Well, it’s almost over.
The 2-8 Vanderbilt Commodores travel to Oxford, Mississippi, on Saturday, where they’ll face the 8-2 Ole Miss Rebels. Incredibly, Ole Miss is closing in on what would be its first ten-win regular season ever — while the Rebels have won 10 games in a season on seven occasions, all seven of those involved a bowl win.
The latest line has Ole Miss as a 36.5-point favorite. What say the writers?
Yeah, this one could get ugly. Weirdly, Ole Miss has had to rely on its defense over the last few games — after topping 40 points in four of their first five games (the lone exception coming against Alabama), the Rebels haven’t scored more than 31 over their last five. That they’re 4-1 in that stretch is a testament to how much of a defensive spine they’ve developed this season; over the last five games, Ole Miss has allowed an average of 21.2 points per game — a number that would rank 29th nationally if they’d kept that up for a full season.
In other words, I actually don’t think Vanderbilt is going to score that much in this one. Yeah, they might get a couple of big plays, but enough to keep up with Ole Miss... nah.
The Pick: Ole Miss 52, Vanderbilt 17
The SEC Upset Pick of the Week: I think Missourah (spits) is going to continue Florida’s downward spiral and take down the Gators at home.
Andrew VU ‘04
ESPN’s matchup predictor gives us a 1.6% chance of winning this game. That seems about right. Their offense is just too good not to punish us. The main advantage their offense has against us is speed—they have the size, skill, and athleticism advantage, too, but I fear the speed disparity will become all too apparent after the first few drives. QB Matt Corral will get all the hype coming into this one, but the guy who will truly dice us up is scat-back Jerrion Ealy. We just don’t have the athletes at linebacker, nor the run-stoppers on the line, to keep him from giving us death by 1000 paper cuts. Though he was a non-factor in Ole Piss’s loss to Auburn, in the last two weeks, he went for 115 rushing, 24 receiving, and 2 TDs against Liberty, and 152 rushing and 34 receiving against aTm. If he can do that against Demarvin Leal and the Grode Jars, what is he going to do against us? I predict at least two 50+ yard TDs for the lightning quick junior. I wouldn’t be shocked if he gets more than that.
This game will be over by the end of the 1st quarter. Luckily enough, that’s about when Vanderbilt Shooty Hoops will tip off against Winthrop, so you can put the feetball game on the laptop/tablet, and the shooty hoops game on the big screen. That’s my plan, at least. No need to be miserable on purpose.
Why did I pick us to beat the spread again?
Oh yeah, because I think Clark Lea will finally decide to start Mike Wright. If Seals plays all game, my pick will look ridiculous.
The Pick: Ole Piss 52 - Vanderbilt 17 (*Note: After writing this, I scrolled up to see what Tom’s pick was, and... I did not expect it to be the exact same score.)
The SEC Upset Pick of the Week: Missourah (spits) is going to get Dan Mullen fired on the spot this weekend. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. (*Note: Tom and I quite literally never agree on everything like this. Of course, this one’s much less shocking, as unless the War Tigers let Derp Mason call the offensive plays against The Game Penises, Missourah—spits—vs. The Jorts is the only even remotely possible upset this week.)
I predict I will have a lot of fun in The Grove and not enjoy the game very much. I just want to see us score points. I think Wright needs to be at QB because I doubt Seals is 100% healthy. But, as I pointed out in Lessons, the bigger point is about the offense not shooting itself in the foot. The offense has to avoid penalties and turnovers.
Defensively, Ole Miss is so freaking explosive. They love to go vertical, too. The way Mississippi State picked us apart will be replicated but with more shots down field. For you all at home, I hope the basketball game is more competitive. Maybe our basketball team will outscore the Ole Miss offense. Maybe?
The Pick: Ole Miss 55, Vanderbilt 20
The SEC Upset Pick of the Week: I did not pick it to happen, but the most likely upset is definitely Missouri sending Cousin Eddie into holiday misery. It would be fun if one of the 30+ point underdogs won since Florida did end up winning last Saturday.
Pain.......blah. But actually we might score a little bit because Ole Miss defense is absolutely horrendous. We’re not scoring 50 points though and I don’t think we’re getting within 36.5.
The Pick: Ole Miss 56 - Vandy 17
The SEC Upset Pick of the Week: Are we allowed to pick Texas over West Virginia? I don’t know. I guess the only current SEC upset I’d pick is South Carolina over Auburn and I really don’t believe that much in that without a spread.