If you hadn’t noticed, this week in the SEC has its fair share of antagonism.

And we love it. On all three days of the Thanksgiving Holiday. And you know what? We’re thankful for it!

We love Alabama fans screwing with Auburn fans, and vice-versa. With both proving equally touchy.

We love Ole Miss and Mississippi State fans screwing with each other. With both proving equally touchy.

We love South Carolina and Clemson fans screwing with each other. Or more’s the case, Steve Spurrier screwing with Dabo Swinney, and Swinney desperately trying to rise above it. Which he’s failing to do.

We love Florida and Florida State screwing with each other, with Florida students, despite their school’s record, thanking God that they don’t have to go to the ‘SECOND SCHOOL IN THE STATE’

And Georgia fans just call Georgia Tech fans nerds. You know, as the Georgia Tech fans are whizzing past ’em in their Ferraris.

The SEC itself is trying to create a ‘new rivalry’ between LSU and Arkansas (‘The Battle For The Golden Boot’ has been played (deep voice) every year since 1996 but one of the more interesting games may be in Lexington, KY where Kentucky entertain Tennessee. Kentucky still needs a SEC win. 

Oh, and if it’s interesting (and cold) you want, go to Columbia…..Missouri, where it’ll be a balmy 44.6 F for the Texas A&M players (colder at night) where Missouri has to win its game against Texas A&M to go to the SEC Championship Game.

And while you were sleeping, there’s the battle of the rich schools when Vanderbilt go to play Wake Forest. They won’t be extending this to 2014, because it’s not a rivalry game anymore (The SEC wants a ‘Tennessee rivalry game between Vandy and Tennessee’ next year).

After that short introduction….

THURSDAY

OLE MISS AT MISSISSIPPI STATE

After the beating that was put on them last time the two teams played each other as well as the resurgence of Ole Miss, Mississippi State must be feeling a little like little sister at the moment. And despite beating Arkansas last week to gain its second SEC victory of the year, Mississippi State simply HAS to beat its hated inter-state rival to claim bowl eligibility. Ole Miss is already there at 7-4, but they were completely outclassed at home to Missouri last week. Both sides will be looking forward to this one in an atmosphere that’s going to be very, very loud. If you don’t like cowbells, do not watch this game. You’ll get a headache.

BOTTOM LINE: Ole Miss by a touchdown in an unexpectedly great SEC game.

FRIDAY

ARKANSAS AT LSU

Congratulations to LSU fans who finally saw their team play 60 minutes of football this season after a fantastically complete victory over Texas A&M. Sure, the Tigers benefited from the fact that that powers-that-be-in the Aggies co-ordination team didn’t want to run the ball at them, but they harassed Johnny Manziel into his worst night of his season, and maybe wrestled the Heisman Trophy away from him. On the other side of the ball, Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham STILL look like the best wide receiving duo in the nation, and Zach Mettenberger looks like a NFL QB. We expect them to prosper against Arkansas – even though early on, Razorbacks running back Alex Collins is going to cause them some problems.

BOTTOM LINE: Vegas’ 24.5 prediction a little high for our liking. We’ll take LSU to win, but only by 21. So in other words, less than the spread.

SATURDAY

ALABAMA AT AUBURN

Here’s one thing for certain: It sure is going to be LOUD in Jordan-Hare Stadium this weekend. LOUD because it’s Alabama/Auburn, and LOUD because if Auburn wins, it goes to the SEC Championship Game. Mind, if Alabama wins, the Crimson Tide go to the SEC Championship Game. No pressure, then. Can Nick Marshall and Auburn’s fast-paced offense catch ‘Bama cold? Can Bama’s relentless rushing attack and the Best Quarterback Ever (AJ McCarron) secure victory? These questions – and more- will be answered on Saturday afternoon.

BOTTOM LINE: Alabama’s a 10.5-point favorite with Vegas. We’re going for Alabama by 14. But it’s going to be close until the final couple of Alabama drives.

TEXAS A&M AT MISSOURI

We talked a lot about Johnny Football coming to Baton Rouge last weekend, but he was outschemed by LSU’s defensive co-ordinator, John Chavis. Let’s not think for one moment (he says, putting on his Khan voice in ‘Star Wars’) that Dave Steckel hasn’t look at the tapes (repeatedly) and is thinking up something similar for Johnny. That means that Kevin Sumlin’s going to have to use the rush game better, and trust in everyone else offensively – not just No.2. On the other side of the ball, the Texas A&M ‘D’, which struggled to stop Jeremy Hill last week, is going to have similar problems with Henry Josey, and Mizzou’s big receiver L’Damian Washington and Dorial Green-Beckham are going to cause A&M’s secondary a handful, too.

BOTTOM LINE: Missouri’s a 4.5-point favorite. We love Missouri to beat the spread and win by at least a touchdown. A&M’s got the firepower, but it ain’t got the stop-power.

CLEMSON AT SOUTH CAROLINA

One of the games of the week that’s making us incredibly indecisive, for a number of reasons. Connor Shaw (USC) can’t stop winning games for the ‘Cocks. Mike Davis is a hell of a running back – and we all saw what good running backs did to Clemson’s defense. But on the other side of the ball, it’s been difficult to deal with Tajh Boyd, Sammy Watkins and a host of other Tigers firepower, Clemson has a ‘SEC’ offense. Plus, Clemson’s already 1-0 against SEC teams, although the friendly confines of Death Valley are probably a little different to the screaming hordes of Williams-Brice, where families are known to fight over their allegiances at the Thanksgiving table.

BOTTOM LINE: If we’re honest, it’s too close to call. If we’re pushed, we’re taking Clemson, because we feel South Carolina’s five-point favorite standing is a little too high.

A GAME THAT’S GOING TO BE CLOSER THAN YOU THINK….

GEORGIA AT GEORGIA TECH

The SEC Football Blog has a buddy called Mack. Mack really, really, really, really, really, really, really hates Georgia Tech. He really does. In fact, I don’t know a lot of self-loathing Georgia Tech fans who hate their team more than Mack does. Every week on Facebook we’re hit by the wrongs that have been put on him by the Yellowjackets, and he starts everything with the word: “Nerds”. You know, like Nerds  don’t eventually take over the earth or anything. Anyway, there’s an expectation from Mack that Georgia fans will take over Bobby-Dodd Stadium (true) and that his team will win by 60 (false). Now, this blog just wanted to give Mack a big hug, and tell him how truly sorry we are for him and his goddawful injury stack of a season, which last week saw off quarterback Aaron Murray for the rest of the year. Murray’s groom Hutson Mason will take over, and he’s going to be OK, if a little rusty. The Bulldogs are going to rely a lot on running back Todd Gurley and the lengthy stable of Georgia running backs, but there will also be a play or two for the likes of Bennett and Wooten to make their mark. They’ll be going up against a defense that is more solid that it’s given credit for….even if it did get socked at Clemson two weeks ago. Georgia’s defense isn’t great, either.

BOTTOM LINE: Georgia Tech has a great running attack and Georgia is hopeless against the run. Georgia’s a 3.5-point favorite…and we think Georgia wins by five in a finger-biting game for Mack and nerds concerned.

GAMES THAT AREN’T GOING TO BE THAT CLOSE

VANDERBILT AT WAKE FOREST

Last time out Vanderbilt squeaked by awful Tennessee and Wake Forest only just lost to ACC Championship contender Duke (yes, Duke!), and we’re anticipating better from the Commodores this time round.

BOTTOM LINE: Vandy’s a 14-point favorite in this one, but we’re going the whole hog and saying: “Vandy by 21”. Don’t have us wrong on your next-to-final game, James Franklin.

GAMES THAT REALLY, REALLY AREN’T GOING TO BE CLOSE

FLORIDA STATE AT FLORIDA

Florida just lost to Georgia Southern. Florida State can’t seem to lose to anybody. Florida’s offense is horrific and makes mistakes. Florida State’s defense eats mistakes. Florida State’s offense clicks like a Maserati. Florida’s defense is rusty, hurt and praying to the Lord Football Jesus that this season ends quickly (it will, by the way Gators, in 60 minutes).

This is going to be horrible.

BOTTOM LINE: Florida State by 40. No-one in Vegas seems to be willing to take bets on it.

 

 

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