As Arkansas embarks on perhaps their final trip to the Palmetto State for what could be several years, we look to the greatest South Carolinian of all time for inspiration to make this week's picks.
Without question, Orry Main from North and South is the greatest South Carolinian ever. He could fight even after one of his legs was permanently hurt in the Mexican War, fought for [some] rights for slaves, and was a lover of whiskey nights. He would definitely be an SEC fan if he lived today, and likely a Gamecock fan due to his clear loyalty for his homeland. Despite his theoretical college football allegiance, his clear wisdom and brute skill are traits we need going forward, whether we're making picks or needing inspiration for our own team.
We went 5-3 last week, pushing our season record to 41-30 this season. Here are this week's winners:
Arkansas (+13) @ South Carolina: The biggest question surrounding this game is what exactly will Jadeveon Clowney do to Tyler Wilson? Poor Tyler has taken more than his share of hits throughout his career as a Razorback, and now he faces what could be the most dangerous defensive end he's seen in his collegiate career. Clowney could cause Wilson to explode, much like Main ended Elkanah Bent* by beating him down and causing his secret stash of weapons to explode with Bent in the shed. Here's video:
Go with South Carolina.
Georgia (-14.5) @ Auburn: We all know Auburn's on its last legs. There are unconfirmed rumors that Gene Chizik is already on his way out. And, really, we're all just waiting to see it finally happen. We know it's coming. Chizik is basically only still here in body only. But we can't move on until the final punch is thrown. Much like Orry Main's epic fight against evil Justin LaMont, which culminated in a punch that sent LaMont through a second-story window. Georgia will go for this sort of finality on Saturday. (The clip is in Spanish, but there are less than 10 words. You don't need English)
I'm taking Georgia.
Texas A&M (+13.5) @ Alabama: This has all the ingredients to be a pretty good game. The Aggies have all sorts of momentum going after destroying Mississippi State last week. Alabama is better than A&M on paper, but we'll have to wait and see how much emotion they have left after a very hard-fought victory over LSU last week. A&M has managed to build a lead against the really good teams they've played (Florida and LSU), but those teams have been able to handle Johnny Manziel in the second half and come back to win the game. I don't know if the Aggies will have a similar lead against Alabama, but I do think it will be an even fight until the Tide pull away at the end. Not unlike Orry's sabre-duel against Bent shortly after they first met at West Point.
I'm taking Texas A&M and the points.
Missouri (+3) @ Tennessee: The spread for this game is three points, which is an amazing coincidence because the line on the game's attendance is Missouri fans (+3) over Tennessee fans in Neyland Stadium. Did you guys see the crowd at the Troy game last week? And that was a close game! The Vols scored 55 points and scored two late touchdowns for the come from behind victory. But when a fan base is apathetic, they're apathetic. If nothing else, it's impressive that the Vols themselves cared enough to score that many points even when the fans clearly weren't concerned. This game might not be particularly violent, but may resemble more of a screaming fit. Kind of like when Orry confronted his whore sister Ashton, and although he wouldn't hit her on account of being a gentleman, he did throw her against the door and kick her out of the family for attempting to murder their sister's husband and various other offenses. Speaking of getting told to leave the family, Missouri fans will have to deal with hearing that everytime they play a road game. Just part of it. Trust me.
You might think Missouri would be more motivated for this game, and they may be, but Tyler Bray and company appear to take joy in scoring points no matter how much the defense cares. Meanwhile, Missouri's highly touted offense is currently ranked 96th. I think Tennessee will score enough to handle Missouri. Go with the Vols.
Vanderbilt (+3) @ Ole Miss: There have been so many stories of horrible teams in the SEC this season. Or perhaps that's just a part of living in Arkansas and being surrounded by coaching searches for the past 6 months. It's been easy to overlook that both Vanderbilt and Ole Miss are actually overachieving (trademark-John Pelphrey) this year. This game is like watching a couple of young up-and-comers getting into a squabble, and you know afterwards that they're going to be okay in life. Like, you guessed it, Orry's first fight with best friend George Hazard while en route to West Point:
The winner of this game becomes bowl eligible. If Ole Miss loses this game, they may be underdogs in their last two games, but Vandy's last two games are pretty winnable. The Rebels need this a little more, and they're at home, so I'm picking Ole Miss to win like how Orry Main won against those random gray-haired dudes in that last video.
Want a few more? Here's some more lines I like:
Mississippi State (+15) over LSU, Louisville (-1.5) over Syracuse, Kansas State (-7) over TCU
Play along! Put your picks in the comments section, and remember, as always, on-field wins and losses can be vacated, but your picks live forever.
*I know according to the story Bent didn't actually die in the explosion because he comes back in Book III. But it's much better to forget Book III exists.