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SEC Packets: Week Five Schedule and Picks

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Opponents OTS
35-9
Nico
33-11
Todd
36-8
LSU at Tulane
9/29 - 11am CST
New Orleans, LA
ESPN2

OTS:
No real explanation needed. LSU annihilates the Green Wave in a tune-up for Florida.

Nico:
If Mississippi State beat them, imagine what LSU is going to do to them.

Todd:
This will be ugly.

In fact, it's going to be so ugly, I'm making it my Sandra Bernhard Game of the Week!
Opponents OTS
35-9
Nico
33-11
Todd
36-8
Mississippi State at South Carolina
9/29 - 11:30am CST
Columbia, SC
Lincoln Financial

OTS:
The Bulldogs are 3-1, but the truth of the matter is that they nevertheless aren't a very good football team. The only half-way decent win thus far came against Auburn, and the Tigers are terrible. Moreover, that game was really more about Auburn beating themselves than anything else. South Carolina, on the other hand, is not quite ready for the big-time, and I think the LSU game showed that. Nonetheless, this is a good football team, and they'll do quite well against MSU. In particular, I expect the Gamecocks' defense to give a still horrendous MSU offense a ton of trouble. South Carolina will knock off MSU with relative ease.

Nico:
Sorry to give such brief commentary, but I have to go to work in a minute....Gamecocks win.

Todd:
This should be a no brainer pick here, but Mississippi State has a weird thing about pulling insane upsets on the Lincoln Financial broadcast. I'm going with SC on this one, hoping that they used up all their LF Mojo on Auburn.

Opponents OTS
35-9
Nico
33-11
Todd
36-8
Ole Miss at Georgia
9/29 - 12pm CST
Athens, GA

OTS:
As we saw in Bryant-Denny this past weekend, Georgia is a good football team, and are honestly better than I expected. The truth is that there is little reason to expect an Ole Miss win, especially considering Georgia has more talent, more depth, and better coaching. Hence, I pick UGA. Still, don't be surprised if this game is closer than expected. Ole Miss gave Georgia, Alabama, Auburn, and LSU hell last year, and took Florida down to the wire last week. For whatever reason, they have had a knack the past couple of years of playing much better teams close in conference games. Don't be surprised if that happens this week. Still, the ultimate ending should be the same: an Ole Miss loss.

Nico:
UGA.

Todd:
I'm going with UGA here despite the Rebels' recent success at scaring the bejeezus out of the big boys on a regular basis, since they are clearly the better football team, and the game is in Athens.

Opponents OTS
35-9
Nico
33-11
Todd
36-8
Kentucky vs FAU
9/29 - 12pm CST
Lexington, KY

OTS:
Again, no real explanation needed here. Kentucky moves to 5-0, but as I've said earlier, a brutal three game stretch against South Carolina, LSU, and Florida will bring this team back down to Earth. They are a solid team that will get a bowl berth, but a team that can win 10 or 11 games and contend for the SEC title? Nope.

Nico:
Odd to think that the 'Cats will be one game away from being bowl eligible five games into the season. They're turning things around up there.

Todd:
I'm tempted to go with FAU here since going against the grain in regards to Kentucky has paid off pretty well for me the past few weeks, but I've got at least that much faith in the 'Cats.

Opponents OTS
35-9
Nico
33-11
Todd
36-8
Alabama vs Florida State
9/29 - 4pm CST
Jacksonville, FL
CBS

OTS:
This is a huge game for both teams, no two ways about it. A loss here for either team is completely unacceptable if they want to have a legitimate shot getting where they wanted to go. Considering our start to the season, we have to be the favorite, but this game could go either way. FSU has a good deal of talent, and I think it's only a matter of time before their coaching staff gets it together. My big fear is that the off week was just what they needed to come together, and that a much improved FSU team will appear against the Tide. And beyond that, if John Parker Wilson continues to struggle like he has thus far, it's going to be an even tougher game for us to win. Again, we're the favorites, we should win, but it could easily go the other way. Still, as a 'Bama homer, I'm basically obligated with this pick.

Nico:
Bama...it'll be close though.

Todd:
The 'Nole defense is tough, but thankfully their offense has struggled even worse than ours. We'll probably still be sweating late in the game, but I'm going with the Tide. How could I not?

Opponents OTS
35-9
Nico
33-11
Todd
36-8
Arkansas vs North Texas
9/29 - 6pm CST
Fayetteville, AK

OTS:
After back-to-back losses to SMU and FAU, North Texas is now 0-3. The Hogs unexpectedly lost to Kentucky last week, but they'll rebound this week in a big way against North Texas. McFadden and Jones will again have huge nights.

Nico:
Arkansas by a country mile.

Todd:
It would take a meltdown of DuBosian proportions for the Arkansas to blow this one.

Opponents OTS
35-9
Nico
33-11
Todd
36-8
Vanderbilt vs Eastern Michigan
9/29 - 6pm CST
Nashville, TN

OTS:
After an impressive win over Ole Miss followed by an off week to rest, the Commodores should move to 3-1 with a win over Eastern Michigan. In the past, Vandy may have lost a game like this, but I don't see it happening now.

Nico:
Vandy creeps ever closer to their first bowl appearance since 1982.

Todd:
I'm with OTS here, this is the kind of game that Vandy would stumble in the past few years, but Eastern Michigan is one of the worst teams in the country and the Commies should have no problems as they move ever closer to bowl eligibility.

Opponents OTS
35-9
Nico
33-11
Todd
36-8
Auburn at Florida
9/29 - 7pm CST
Gainesville, FL
ESPN

OTS:
I know I may be a bit biased, but there is no real reason to pick Auburn. Sure they beat lowly New Mexico State, but didn't look very good in the process. They are basically still the same poor team that they were in the first three games, and that's not going to change with a trip to the Swamp. The Gators had a close one in Oxford, but Tebow looks simply unstoppable, and this is a revenge game for them. Bottom line: Florida wins, and it could get ugly.

Nico:
Florida with ease.

Todd:
The Swamp is the last thing this Auburn team needs to try and regain it's footing after a horrendous start to the season.

SPECIAL BONUS PICKS
Opponents OTS
35-9
Nico
33-11
Todd
36-8
South Florida vs West Virginia
9/28 - 7pm CST
Orlando, FL
ESPN2

OTS:
Honestly, this Friday night showdown is really the game of the week. It's the biggest game in the history of South Florida football, most likely, and if West Virginia can pull out the victory, they have a great shot at going undefeated. This one is likely to be a close contest, no two ways about it, but given the offensive firepower of the Mountaineers, I really cannot go against them. Moreover, rest assured that WVU has revenge on their mind since South Florida cost them a BCS bowl a year ago, and surprise, surprise, it looks like Pat White can throw the football now too. WVU wins in a close one.

Nico:
I'm tempted to pick USF, but they're going to run out of steam at some point. They're good, they can be giant killers, but I'm not sure they can keep up with the Mountaineers under current conditions.

Todd:
I'm kind of torn on this one, actually. The Bulls always show up to play, especially in big games, and West Virginia is well aware of their abilities. Still, South Florida should have lost to Auburn in their big win so far. They did everything possible to give that game away and the Teagles just wouldn't take it. They did have a pretty convincing win over North Carolina last week, but then again the Tarheels haven't beaten a 1A team yet. I'm going with West Virginia, but I wouldn't be surprised to see it go the other way.

Opponents OTS
35-9
Nico
33-11
Todd
36-8
Cal at Oregon
9/28 - 2:30pm CST
Eugene, OR
ABC

OTS:
This is a very tough game to pick, and honestly both teams seem very similar. Both have huge offenses to go along with so-so at best defenses, plus solid coaching. This one could very well go either way, but I'll take Cal, simply because they looked good against Tennessee. The quality win there, I guess, is enough of a reason to slightly tip the scales in their favor. Nevertheless, the truth is that these two teams are highly similar, and it could go either way.

Nico:
Tough game to call. Cal will probably sort them out, but I'm going to go with the Autzen advantage on this one anyway.

Todd:
Both of these teams are sporting great offenses, so the over/under should be somewhere around 80. I'm going with the Ducks since they are the home team, but this is really a toss up.