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SEC Packets: Week Three Schedule and Picks

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Opponents OTS
22-2
Nico
21-3
Todd
20-4
Auburn vs Mississippi State
9/12 - 11:30am CST
Auburn, AL
Lincoln Financial

OTS:
Auburn isn't very good. I've been saying that for months, and their lackluster (to put it mildly) performances against Kansas State and South Florida have proved that. However, State is simply terrible, and Auburn will do enough to win here with little trouble. Their defense will completely shut down Mississippi State's offense, and Auburn's running game will do enough on offense to win.

Nico:
This could be Auburn's year to do what we did last year, but then again, MSU suuuuuuucks and I attribute last year's win over us to be along the lines of "Even a broken clock is right twice a day." Auburn wins an ugly one.

Todd:
Our Auburn fan UPS driver is worried about this game, and rightfully so. The State d-line handled LSU pretty well in their opener, and the Auburn o-line is nowhere near that caliber. Titus Brown will have a field day, it's going to be ugly, but I still think the Teagle defense wins this one for them.

Opponents OTS
22-2
Nico
21-3
Todd
20-4
Georgia vs Western Carolina
9/12 - 12:00pm CST
Athens, GA

OTS:
No real explanation needed.

Nico:
We smashed 'em, the Dawgs will smash 'em.

Todd:
I'm with OTS, no explanation needed, so none shall be given.

Opponents OTS
22-2
Nico
21-3
Todd
20-4
Tennessee at Florida
9/12 - 2:30pm CST
Gainesville, FL
CBS

OTS:
The Vols are in trouble here, in my opinion. They really aren't particularly good, and Florida is probably a bit better than a lot of people expected. Tebow looks great, and he should do quite well against such a young and inexperienced UT secondary. And though I think the whole notion of home field advantage is pretty much hogwash, it's hard to argue against the Vols complete lack of success in Gainesville (two wins their in the past thirty-five years). Given Tennessee's mediocre-at-best performances of the first two weeks, I see little reason to pick them. The Fat One goes down again in the Swamp.

Nico:
Tebow's first real test as a starter. He will pass (no pun intended) with flying colors.

Todd:
Will likely be a high scoring affair, but the team speed of Florida (even with the injury issues), should be the deciding factor against a Vol secondary that's porous at best.

Opponents OTS
22-2
Nico
21-3
Todd
20-4
Alabama vs Arkansas
9/12 - 5:45pm CST
Tuscaloosa, AL
ESPN

OTS:
It's going to be close, get ready for it. These two teams are very similar at the moment, and it will be a close one. Nevertheless, I think we'll be aggressive enough with run blitzes mixed with cover three over the top to prevent big plays to limit McFadden and the Wildcat. Our offense probably won't set the world on fire, but we likely won't beat ourselves (unlike 2006), and it will get enough done to win it for us. Javier Arenas could make a huge impact in the return game. I think we win a close one, but don't be surprised the least if it goes the other way. If the Hogs were to win, I would be in no way surprised, even to the mildest degree.

Nico:
This is the game that makes or breaks seasons for both teams. It'll be close, but I think we pull it out. We're certainly going to learn a lot about our team this week after a practice game against W. Carolina and a game against a lackluster Vandy team.

Todd:
This is one is tougher to call than I like. Of course I'm going with the Tide, since, no matter who we are playing, I simply can't pick against us, but this is going to be a close one. Let's just hope we can control the game again this year and avoid any spectacular errors to give away a game we dominated through four quarters.

Opponents OTS
22-2
Nico
21-3
Todd
20-4
Ole Miss at Vanderbilt
9/12 - 6pm CST
Nashville, TN

OTS:
These two teams are pretty similar, and the Commodores dominated Johnny Reb last year but lost when they threw it away with turnovers. Orgeron doesn't seem to have the Rebels too much better this year, and the Vanderbilt offense should do pretty well. Chris Nickson may miss the game, but even so Adams will likely do pretty well against a terrible pass defense. For whatever reason, I just think Vanderbilt is slightly better than the Rebels in all three phases of the game. I expect that they win a close one.

Nico:
I'm going to be the voice of dissent on this one. Neither team is very good, but they're both good enough to sneak in a win they shouldn't and it's pretty much a toss up. I'm going with gut instinct and picking Ole Miss.

Todd:
Last year the Rebels won after Nickson was lost to injury and several costly turnovers turned the momentum their way. We did a good job of putting a hurting on Nickson and Bennett for them, and they showed improvement in the second half against Mizzou (though, really, how much of that was Ole Miss playing better, or Gary Pinkel trying to give a game he'd already won away?), but I have to go with the Commies on this one. Ole Miss is just not where they need to be to really compete in the SEC and a few big plays is all that Vandy needs to cement this one.

Opponents OTS
22-2
Nico
21-3
Todd
20-4
South Carolina vs South Carolina State
9/12 - 6pm CST
Columbia, SC

OTS:
See Georgia vs Western Carolina.

Nico:
Foregone conclusion.

Todd:
No explanation needed, so none is given.

Opponents OTS
22-2
Nico
21-3
Todd
20-4
Kentucky vs Louisville
9/12 - 6:30pm CST
Lexington, KY
ESPN Classic

OTS:
I want to pick the Wildcats here, I really do. But I'm not. Sure, the Louisville defense isn't great, but the Kentucky defense sure as hell isn't, and honestly I would take Brohm and his skill position players better than I like Woodson and his skill position players. I figure that will make the difference, and Louisville takes home the win. At the end of the day, I'm not picking against Brohm in a shootout. If you can find an over / under in this game under 60, bet the farm on over.

Nico:
Louisville wins a close game in which a combined 8,000 points will be scored.

Todd:
I've got to say, I'm really nervous about this pick, but after watching Louisville play zero defense against MTSU, and also letting Murray State get away with more than they should have, I like UK to win in a shoot out.

Opponents OTS
22-2
Nico
21-3
Todd
20-4
LSU vs Middle Tennessee State
9/12 - 7pm CST
Baton Rouge, LA

OTS:
The Blue Raiders are honestly a bit better than you would expect from a directional Tennessee school, and LSU will probably be at less than one hundred per cent in a down week for them (sandwiched between VT and South Carolina). Nevertheless, it's LSU, and it's MTSU. The Bayou Bengals roll with no problem.

Nico:
MTSU showed what they can do against Louisville, that being said, LSU will destroy them even though LSU will inevitably not win every game by 40+ points.

Todd:
I doubt the Blue Raiders put up the same offensive show that they did in Louisville against LSU's defense, but I still wish I could watch this game.

SPECIAL BONUS PICKS
Opponents OTS
22-2
Nico
21-3
Todd
20-4
Notre Dame at Michigan
9/12 - 2:30pm CST
Ann Arbor, MI
ABC

OTS:
Ah, the crap-tacular game of the week. It's really a toss-up, as both are pretty terrible. Nevertheless, at the end of the day, I pick Notre Dame. Sure, they look terrible still, but at least they improved from week one to week two, and Michigan looks like they are going to implode into a Dubosian shell circa 2000. Moreover, Notre Dame has a bit of an advantage with Clausen, because at least he's been preparing to potentially start for months, while Mallett has been preparing to hold the clipboard all year. Beyond that, I'll take Weis over Carr any day. It'll be pretty close, I imagine, but I'm going with the Fighting Irish. Michigan loses and will start out 0-4 with a loss to Penn State the following week.

Nico:
This has been the most talked about meaningless game I can ever remember. I will occasionally flip over just to see what a craptacular crapfest it is, but I really don't care either way. I'll got with ND though, because that's the logo Todd had in the default template of this post and that seems like just as good a reason to choose them as any other in a game where anything could (and probably will) happen.

Todd:
Alternately known as the National Game of Disinterest and Cripple Fight '07, this is going to be a game that everyone is going to watch just to see who is going to suck more. My money is on Michigan to come out and continue their skid into outright terrible. Notre Dame looked significantly better against Penn State, while Michigan seemed to regress against Oregon. Plus, no Henne.

Opponents OTS
22-2
Nico
21-3
Todd
20-4
USC at Nebraska
9/12 - 7pm CST
Lincoln, NE
ABC

OTS:
After watching Nebraska barely squeak by Wake Forest, there's no way I'm picking the Cornhuskers here. Unless USC shows up wholly and absolutely unprepared to play, they roll with ease.

Nico:
USC will solidify their number one slot with this game. I still think LSU or Oklahoma should presently be ahead of them, but the pollsters loooooooooooooooooooove the Trojans (I blame it on ESPN's collective mancrush on Matt Leinart) and if they win this one they'll reclaim a lot of those first place votes they lost in their bye week.

Todd:
The Trojans finally get a quality opponent to destroy and give them a big boost over LSU and OU. The Huskers looked pretty bad at Wake, so I see Southern Cal handling this with ease.

Opponents OTS
22-2
Nico
21-3
Todd
20-4
Boston College at Georgia Tech
9/12 - 7pm CST
Atlanta, GA
ESPN2

OTS:
I know this may seem odd, but considering that Miami and FSU still look poor, and that Virginia Tech is so obviously not ready for the big-time, the winner of this game becomes the likely favorite to win the ACC. In this one, I go with Boston College. I'm still not sold on Georgia Tech, and I do like the fact that Boston College has a senior quarterback who is pretty productive. It could be fairly close, but I say the Golden Eagles roll.

Nico:
GT has rapidly climbed up the polls by beating a terrible Notre Dame team and by whipping a 1-AA school that was across the street from my high school. I'm going with BC on this one.

Todd:
I want to go with Tech on this one, but the BC defense is better at defending the run than the pass, and I think they'll keep the GT offense in check just enough to win this one.