When I think about SEC football as we enter the second month of the season, there is a song that keeps floating through my head.
“Where are you going,
Where do you go?
Are you looking for answers,
To questions, under the stars?”
Dave Matthews with the lyrics, me with the real questions.
Where are you going, Auburn?
The Tigers are still in position to be in the mix for a College Football Playoff berth, but they have been less than impressive, ranking 12th in the conference in total offense.
Auburn has a fairly soft October leading into a rugged November. Are the Tigers going to breeze through the next month or flounder their way to a season-killing loss somewhere along the way?
Where are you going, South Carolina?
This was supposed to be Will Muschamp’s best team, but it looks like a typical Muschamp team, 11th in the SEC in scoring. And quarterback Jake Bentley is banged up. The Gamecocks may have to struggle just to reach a bowl game.
Where are you going, Mississippi State?
The consensus was that Dan Mullen left a great team behind. But with two losses to the East and the entire West waiting, this is a season that could be headed off the rails.
Where are you going, Missouri?
This is about the time when Mizzou started to turn things around. But with a defense ranked 86th in the country, the Tigers can’t lose their serve in any game. Missouri has been under the radar all season, but has a bunch of rugged games over the next five weeks before a soft landing.
Where are you going, Vanderbilt, Texas A&M and Ole Miss?
We kind of know where Alabama and Georgia are going. We’re about to find out where Florida, LSU and Kentucky are headed. And we know that Arkansas and Tennessee stink on ice.
“Where are you going
Where do you go.
And where are you going.
Where? … Lets go!”
Meanwhile, I didn’t need to distract you from my picks record because last week I went 9-1 (34-16 for the season). I would have gone 10-0 if I had any faith in the Gators. Seriously, how do you go 9-1 and the only miss is the hometown team?
Then again, I’ve picked against them two weeks in a row and they have won both games. I know what you’re thinking.
LSU AT FLORIDA: But I am all about the integrity of The Picks. I still take the team I believe will win, no matter how many emails it might mean. Although I really haven’t received many in the last two weeks. Mostly just Gidiot emails. Look, this is your team. It is what it is. Support it or get off the bandwagon. And don’t sprain an ankle. LSU, 16-13.
KENTUCKY AT TEXAS A&M: This is a tough pick because I believe in Kentucky (as the only AP voter who had them in the preseason poll), but it feels like a game where the Wildcats fall back to earth. Still, I’m going with the upset and the fact that it is an upset is upsetting. Kentucky, 24-20.
MISSOURI AT SOUTH CAROLINA: I just don’t think the Gamecocks can score with Missouri. Of course, “more important than the score of this game is to score at the big social at our place tonight.” OK, that’s my archaic movie reference for the day. (Name the movie). Missouri, 38-28.
OKLAHOMA-TEXAS: If Texas wins, fried Snickers for everybody. It will also mean that Texas is back, right? Too bad. Oklahoma, 30-21.
FSU AT MIAMI: Talk about disrespect, Miami calling FSU’s turnover backpack “a purse.” It’s just good to see the trash talk back. Miami, 24-10.
AUBURN AT MISSISSIPPI STATE: Last week told me a lot about Nick Fitzgerald and it wasn’t good. Auburn is struggling to run. Could this be a repeat of the epic 3-2 game 10 years ago? Probably not. Auburn, 27-17.
VANDERBILT AT GEORGIA: Remember when Vandy beat Georgia two years ago and it looked like the Commodores had turned the corner and Georgia was struggling at 4-3? It seems like a long time ago. Since then, Georgia is 22-4. Make it 23. Georgia, 38-10.
NOTRE DAME AT VIRGINIA TECH: Notre Dame is a different team with a different quarterback. As crazy as this season has been for the Hokies, well, stranger things have happened. Notre Dame, 30-21.
UTAH AT STANFORD: I can’t figure Stanford out. But I’m picking the Cardinal. Stanford, 27-21.
ALABAMA AT ARKANSAS: No, I’m not trying to pad my record. Sure, Alabama is a 34.5-point favorite. But Nick Saban said it’s a trap game. So that makes this a legit pick. I believe everything Little Nicky says. Alabama, a lot to a little.
(And the movie is “Meatballs.”)
Contact Pat Dooley at 352-374-5053 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. And follow at Twitter.com/Pat_Dooley.