Though Vanderbilt and Missouri have identical 1-4 SEC records, few people consider these teams to be identical. Vanderbilt’s four SEC losses have come to the likes of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and Kentucky, by an average of 17 points per game. Their lone SEC win came at Arkansas, widely considered the SEC’s worst team.
Missouri’s four SEC losses have come against Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, and Kentucky; while the loss to Alabama wasn’t close, they kept things respectable against Georgia, lost to South Carolina on a late field goal, and lost to Kentucky on a last-second touchdown following a controversial pass interference call. They beat Florida, which was ranked in the top 10 as recently as two weeks ago, by three touchdowns on the road. In addition, outside of the SEC, they won at Purdue and smoked Memphis.
Sagarin has Vanderbilt as the #67 team in the country and Missouri at #18; S&P+ ranks Missouri #20 and Vanderbilt #77. Vegas odds have Missouri as a 17-point favorite. Can Vanderbilt pull within a win of bowl eligibility on Saturday?
Well, we still don’t recognize Missourah. On the other hand, they’re a pretty good team. The record is iffy, but they appear to have both an offense and a defense, and there’s been some dumb luck involved in getting to 1-4 in the SEC.
We’ve had a win over Arkansas and a bye week to get back to basics, though, and I don’t think this will be a blowout. I could be wrong, but I think Vanderbilt should be motivated with the main goal of the season — making it to a bowl game — still on the table. With Ole Miss and Tennessee still on the table after this one, I don’t think Vanderbilt needs a win, but damnit, they’ll try.
The Pick: Missouri 34, Vanderbilt 20.
The SEC Upset Pick of the Week: Auburn (+14) over GEORGIA, because what the hell, it’s Auburn, they’re overdue for some crazy shit to happen.
Andrew VU ‘04
Fresh off a country ass-whoopin’ of the Gainesville Fightin’ Jorts, the Missourah Unrecognizables of the Big XII welcome another SEC team to Columbia.
The cold weather (29 F on the field) will take some air out of the ball, which favors the running game. Add in a bit of moisture, and who knows what could happen?
Well, I do. Ke’Shawn and the Dog Lawyer run roughshod over Missourah’s defense. Shurms McKenzie takes a back seat, and other than some power formation tosses to Pinkney, mostly plays the role of game manager.
Drew Locke’s fingertips get numb, and he throws one too many ducks into the waiting arms of Joejuan.
It’s not going to be a good one, but it may be a win.
The Pick: Vanderbilt 17, Missourah 14.
*Note: This prediction only holds if Andy Ludwig recognizes that game conditions should impact his play-calling.
**2nd Note: Shit.
***3rd Note: Do we even have any safeties on the roster this week?
The Pick (Remembering Ludwig is Ludwig and we will be playing with 9 defenders on the field): Missouri 41, Vanderbilt 27.
The SEC Upset Pick of the Week: The South Cackalacky Game Penises (+6) over The Gainesville Fightin’ Jorts. Though the Jorts will fight to contain the Penises, it will be a losing battle.