College football predictions: The SEC could still make it a playoff troika
If you believe the SEC is pompous, entitled and doesn’t think its sweat socks stink, your worst fear seemed to vanish last week:
Three SEC teams in the College Football Playoff.
“To me, that’s blasphemous,” Robert Griffin III said during the Florida-Texas A&M game last week.
The ESPN analyst and former Heisman Trophy winner spoke for many people north and west of the Mason-Dixon Line. They’re weary of the SEC ruling the world and want Martians to permanently abduct Nick Saban.
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Brian Kelly is not a Martian (we think), but he did something almost as good last Saturday. There had been a lot of talk that if Alabama won the rest of its games, the CFP committee would select Georgia, Tennessee and the Crimson Tide.
RG III’s nightmare scenario went “poof” when LSU beat Alabama in overtime later that night. Ding-Dong, the Saban Witch was dead!
As an SEC shill, I’m pleased to say, “Not So Fast.”
LSU’s so hot, the Tigers could make it an SEC threesome in the playoffs. The Tigers would have to win out and beat Georgia in the SEC championship game.
If that’s Georgia’s only loss, the Dawgs would still get a playoff bid. And if Tennessee wins out, it would hard for the CFP committee to shun an 11-1 team that beat LSU and Alabama and only lost on the road to the defending national champ.
Throw in the Big Ten champ, and you’d have the perfect Christmas present for the SEC homer on your shopping list.
Course, that would also infuriate Texas Tech, the Pac-12 and everybody who thinks the SEC is pompous, entitled and doesn’t think its sweat socks stink.
Please understand. We only think that because it’s true.
Speaking of pompous, I have no right to be after going a blasphemous 6-4 last week. May a lightning bolt from Heaven strike me down if I ever pick Texas A&M again.
Here are this week's picks:
South Carolina at Florida: DNA tests reveal that really was Florida’s defense on the field during the second half at A&M. Don’t expect the shutout stuff to continue, but the Gators should contain South Carolina’s blasé offense. And since Vanderbilt scored 27 points on the Gamecocks, UF should be good for at least 28. Florida 33-20.
LSU at Arkansas: The Hogs lost to Liberty last week. The Tigers beat Alabama. No disrespect to the Libertarians, but enough said. LSU 27-22.
Missouri at Tennessee: Eliah Drinkwitz is 15-17 with the Tigers and got a $2-million-a-year raise this week. It was such a non-SEC move, commissioner Greg Sankey is considering trading Mizzou to the Ivy League for 12 tutors from Yale. Tennessee 36-17.
Alabama at Ole Miss: Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey declared an official period of mourning after the Tide got eliminated from playoff contention last week. If Bama loses a third game this season, she might need to call out the National Guard to control rioting throughout the state. In the interest of public safety, Alabama 31-26.
Bemidji State at University of Mary: Our favorite team won its eighth straight game last week. I’m itching to make a wisecrack about this week’s opponent, but the school is named after the Virgin Mary, and some things you just don’t trifle with. Please don’t take this personally, Mary. Bemidji State 28-16.
Georgia at Mississippi State: The Bulldog Bowl. The ones from Athens won’t be sharp after last week’s beatdown of Tennessee. But nothing is going to stop them from being one of the SEC bullies in the playoffs. Georgia 27-13.
Holy Football Trivia: America has 46 institutions of higher learning named after Mary. None are members of the SEC.
Miami at Georgia Tech: The Hurricanes have gone two games without a touchdown. That hasn’t happened in 58 years. If this keeps up, NIL sugar daddy John Ruiz will pay Martians $200 million to abduct Mario Cristobal. Upset Special: Miami scores a TD. Game Prediction: Georgia Tech 26-13.
Vanderbilt at Kentucky: The Commodores once went 58 years without a touchdown. They will score at least one against the Wildcats, but it won’t amount to anything. Kentucky 38-10.
FSU at Syracuse: The Seminoles should be well rested after their bye week against Miami. FSU 30-18.
Texas A&M at Auburn: The Dumpster Fire Bowl. If Texas A&M loses its sixth straight game, you can officially forget the school ever renaming itself the University of Jimbo. Texas A&M 27-17.
David Whitley is The Gainesville Sun's sports columnist. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @DavidEWhitley