Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Best5Zach's Week 2 SEC Picks

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In case you missed it, go brush up on last week's picks

So, I didn't get the South Carolina vs North Carolina pick. I blame William's and his two INTs in the endzone. I can say that it doesn't surprise me to see that the Tarheel's struggled. It's a right of passage for converted run-first QBs to be forced to throw instead of doing what comes naturally. From a fantasy perspective, I said that it would suprise me for him to struggle for that reason. Indeed he did. It was maddening to see Williams force bad throws over and over instead of running or checking down to Switzer. Speaking of Switzer, it appears he is still gunshy about returning punts, as can be seen from his 1 return for -1 yards. 

I expected Western Kentucky to blow past the 'Dores, at least on offense. Instead, it was a struggle, but the Hilltoppers won, as I expected. 

Texas A&M covered the spread, as expected.  This was a good game, but TAMU was all over them most of the day. 

Alabama smoked Wisconsin as predicted. Bama usually doesn't cover spreads against Top 25 teams. They did Saturday, and no one should have been surprised.

What was surprising was Jeremy Johnson's inexplicable performance. Sure, we expected the Cards to be a VERY good defense. I expected contested balls and sacks. I didn't expect Johnson to throw it right to the defenders. 

Anyway, I ended the day 4 for 5, even against the spread. Time to move on.

Oklahoma at Tennessee- Talk across the SEC has been about this week 2 matchup, as it is THE litmus test for the Vols. While the Sooners can take a loss and be just fine, Tennessee must have this game if they want to get to the eight plus win mark. Vegas has this as a pick 'em game. The Vols didn't look like a 10-win team against lowly Bowling Green. While they did eventually pull away, it was a game at half time. Unfortunately, there wasn't much to learn from the Vols on Saturday, other than the defense may not quite be as good as advertised....yet. They gave up 10 points in each of the first three quarters of this game. The Sooners were unimpressive on offense, struggling to put just a field goal in the first and last quarters against Akron.  The defense looked solid, however. This one is hard to gauge. What we do know is that Perine was held to just 11 total rushes against the Zips. That pretty much answers the Sooner's game plan. Not only will the rushing attack neutralize the Vols vaunted front line pass rush, but  keep an eye on Mixon, who could bust the game open. Though the Vols have a good rushing attack, the Sooner's run game is better.  The Sooner's Shepard is also back and healthy. He is a mismatch against the Vols secondary.Akron may not be a very good team, but the Sooners defense looked awfully good. They allowed only two plays over 20 yards.  I'll take the Sooners. 

Kentucky at South Carolina-The Gamecocks limped out of Charlotte with a win, but they should have lost this game. The defense is better than last year's version. The offense isn't nearly as good. Kentucky looked....ugly. They couldn't punch it in several times against UL-Lafayette. They missed extra points. They squandered a three TD lead. They were tied with 57 seconds left to play. Vegas has the Gamecocks favored by 7.5 points. Recall that the Wildcats pulled this one off last year in Lexington. If the Wildcats want any chance to win, they will have to get Boom William's some space to run. That means Towles has to be able to scramble and make above-average throws....something he has struggled with. Ultimately, the Gamecocks roll. South Carolina and the points. 

LSU at Mississippi State-This game, last year, was the coming out party for Prescott. He took this game on his shoulders, making some crucial runs. This year will be extremely similar because the line isn't as good as 2014 nor does he have an NFL-caliber running back to draw attention away from him. But, I believe the Bulldogs are going to be better when Prescott is featured as a run-first player. Who knows what we have with the LSU Tigers? The worst thing that could have happened to the Tigers was skipping the warm up game against McNeese State. Whoever trots out at QB is going to be in a tough spot. With a fan base eager to atone for last year's meltdown, expect more record crowds and cow bells. It certainly affected opponents last year, specifically Auburn. A sub-par QB in a hostile environment for the first game of the season sounds like a disaster. It doesn't matter to me that State returns the fewest starters in the SEC. Recall that the number of returners may be small, but the average quality of players is higher than past years. This is the year of fruition for Mullen.  if a game MUST be won and it comes down to one of the QBs, I would take Prescott. I do expect this to be an ugly game. LSU is favored by 4. I am taking the Dogs.