, when the Tide massacred the Aggies.
But the 2016 version? Wow. This could be AWESOME. Both teams are unbeaten atop the SEC West, and there’s talk about title games, play-off entries and the suchlike. It’s going to awesome.
Elsewhere, LSU faces its first test after the arrival of Ed Orgeron with the visit of Ole Miss, and Arkansas goes to Auburn. Elsewhere, Mississippi State vs Kentucky WILL BE PLAYED AND SOMEONE WILL HAVE TO WATCH IT, and the same could probably be applied to UMass’ visit to South Carolina, Middle Tennessee State’s trip to Missouri, and Tennessee State’s wander to Vandy.
So, here’s your SEC games in order of importance:
- No.6 Texas A&M vs No.1 Alabama
Alabama scorched ‘tough’ road opponents Arkansas and Tennessee in the last weeks so badly that Vegas believes the Crimson Tide will run out 17 point winners. But the believers – and most of them are wearing Aggie colors – believe that Trevor Knight – who’s actually beaten Alabama before when he was at Oklahoma – could do it again, and believe that if Knight’s accurate and the offensive line don’t get him killed, then Alabama’s secondary could be worried by the speed of Texas A&M’s wide receivers. They’ll also tell you that Myles Garrett’s one of the best defensive players who ever lived. And it’s hard not to agree. But then again, Alabama’s defense keeps on scoring touchdowns. Lane Kiffin’s tactical genius is helping to making the offense so damned difficult to stop. And if the game DOES go down to the wire, do you trust Alabama’s kicker or Texas A&M’s, the latter who’s shank will still go down long in history as one of the worst you’ll see in a long time. I’m taking Alabama.
PREDICTION: Vegas has Alabama as an 18-point favorite. I’m sorry, that’s cautious for me. Take Alabama, but by under 18.
2. No. 23 Ole Miss at No.25 LSU
This is Ed Orgeron’s first real game in charge of the Tigers (it would have been the second had Florida not been cancelled blah blah blah blah…), and it comes at a time when Ole Miss is reeling from its loss against Arkansas (again). Tiger Stadium will be rocking, and Coach ‘O’ has promised that both Darius Guice and Leonard Fournette will play, which could prove to be a double-fun combination. I’m still a little scared by LSU’s lack of great quarterback play, and if Ole Miss stifles the run (which it hasn’t done so far this season), Ole Miss could be in trouble. But there’s one thought that I like: This one could be a shoot-out. And the reason is this: LSU’s defense has played well, but it hasn’t played that well, and it certainly hasn’t played an offense like Ole Miss’ one. This could be fun.
PREDICTION: LSU by 7 – beating Vegas’ 6-point stance – but we also like the OVER of 60.5.
3. No.17 Arkansas vs No. 21 Auburn
Auburn have slowly impressed me so far this season (I saw them play against Clemson, LSU, a little against Texas A&M and Mississippi State), and for the first time in years, we’re talking more about the Tiger’s defense than offense. I’m still not crying with joy about Sean White and what the time has to offer, but it should have better against an Arkansas team who doesn’t have a lot defensively either. But this year, Arkansas games are damned fun to watch. I can’t think of a dull one I’ve seen (sorry, I didn’t catch the blow-outs!).
PREDICTION: Auburn’s a 10-point favorite and we’d like to implore you NOT to take it. Take the over for 55-1/2 though.
4. Mississippi State vs Kentucky
This will be terrible, but on the other hand, this could be one of the East’s wins against the West’s. So….. (I’m done now).
PREDICTION: Mississippi State walk into Kentucky as 7-point favorites, probably buoyed by the performance at BYU and the fact that Kentucky’s defense is laughable. So that’s why we’re taking Kentucky in the upset.
BIG PREDICTIONS OTHERWISE: Missouri to beat Middle Tennessee State by MORE THAN 6-1/2; Vanderbilt to beat Tennessee State; and South Carolina to beat UMass by 28.