Grass’ Guesses – Week 14


Last Week: Against The Spread 6-2, Straight Up 6-2

Overall: Against The Spread 16-10, Straight Up 19-7

It’s the Final Week of the Regular Season. All that is left after this is Conference Championship Games and Bowl Games. Some teams will be playing for pride. Others will be playing for bowl eligibility or positioning. Lots of rivalries, as always there in the last week of the season, so it should be a lot of fun to watch it unfold.

Nov 23, 2013; Little Rock, AR, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks head coach Bret Bielema reacts during the game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs during the second half at War Memorial Stadium. Mississippi State Bulldogs beat Arkansas Razorbacks 24 – 17. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Arkansas at LSU (-24.5)

LSU game tape is probably more coveted than any other when teams are facing Johnny Manziel. For the second year in a row, LSU made Johnny Football look like a subpar college quarterback. His chances at being a repeat Hesiman Trophy winner went down the toilet with his terrible performance in that game. Arkansas is now clearly the worst team in the SEC West this year, and possibly the entire conference. I’d love to be there for this game because the Tigers are going to turn the Hogs into barbecue, and I love me some barbecue.

The Guess: LSU 41 – Arkansas 10

Wake Forest at Vanderbilt (-14.5)

Vanderbilt finds themselves in very much the same situation as last year. They started off slow, but they have rebounded nicely and are making a big push to finish the year in a better bowl position than many thought possible. Look for them to come out strong against the Demon Deacons and fret over another offseason if James Franklin will be returning as their head coach.

The Guess: Vanderbilt 31 – Wake Forest 14

Georgia (-3.5) at Georgia Tech

Has there been a team that has had more of a gut wrenching season than Georgia? Yes, they are going to go to a bowl and finish with a winning record, but the injuries they have sustained to go along with the heart breaking losses makes for a very difficult year as a fan.The most recent stomach punch is the season ending injury that Aaron Murray sustained. I’m not sure how the Bulldogs are going to respond, so I have a hard time picking them. If he were healthy, I don’t see any way that they lose. He’s not, so I don’t think they will have what it takes to beat a pretty good squad in Georgia Tech.

The Guess: Georgia Tech 24 – Georgia 14

Tennessee (-3.5) at Kentucky

Tennessee lost their game to Vanderbilt on the clearest traveling violation I have ever seen in a football game. Tennessee has a lot of hope for its future, and I believe they are desperate to get a new winning streak started after embarrassing loss to the Wildcats last year. Rocky Top reigns supreme in this one.

The Guess: Tennessee 28 – Kentucky 13

Clemson at South Carolina (-4.5)

To me, this is the most interesting game on the schedule. It’s a rivalry for South Carolina, so you know they want to win. The problem is they may be more interested in the Missouri-Texas A&M game that is starting 45 minutes after their game kicks off. Will the Gamecocks be able to focus at the task at hand, or are they going to be too concerned with what is going on in the other Columbia? I think they pull it out and hope and pray they enter the SEC Championship Game on a roll.

The Guess: South Carolina 34 – Clemson 24

Florida State at Florida (NL)

I find it hard to believe that Vegas hasn’t issued a line for this game. I’m not sure what the logic behind that is, but I am sure there must be something to that. Regardless, this one could end up being the most lopsided game in the history of the series. I would have thought there is no way the Muschamp was going to be asked to come back next year, but all the reports seem to indicate that he will be. Anyways, I have been wrong against the spread with every game I have picked that involves Florida. This one has no line, so it’s just my straight up guess. I look for a Seminole wind to blow through Gainesville.

The Guess: Florida St. 44 – Florida 10

Texas A&M at Missouri (-4.5)

One of the biggest games in the history of the Missouri program, as many believed the Tigers would have a hard time adjusting to life in the SEC. It took a year, but they are proving that they have adjusted just fine. The only thing standing between Missouri and an SEC East Championship is the Johnny Manziel and the Texas A&M Aggies. Missouri wasn’t dominant in their win over Ole Miss, but they never really appeared to lose control of that game. I think that will be the case here. In a thorough game effort, Missouri punches their ticket to the SEC Championship Game.

The Guess: Missouri 41 – Texas A&M 31

Alabama (-10.5) at Auburn

In a game that might determine who wins the National Championship, expect both teams to come out a little tight. The stakes are not usually this high in the Iron Bowl, so the team that figures out how to make this simply a football game first will likely prevail. Nick Saban is a master at this. I think his leadership and experience in big games is going to be the deciding factor. Auburn keeps them close for the first half, but just like their game against LSU, Alabama pulls away in the second half.

The Guess: Alabama 34 – Auburn 21

Ole Miss (-3) at Mississippi State

This game is almost a complete role reversal from last year’s game. In 2012, Ole Miss wanted to come out and get a win to send their beloved first year coach to a bowl game. Mississippi State wanted to legitimize what at one time was a very promising season. The rest is history.

This year’s version of the Egg Bowl has Mississippi State trying to get bowl eligible and head into the off season with some much needed momentum. Ole Miss is looking to end the year with a victory and possibly finish the season in the Top 25 for the first time since 2009. A loss for Mississippi State would put added pressure on Dan Mullen as he heads into the 2014 season. A loss for Ole Miss would start to cause Hugh Freeze’s tenure at Oxford to lose some of its luster and make some question just how far the program has really come under his direction. Neither school wants that.

So which team wins? Ole Miss likes to use a fast paced, hurry up offense that has given Mississippi State problems in the past. Mississippi State likes to run the ball with Perkins (though possibly unavailable due to injury) or Robinson which has given Ole Miss problems in the past.

Wallace has cut down on his interceptions drastically from a year ago, but does have a tendency to still make bad decisions when pressure is applied by the defense. Tyler Russell had his worst game as a Bulldog in Oxford last year, and he would like to rebound. The problem is he is battling numerous injuries and how much he will be able to play is very much in question.

This game may end up being decided by Damian Williams. He was forced into action unexpectedly at the end of the Alabama game and played admirably under the circumstances. Against Arkansas, his play on the field was limited, but was very impressive when he was out there. He completed 3 of 4 passes, and ran the ball 7 times for 40 yards, including the 25 yard scamper on the first play of overtime that decided the game. Chris Relf was not a great quarterback by any stretch of the imagination, but he is lauded by Mississippi State fans of maximizing every ounce of athleticism that he could. He was like a shark when there is blood in the water every time he played Ole Miss. I think Williams is an upgraded Relf with a better throwing arm, and he channels that and leads the Bulldogs to victory, giving Mississippi State fans much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

The Guess: Mississipp State 28 – Ole Miss 24