Alabama-less SEC Predictions

Obviously, with the best team in the conference and possibly all of America taking the week off, the schedule is problematic, with the CBS 2:30 game involving a horrible team dressed in orange. Home teams underlined.

Georgia 42, Tennessee 3
LSU 26, Florida 24
Auburn 18, Arkansas 16
Vandy 31, MSU 12
Kentucky 20, USC 14

123 thoughts on “Alabama-less SEC Predictions”

  1. Either Kentucky is better than everyone thinks, or Bama is not the best team in the country. I couldn’t ignore that down the pipe fastball, Mac.

  2. Why is Scott Thorman so bitter about losing playing time to Tex? ;-)

    It’s fine to dislike Tex for being a mercenary (unlike most people who go to work purely for the love of it), but he is not an example of an anti-clutch player.

  3. That’s silly. Baseball is a game of statistics, or rather, the statistics usually paint a pretty good picture of what the player’s impact will be. His numbers are always good, and games in April do count.

    So Teixeira may not be a clubhouse leader, but a guy who can put up the numbers he does consistently is someone you want on your team. Just sign him without the expectation that he will be a motivational guy and you won’t be disappointed.

    Maybe the Yankees will sign Teixeira and Manny to bookend A-rod. That would be frightening.

  4. I’m guessing that comment came from the Rangers camp. If I recall, a lot of them had some things to say as he was on his way out the door a year and a half ago, too. It didn’t really seem like anyone here had a problem with him.

    Although I will say that there is definitely a group of people out there who do think that Tex is an anti-clutch player, at least among fans. I really couldn’t disagree more, and a friend of mine being one of them, I will tell you that his argument for it could border on the ridiculous (for instance, if Tex hit a big home run in the middle of the game and then the bullpen blew the game, he would be considered anti-clutch because his home run didn’t win the game in the end) but right or wrong, that thought is out there.

  5. As a uga fan, I have to express that I don’t endorse the mild, friendly smack talk against ‘bama from my fellow Joshua.

    9/27/08 – ugh.

    Matt Diaz has been on First Take a lot lately. He hasn’t done too bad actually.

  6. I’m not nearly that confident about our upcoming performance against MSU. I think we’ll win, but I expect the game to be in doubt in the fourth quarter.

  7. FWIW (nothing): I think Tex qualifies above “very good” and maybe below “elite”… but then again, who does qualify as elite? Pujols is probably the main guy you can say an unqualified “yes” to on that question. Chipper/Berkman/A-Rod/Miguel Cabrera/Maggs Ordonez should all fall into that category too. Josh Hamilton/David Wright/Matt Holiday/Hanley Ramirez all make their case… and I think Tex stands up in that company rather well, so maybe he IS elite. I think the main knock on tex is probably how slow he starts each season.

    I think the problem comes in trying to define Elite. I think if you’re saying somebody is an elite hitter he’s one of the best in the league now, not best ever to play the game (nobody’s arguing he’s Ted Williams here right?).

    (also FWIW ‘roids aside Bonds from 01-04 would epitomize elite hitter in the last few years)

  8. I think the Angels need Tex more than the Yankees.

    The whole leader thing? Depends on the team. I mean, if you listen to all the Yankee beat reporters, a guy like Bernie Williams was never a leader on that team. But he was a terrific cleanup hitter for them, someone who fit into that lineup perfectly.

    I think Tex will do the same if he stays with the Angels, plus he’s in a place where he won’t suffer a ton of criticism. He’s not going to go Andruw Jones on them anytime soon.

    If he signs with the Yankees, for example, he’ll under a microscope that will distort his accomplishments or his failings. Some players embrace that, some shrivel.

    Prediction: Georgia 24, Tennessee 10

  9. Arkansas has averaged giving up over 30+ per, Auburn with that crap offense should score 25+. It would be awesome to see Ark win that game though and I hate Petrino.

  10. Tubby said they’ll stick with the spread, too bad no one there knows how to run it now. I’ll bet you’ll see some sort of a boring pro style offense. Run between the tackles and try some play action.

    I’d be willing to assume that Tubby might have a hard time finding another OC thats willing to come in without his own group of guys. Tubby might have to let some of his coaches go this offseason

  11. A thought I’ve never entertained in my life: I’m very much rooting for Vanderbilt to be undefeated by the time they roll into Athens.

  12. I don’t see Tex or Sabathia thriving in pinstripes ububba… though I also can’t say if I were them I’d turn down an extra $25 million to play there even if I wasn’t as comfortable as I’d be elsewhere (well, if I were that good a ball player I actually probably WOULD take less to stay somewhere comfortable… but I wouldn’t fault the guys who don’t).

  13. I’ve entertained the thought before, ububba, but never in October!

    PS: Anybody who hasn’t already should check out Rany Jayazerli’s guest column over at It’s certainly thought-provoking. (This is not an attempt at starting a political discussion, just a tip about an interesting political article from a baseball writer.)

  14. I think everyone knows that by now. But Silver’s always there. I was making the plug specifically for Rany, who’s not always there.

  15. Sorry, that tone was pretty harsh. Someone came into my office to talk “important” things, and I hit send before really reading over what I’d typed.

  16. Do you have a link to the actual article? I’m not seeing anything listed as by Rany.
    EDIT: Never mind… missed the “Guest Column” in a headline and was just looking at the “posted by”.

  17. Big win last week, Tennessee on the horizon, that MSU game has upset written all over it.

    I also like South Carolina’s chances.

    USC could easily end up in a beauty contest with Georgia so they need to put about 50 on Arizona State this weekend.

  18. Stu, that was an interesting article, thanks for recommending it (though I can’t be the only one who reading at some point had visions of Vizzini saying “But you must have known I was not a great fool, you would have counted on it, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me.”)

  19. if the dodgers outright andruw, do we think of having him come back to man our LF?????

    i mean, in that scenario he’s gotta come cheaper than, say Pat the Bat or Dunn? He probably wouldn’t give the offense (unless he comes back and says that last year was a fluke and wants to play for another payday), but the defense is there.

    heck, if the guy will take a 1 year, 4 million dollar, incentive laden, deal, then why not? give time for the kids to age..

    i don’t see the dodgers outrighting him, but you never know…

    if the guy sheds 20 lbs this offseason and gets his head on right (Pendelton COULD probably do something there), then you never know.

  20. Big win last week, Tennessee on the horizon, that MSU game has upset written all over it.

    It’s actually Georgia that’s on the horizon. We always play Tennessee at the end (or near-end) of the season.

    Anyway, I’m not worried about looking past MSU to UGA—this is, after all, an attempt at the elusive 6th win, and our guys know that’s the top priority—but I do wonder what sort of post-Auburn emotional letdown we might have to fight through. I do like being on the road for this one—easier to focus, I’d think.

  21. You want Andruw BACK? (How do you italicize in this blog, anyway?)

    Since when did the Chattahoochee become Lourdes? Because that’s what it would take.

    Francouer in right and Andruw in left? Is this some experiment to see if an entire fan base can be killed by frustration?

  22. Kentucky Football has many Rubicons to cross and Spurrier is one of them.

    I’ll be peeing-on-myself delighted with a one-point win.

  23. It’s actually Georgia that’s on the horizon. We always play Tennessee at the end (or near-end) of the season.

    Right. I was looking at the MSU schedule by mistake. Same idea.

  24. My favorite thing about this year’s VU team, other than its current record: only 5 starters (and only 8 players total from the 2-deep) are seniors. The schedule’s tougher next year, but the team should be even better, especially if DJ Moore stays for his senior season.

  25. Vandy’s gotta kick MSU while they’re down. Their QB situation has been pretty confusing so far.

    Georgia can’t really worry about any beauty contests right now. Just gotta try to beat who’s in front of us.

    We still have good players dropping like flies (we can win this week without Ellerbe, but not too many more); our line of scrimmage remains unsettled (more tinkering during the off-week); & our pass rush needs a solution I haven’t seen (again, we should be able to survive this week).

    Richt is 4-3 vs. Fulmer, but the motivation should remain obvious.

    Chattahoochee? Lourdes? You’re freaking me out.

    I grew up in Columbus with the Chattahoochee River practically in my back yard and I went K-8 at a parochial school called Our Lady of Lourdes.

    So there’s actually a Lourdes situated very close to the Chattahoochee. When I hear or read those two words so close together, I half-expect to get wacked by an Irish nun.

  26. ububba,

    You need to send that bit of info to Wren. Time for a Francouer baptism! (You can bring Andruw, too, if you want.)


  27. Actually, he didn’t, but the system is smart enough to close open italics for him.

    Hank, you need to use a backslash (/) between the first bracket and the i in the second bit of code, thus: </i>

  28. Chaos. Dogs and cats, living together. Frogs become investment bankers. Phil Fulmer goes on a diet.

    Or, just that he has italics continue to the end of his post when he might not want them.

  29. So, a little self-promotion: I’ve signed on to do a bit of blogging over at Save the Shield!, a (hopefully) growing mostly-VU-sports blog run by Philip Reed and co-authored by Jake Lowery, two guys you’ve never heard of.

    Not sure how frequently I’ll be contributing, but for those of you who might be interested, the link is now attaced to my name.

  30. Joe Torre let his rookie relief pitcher bat down 8-5 in the fifth with a man on, a bullpen full of rested pitchers and an off day tomorrow.

    We think Bobby is the only one who does this seemingly indefensible stuff, but I think it’s pretty widespread.

    Georgia can’t really worry about any beauty contests right now. Just gotta try to beat who’s in front of us.

    Agree. Over here it’s a little different. Everything is “Could we get to the NC game if….” For example, could we get to the NC game if we are 11-1, stomp the rest of our opponents, and have nonconference wins over a 11-1 Ohio State and a 10-2 Notre Dame (don’t laugh, check their schedule)? It passes the time until the Cal game.

  31. Those were certainly two of the best. “Phil Fulmer ate my other sign” was a good’n. Though long, “Hey, Kirk, the SEC drew straws and it’s Vandy’s turn to embarrass Ohio State” was also pretty good. Also, “If I wanted to see an Auburn grad, I would have ordered a pizza.”

  32. Also, “If I wanted to see an Auburn grad, I would have ordered a pizza.”

    In Pete Carroll’s first year they put a beating on UCLA at the Rose Bowl (52-21, but it was 21-0 by the time most had found their seat) and in the post game interview Pete said something along the lines of “Their student section cleared out so fast I thought they were giving away free pizza in the parking lot.”

    Since then most UCLA jokes are in some way pizza or pizza delivery related.

  33. Further inspection reveals that my little story above occurred in Pete’s second season. As if it matters.

  34. mac………your butler is probably stealing the fine silverware out of your apartment….. and hes the guy that tells your neighbor that its ok to park on the line.

  35. @#48

    Mine as well. I’m kind of a sucker for self-deference, though.

    Most of the others smacked of entitlement, JMO. I guess they were OK.

  36. Most of the others smacked of entitlement

    There’s certainly plenty of that to go around at VU. Doesn’t make the signs less funny, IMO.

  37. It actually makes it funnier, if you ask me. Can’t be a smartass if you aren’t smart, after all.

  38. Re: 50 above, Torre’s record since the Luis Gonzalez blooper is 23-33. I used to think he was better than Cox, but the last few years have made me think he just had more to work with.

  39. Wow, those signs you guys mentioned are all really good. I liked the Butler one, since it seemed like they were both mocking Auburn (because they’re dumber than Vandy) and making fun of how elitist the school is that everyone there has a butler.

  40. For now, Vandy is fun & amusing. If they ever turn into the Duke of football, they’ll have to put those signs away because they’ll be as annoying as a bunch of Emory frat boys. That kind of class warfare only works from the bottom up.

    Those Torre post-season numbers before Game 7 of ’01 go into his column, too. So count ’em up. They’re pretty amazing.

    3-1, 4-1, 4-1, 2-3, 3-0, 4-2, 4-0, 3-0, 4-1, 4-0, 3-2, 4-2, 4-1, 3-2, 4-1, 3-3 = 58-20

    That’s almost like pointing to Rivera’s blown save on Gonzo’s bloop single & deciding he’s Mark Wohlers.

    If you’re just going by results, it’s not in the same category, not in the same universe.

  41. Today there was one, “Sam Bradford washed my car.”

    Really? Good for you, bud.

    Maybe I’m just missing something.

  42. I totally agree with you, ububba, but I don’t think there’s much of a danger of us becoming the Duke of football. Even if we were to lower our academic standards like Duke has for basketball, it’s a lot harder to find 85 elite players than it is 13. Without even mentioning the division we’re in.

    Now, becoming another Duke in basketball is more of a possibility…

  43. I agree with those who think that the Vandy game will be close–maybe 20-17 Vandy. It is an awfully good situation for an MSU upset so Vandy had better not take the trip to Starkville for granted….

  44. Bad, bad loss. Not sure why Nickson, who was awful, wasn’t taken out sooner. Such is the life of a VU football fan…

  45. Weird football day, certainly in the SEC. This Auburn game is really weird so far.

    I was rooting for Vandy today, but I never got the sense that they were ever going to win. (Yes, because of the QB.) Even when they had the ball just down a FG, so many plays just broke down and looked like a firedrill. I like their defense, but I can’t be too scared of the offense.

    I’m going to sound like one of those delusional Dawg people here, but UGA could’ve won that game 30-0. Stafford, who was mostly very good, had a couple of those brain-fart INTs and I guess it’s something that you’re just going to have to expect—like the penalties.

    And what was up with those fade routes in the end zone? You can’t throw that every play. Of course, we got another injury to an important player, LT Vince Vance with a knee.

    But the UNC/ND & OU-Texas games were pretty damn entertaining.

  46. Reality prevailed. I couldn’t believe Auburn was leading in the 3rd with less than 100 yards of total offense. I wanted Auburn to win, but dadgum, their offense sucks.

  47. Tony Franklin is probably ecstatic. Sure, he’ll never get hired by a major college again, but at least he can claim that he wasn’t the whole problem.

  48. Wow, Mac. Your predictions turned out to be pretty bad this week, huh? It’s a good thing Bama was off this week because it seems that upsets are in the air. I don’t think I want Bama to move up to number one…too much pressure. Texas will probably jump over them anyway.

  49. Very disappointed in the Vandy outcome, though not that surprised. We always have found a way to lose the “trap” games. See MTSU or Ole Miss in recent years.

    I expect a drubbing at the hands of UGA, but remain hopeful for a bowl appearance.

  50. Re: 62 – I agree that Torre was great for 6 years. But he’s only been mediocre for the last 7 years. In fact, I feel he has been feeding off his first 6 years’ reputation.

  51. Big win last week, Tennessee on the horizon, that MSU game has upset written all over it.

    I also like South Carolina’s chances.

    I quote myself only because it runs my record for predicting games on this site to 2-100.

    USC played like absolute crap today on offense – five turnovers, dropped passes everywhere – but figures to be movin’ on up in the polls. So still a good day, hopefully few of the voters actually saw the game. It was enjoyable to watch the boys beat the living hell out of Rudy Carpenter one last time. That never gets old.

  52. Just saw the Vandy game and I am not surprised. True, one might say that Vandy choked or lost an important game, but to be fair thats life in the SEC.

    I think Vandy still has a good chance to make it to a bowl and it would be sweet if they can do by beating Tennessee….

  53. Went to the Wisconsin beat down tonight. Penn St looked good, but it could have been that Wisc was just terrible.

    Cheer for BYU on Thursday… at TCU. BCS cinderellas are a good thing.

  54. Went to the UNC-Notre Dame game. Man, that was fun. I think it was the first college football game I ever went to at a school that cared. (The Yale-Harvard game just really isn’t the same.)

  55. really?

    you were in chapel hill?

    awesome…my 2nd favorite place in the world…that’s my hometown/college town/grad school town…

    oh, and i HATE ND…

  56. So… how ’bout them gators?

    If nothing else, now I’m really excited about those freshman RBs who seem to be faster than everyone this side of Reggie Bush. I mean, they made LSU’s defense look slow all night.

  57. Josh,
    You do know that Torre’s teams have made the post-season every single year since 1996, right? His teams are 18-8 in those series.

    Plump payroll or not, that’s impressive.

  58. so once again 3 of the top 5 teams lose and all the TV “experts” wonder why. could it be because the pollsters are just as dumb and biased as the rest of us?

  59. I would say because they played against ranked teams, and it happens sometimes. Anyways, you have to put the undefeated teams somewhere in the polls, though LSU struck me as being way too high. Just how the game works right now.

  60. Re: 95 – Torre is no better than 6 & 6 in series since 2002. I expect it will be 6 & 7 after this week. If he wins the WS this year I’ll change my mind, I guess.

  61. Josh,
    What’s your point?

    That Torre was once a good manager, when his teams made the post-season & then won the WS, and now he’s an overrated manager, because his teams continue to make the post-season, but fail to win the WS?

    You might want to look up his managerial record & compare it to anyone else in the history of baseball.

  62. Josh,
    What’s your point?

    That maybe his three failed stints as manager before he hooked on with the Gotham SuperPayrolls are more telling of his managerial talent? Once the Yankee talent started to come back to the pack he was a .500 post season manager just like everybody else?

    Maybe those aren’t his points. They would be mine. He’s a good manager for the right kind of team, but this “compare him with anyone else ever” stuff is way over the top.

    He won 84 games this year with a $120 million payroll and a HOF slugger dropped in his lap for free. Big deal.

  63. I just think joe is not the miracle worker he is made out to be, definitely not since after 2001. His series record since then, most likely by the end of this week, will be 4 – 7. That’s Cox territory. I’ll put Torre maybe as high as 4th all time but not 1st.

  64. Last night, I came out of a concert in downtown Madison and saw all those glum faces (many of them eating pizza, but still) and knew the Penn St. game had gone badly. I only saw later how badly. Wow.

    On the Falcons: great game. Matt Ryan is for real after all. I will maintain my skepticism because it’s my natural state of being, but right now color me interested in my hometown team… something I didn’t expect to happen for a couple more years.

    On Torre: managers in baseball are as good as their players. In the playoffs anything can happen. In football, sure, coaching matters. But in baseball? They try to keep the clubhouse under control and steer their eight best hitters to the plate. Torre was ‘great’ when his team was great, ‘good’ when his team was merely good, and now he’s somewhere between ‘good’ and ‘mediocre’ with talent of similar stock. So it goes.

  65. I think Torre has been tremendously helped by the talent he’s had to work with, but you can say that for almost all managers and coaches in sports. Good teams have good players, and sometimes good managers. You usually don’t have a manager or coach getting it done with a bad team. Torre hasn’t really had to deal with that.

  66. Stephen, I want to justify my blasphemy. The Game is a lot of fun, but it’s a meeting of two non-sports schools, private school kids trying to approximate screaming football nuts. UNC isn’t exactly a football school, but it’s a sports school. Seeing UNC-ND just felt much more like a real college football game, rather than a death match of the nerds.

    Of course I’m being too harsh. But it was neat to be at this game.

  67. AAR, I went to an SEC school and didn’t get to see any real college football games until after I graduated. :/

  68. Yup.

    Vanderbilt Season Tickets—for a relatively low price, you’ll get to see national championship contenders Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Alabama, Auburn, and LSU play!

  69. The Yankees have always had the highest payrolls and, before the draft was instituted, generally the best players. That doesn’t make Casey Stengel’s accomplishments any less either.

    Again, in the WC era, Torre’s teams have made the post-season every single year. Add it up however you like and toss out as many “yeah, buts,” the fact remains that nobody else has done that.

    IMO, no matter who you are or how you get your players—yes, even USC!—you still have to win the games on the field and when you do, you deserve the credit. When you don’t, especially in this town, you’ll be called out. All Torre did was win.

    So, I’ll stick with Torre’s all-time post-season numbers. Taking shots at them is kinda like throwing rocks at a tank.

  70. They show up toward the end of the first quarter, Mac, whether it’s a close game or not. Then, beginning at halftime, they leave at any point when the game is no longer close.

  71. Alright guys, this is probably a question that is annoying to some, but in light of a debate with my friend, here goes:

    A-Rod or Manny?

  72. A-Rod, and I don’t even see how it’s debatable. Only one of the two is in the discussion for “Greatest Baseball Player of All Time,” and it’s not Manny.

  73. @109

    Nope, not me. I’m fine with having a couple chuckles at the article’s expense, but I don’t really see the need for that guy to attempt to be confrontational about it.

    I’m sure it isn’t entirely representative, so it’s probably my bad for posting here. Just what it made me think of. FWIW, I think I recall the PhilipVU username and he’s always seemed level-headed and insightful, and like I said, best of luck.

  74. Agreed, A-Rod.

    I think the only that could be argument made for Manny over A-Rod is the “clutchedness.” However, some article last week (Hard Ball Times, maybe) showed how A-Rod has actually been better than his average in “high-leverage” situations.

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