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SEC Packets: Week Eight Schedule and Picks

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Opponents OTS
61-17
Nico
58-20
Todd
55-23
Alabama vs Tennessee
11:30am CST
Lincoln Financial

OTS:
Again, I'm a homer, I have to pick it. That said, I really doubt it happens, I really do. I'm going to have a lot more on this in the Tennessee preview, but we don't match up too well with the Vols. Their offense should give our defense tons of problems, and while our offense should be able to move the ball well against their defense, you know how that goes. My brain tells me the Vols win -- puke -- but my heart picks my beloved Tide. Check the preview for a more detailed look.

Nico:
I'm not feeling 100% today. I think I'm getting sick. I hope I can make it to the game tomorrow since I have a ticket. So, I'm pretty much just going to go with brief picks on this one. Bama, not because I'm convinced it's going to happen, but because my heart won't let me choose otherwise.

Todd:
A little bit of a homer pick, but I really believe we can get it done. We executed better on offense against Ole Miss than we have all year, and even though that's a bad defense, the Vol D isn't all that great either. Grant and Upchurch (and Coffee, if he can hang onto the ball) should gash them for huge yardage, and Arenas could have a banner day and really be the difference in this game. If the D will get just a little pressure on Ainge and confuse him with odd looks (look ma! That 3-4 just turned into a 5-2!), I really think we can pull this one out.

Opponents OTS
61-17
Nico
58-20
Todd
55-23
South Carolina vs Vanderbilt
11:30am CST
PPV

OTS:
The Commodores aren't a bad team (see last week against UGA), and South Carolina isn't exactly setting the world on fire coming off a bad showing against North Carolina. I wouldn't be shocked if the 'Dores pulled it off, but I can't go against the Gamecocks. South Carolina wins it.

Nico:
South Carolina.

Todd:
I'm tempted to go with Vandy here since Blake Mitchell has a shot at getting in the game, but I just can't pick the Commies here.

Opponents OTS
61-17
Nico
58-20
Todd
55-23
Arkansas at Ole Miss
1pm CST

OTS:
This has the makings of a pretty close game, no two ways about it. Arkansas isn't very good, obviously, and Nutt is likely to be fired at season's end (if not before then if this continues). Ole Miss, on the other hand, is 2-5, but they are a pretty decent team as we saw last week, and it's only a matter of time before they knock off one of the bigger name brand teams in the conference. Arkansas, of course, is ripe for the picking at 0-3 in the conference, coming off a very physical loss, and now heading on the road. That said, as much as I'd like to pick the Rebels, I can't go against McFadden and company.

Nico:
Arkansas. Surely they won't start conference play 0-4?!?!

Todd:
Going with the Hogs here, even after they screwed me last week by giving up a long scoring drive to Auburn for the win after containing them all day. This will probably be an ugly game, not because one team will beat one silly, but just because it will be two teams doing their best to give the other team the win and neither team willing to accept it.

In fact, it's going to be so ugly, I'm making it my Sandra Bernhard Game of the Week, now with extra ugly!
Opponents OTS
61-17
Nico
58-20
Todd
55-23
Mississippi State at West Virginia
2:30pm CST
ESPN Regional

OTS:
The Bulldogs have improved, and they will likely keep it closer than a year ago, but I imagine the Mountaineers win with relative ease in Morgantown. This was actually a fairly close game last year in Starkville before the Mountaineers put it away in the fourth, and I think you could see something like that again this year.

Nico:
Team Croom is better than they have been and WVU is probably a bit worse, but the gap hasn't closed that much. Mountaineers win.

Todd:
I wouldn't be surprised to see this one come out pretty close. The Bulldogs are improving, and it's not like WVa is a defensive powerhouse. The 'eers will get this one, though.

Opponents OTS
61-17
Nico
58-20
Todd
55-23
Florida at Kentucky
2:30pm CST
CBS

OTS:
I've said it before and I'll say it again, I love the UK story, but I really don't think they are that good. Yes they beat LSU, but the Bayou Bengals haven't played well in a while and I think that was it more than anything else. I just don't see how Kentucky is that good. The Gators are seven point favorite in Lexington, and rightfully so. I say the Gators win, knock the Wildcats off their perch, and fight one step closer to a return trip to Atlanta. If Andre Woodson can win it, though, with a good performance, the Heisman is likely all but his.

Nico:
I just don't think Florida will lose three in a row. If they drop three straight though and they're still ranked, you'll know the media's mancrush on Urban Tebow is unstoppable.

Todd:
I doubted the 'Cats last week, and they made me pay. I like their chances in this one, though I won't be surprised if Florida pulls out the win. But I have to think that Kentucky will be able to put up plenty of points, while Florida's sometimes plodding attack will be their undoing.

Opponents OTS
61-17
Nico
58-20
Todd
55-23
LSU vs Auburn
8pm CST
ESPN

OTS:
It wouldn't shock me one bit if Auburn knocked off LSU, and if LSU plays like they have the last month, it's likely to happen. I really don't think LSU is that good, but how can you pick against them? They have more talent than anyone they play, so you almost have to select them by default. Either way, expect another classic, and I expect a fairly low scoring game most likely. The winner here is almost guaranteed a trip to Atlanta -- sorry fellow 'Bama fans -- and I'm going to pick LSU in a close one. If Miles loses this one... I'll have more on this game in a later post.

Nico:
Meteor game! OTS is right though, you almost have to pick LSU by just because of the talent level.

Todd:
The home team always wins in this series, and LSU is, at least on paper, the much better team. They've gotten worse each week, but Auburn looks to have regressed against Arkansas and I don't see them getting a win under the lights.

SPECIAL BONUS PICKS

Opponents OTS
61-17
Nico
58-20
Todd
55-23
Southern Cal at Notre Dame
2:30pm CST
NBC

OTS:
You have no clue how bad I want to pick Notre Dame here, but I'm not going to. Yes the Irish suck, but USC has played terrible the past two weeks -- if you can lose at home to Stanford, you can lose to anyone -- and the Trojans have always struggled in the high weeds of South Bend. Moreover, Weis has apparently realized his massive hard-on for Clausen was unfounded, and now has the player at quarterback who rightfully should have been there all along. I'll pick USC for obvious reasons, but this one is likely to be pretty close. If Notre Dame can win this one, the media will go nuts and they may very well be crowned national champions on the spot, and Weis given another ten year extension. But you shouldn't be too surprised at an upset if USC continues to play poorly. Again, if you can lose at home to Stanford -- and then need a big punt return the following week from a true freshman to squeak by sorry Arizona -- you can lose to anybody.

Nico:
Meteor game! USC is insanely overrated, but the Irish suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.

Todd:
Everytime I pick the Irish, they crap their pants and get blown out, so there's no way I'm going with them here. USC, like LSU, has gotten worse and worse each week, but they should be good enough to handle business in South Bend.

Opponents OTS
61-17
Nico
58-20
Todd
55-23
Florida State vs Miami
2:30pm CST
ABC

OTS:
Ah, one of my favorite games. It's essentially Thug U versus Thug State. Unfortunately, this game isn't what it once was, and neither team is particularly good. I really don't know who to pick, but I'll go with FSU after watching Miami lose to a couple of pretty poor teams. I imagine that Xavier Lee will step in and have a good game, and the FSU defense will shut down the impotent Miami offense. Moreover, the 'Noles having two extra days to prepare won't hurt.

Nico:
FSU.

Todd:
Until Miami can show me they can really move the ball on offense (against someone better than Texas A&M), I don't trust them at all. The 'Noles get a win, but it will be a squeaker.

Opponents OTS
61-17
Nico
58-20
Todd
55-23
Missouri vs Texas Tech
2:30pm CST
ABC

OTS:
The Red Raiders are a good team, and their offense has been putting up a massive amount of points. That said, they've always struggled against the better teams -- major talent deficit -- and I'm not sure that won't be the case again this week. Graham Harrell will likely put up big numbers as usual, and Texas Tech will score a lot of points. However, this is the same Red Raider defense that gave up 31 points to UTEP and 45 points to Oklahoma State. In other words, the Tigers high-octane offense will be able to go toe-to-toe with the Red Raiders. I think Missouri wins with a slightly better defense.

Nico:
Mizzou.

Todd:
The Red Raiders have learned to play a little defense after their mind numbing loss to Oklahoma State, and the Pinkel meltdown should be coming up right about now. RAAAAIIIIIIDDDDEEEERRRSSSS!!!

Plus, a vote for Pirate School is a vote for Pirate Costumes.
Opponents OTS
61-17
Nico
58-20
Todd
55-23
Illinois vs Michigan
7pm CST
ABC

OTS:
If you factor out the first two games, the Wolverines have played pretty well. I jumped on the Illinois bandwagon last week, and obviously it came back to bite me. I'm not really too confident in this pick, but the Wolverines I figure will most likely win. I'll go with them in Champagne. Mike Hart -- though banged up -- will go for 100+ as per usual, and they'll get some big plays in the passing game to Mario Manningham.

Nico:
Michigan.

Todd:
Michigan looked like a different team against Purdue (they defended against the spread offense!), so even though I never want to pick them again, I'm not bold enough to pick the Illini here.