So...TJ sends the G:TB staff an email last night letting us know that there is a default picks post in the drafts section last night. So, I go to the drafts section this morning in order to enter my picks, and what do you know, TJ has labeled the post as 'default picks post', dropped all of one picture in the post and...that's it. No words, no picks, nothing. I swear to you, the man's laziness knows no bounds. Its a good thing I'm here to keep things moving on the best college football weekend of the year.
Alabama (-4) at Mississippi: This game looked a lot more intriguing during the preseason than it does now. At that time, Mississippi looked like they might have the talent, depth and experience to hang with a talented Crimson Tide team who might be the best team in America. However Houston Nutt, as he is wont to do, seems to have found a way to fuck things up in Oxford. Is it fair to blame the Rebels' collective inconsistency and underachievement all on Houston Nutt? Probably not. Am I going to anyway? Yep. Listen folks, Houston Nutt just isn't that great a football coach. He's crazy, he makes terrible in-game coaching decisions and, for whatever reason, his teams display a consistent inability to, well, play consistently smart football. With that said, I expect Mississippi to play at a high level today. For all his faults, Nutt can get his teams up for big games (see: Mississippi at Florida 2008, Arkansas vs. LSU 2007 and on and on and on) and the Rebels' season depends on this game. They're going to come out swinging offensively and give the Tide all they want behind the voices of 50,000+ drunk racists waving Confederate flags (Why would a black kid play at Ole Miss again?). It won't be enough though. Alabama is too good and too well coached to lose this game. Make no mistake about it, they circled this game on their calendar this offseason too and they'll be ready. Trent Richardson and Mark Ingram each score a TD and Greg McElroy throws for over 250 yards as the Tide rolls over the Rebels.
Wisconsin at Ohio State (-16): You know how I feel about Terelle Pryor. What you may not know if how I feel about Ohio. I loathe Ohio. I interned in Cleveland one summer in grad school and, despite living downtown within walking distance of Jacobs Field and numerous bars and working out of Cleveland Browns Stadium, it was hell. Cleveland's a fucking ghost town at night. If you can afford to live outside of Cleveland...you do. And Cleveland might as well be Athens or Rome when compared to shitholes like Akron, Youngstown and Toledo. Seriously, Ohio is hell on earth. Maybe that's why there's so much good music that comes out of Ohio (RJD2, The Black Keys, Blueprint...). Something about all the pain and suffering of having to live there must inspire greatness.
What's that? Oh. Apparently I was supposed to be talking about football. Well then...Wisconsin's a fraud. They can run the ball pretty well behind big John Clay (Do they even recruit tailbacks under 230 lbs. in Madison?) but they don't have much else to speak of offensively and Ohio State's defense is good. Very good, in fact. The Buckeyes will trip over their own feet a bit on offense in the early going but they'll eventually get it going in the second half (with the help of some turnovers created by that D) and drop Wisconsin for the first time this season. See Ohio? I don't totally hate all of you...just most of you.
Florida (-8) at LSU: I normally try and stay away from picking Gator games. I don't even pretend that I'm rational about Gator Football. I am not, not even close. I am, however, highly informed. I read everything I can get my hands on. I belong to two separate pay sites/message boards where I read practice reports, "insider reports" and the Drudge report. It borders on a sickness. Its been especially bad these last two weeks. Not just because of the Tebow situation but also because of the health (or lack thereof) of a number of other key players like Deonte Thompson, Matt Patchan, Lawrence Marsh, Brandon Spikes and Riley Cooper. Other than Patchan (out for the year with an ACL tear), all should be healthy, ready to go and close to 100% for tonight's game. That's good, because I won't be near 100%. I'm already a nervous wreck and I've got over 9 hours to go before kickoff. This is, unquestionably, the biggest SEC game of the year so far and, more than likely, the biggest SEC game of the year. Add to that, the time and place of the game and the drama and suspense surrounding Tebow and this game is just about everything you could ever ask for out of a big time college football game. As Jerry said, "nothing can beat a big college football game in the fall as a singular awesome event." And he's right. If you like football (as well as booze, food and wild parties) you want to be at this game tonight. Hell, I'd even disguise myself as Les Miles' hat in order to get into this game tonight. Sadly, I'm not as big as Les' hat, so that won't work.
So, I'll just say this: I think that Florida is the better team, with or without Tebow. I think that Florida's defense is due for a breakout game, and I think that Urban Meyer is going to have his team ready to play its most complete game of the year tonight in Tiger Stadium. Then again, its become clear to me this week that I, for all my bravado and confidence, don't know shit. I mean, Greg has a girlfriend who he refers to as his "sexy little chipmunk" and I turn 32 years old today. It's a brave new world out there kids. Gators win...and cover.