Who says there aren’t any big games Saturday?
There is a huge one — in Nashville of all places. It’s at 7:30 p.m. and I think it’s being televised on Nickelodeon. (Actually, the SEC Network and, yes, that is a stale joke).
Ole Miss is at Vanderbilt. Before you start yawning, think about this.
The SEC East has been called the Least, it has been ridiculed and dismissed. But on Saturday night, the East could clinch the series against the West for 2018.
This is a division that three years ago only won two games in the head-to-head matchups.
We all kept saying that these things are cyclical, but I’m not sure how many of us really believed it. On more win and you can truly believe it.
The East is 7-5 against the West this year with two games plus the SEC title game to go. Next week it’s Arkansas and Missouri to finish the season. I like the division’s chances to have a winning record.
So is the East really better than the West now? Hey, you are what your record is, right?
How did this happen?
• For one thing, you can thank the Gators for winning both of their games against LSU and Mississippi State, the only East team to go 2-0.
• Every SEC East team except Missouri, which can still do it next week, has a win against the West.
• Auburn won the West last year, but hasn’t helped this year losing both games against the East.
OK, so maybe this isn’t a big deal to a lot of people. But if the SEC wins these last two and somehow Georgia beats Alabama in the title game. The East will have gone 10-5.
Wrap your arms around that.
Also, wrap your arms around the fact that both Shannon Seal, my guest picker, and I went 8-2 last week. I knew competition would bring out the best in me (stop snickering).
So this week I’m going against someone who knows more about football than most sportswriters — my daughter Kelsey.
One correction — I messed up my overall record last week and one reader pointed that out to me. It’s now 75-35. I think.
IDAHO AT FLORIDA: I want to thank everyone for the great birthday wishes Wednesday. I remember thinking when I was a teenager and the Beatles came out with “When I’m Sixty-Four” and it seemed ancient. Turns out, it is. Florida, 42-10.
Kelsey’s pick: Florida.
CINCINNATI AT UCF: If the GameDay boys thought they saw a wild scene in Pullman, Wash., wait until they get a load of this. Maybe the guest picker should be Mickey Mouse. Or Mike Bianchi. Six of one … UCF, 42-28.
Kelsey’s pick: UCF.
NOTRE DAME-SYRACUSE: They are expecting a pro-Notre Dame crowd for this game in Yankee Stadium and the Irish are wearing helmets with a dash of pinstripes. Does that mean Notre Dame will hit a lot of home runs and fall short of the Red Sox? Notre Dame, 28-21.
Kelsey’s pick: Syracuse.
MISSOURI AT TENNESSEE: Don’t look now, but the Vols can become bowl-eligible with a win in this game or at Vandy next week. Tennessee, 27-24.
Kelsey’s pick: Missouri.
OLE MISS AT VANDERBILT: Think we’ll have to wait until next week for the East to clinch. Vandy can’t score with the Rebs. Ole Miss, 42-31.
Kelsey’s pick: Vanderbilt.
ARKANSAS AS MISSISSIPPI STATE: It feels like there have been a lot of weird seasons in the SEC. Cannibalism can be ugly. But the Bulldogs have a real chance to finish 8-4. Mississippi State, 24-14.
Kelsey’s pick: Mississippi State.
BOSTON COLLEGE AT FSU: The good news for the Semis is that the game time temperature will be 65 degrees. Those guys looked like they wanted to get off the field in South Bend. FSU, 31-28.
Kelsey’s pick: Boston College.
MIAMI AT VIRGINIA TECH: They should call this the Disappointment Bowl. Miami was a preseason No. 8, Virginia Tech was ranked No. 12 a week into the season. They are now a combined 9-10. Miami, 23-21.
Kelsey’s pick: Miami.
DUKE AT CLEMSON: I love what Duke has done this year. I had the Dookies in my AP poll this week. Not next week. Clemson, 43-19.
Kelsey’s pick: Clemson.
IOWA STATE AT TEXAS: I am watching last week’s Iowa State-Baylor game as I write this. Yes, I am a football junkie. Texas, 34-24.
Kelsey’s pick: Iowa State.
Contact Pat Dooley at 352-374-5053 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. And follow at Twitter.com/Pat_Dooley.