Welcome back to what has been an enormously profitable investment season, if you ignore the 28 slight miscalculations against the spread — which I honestly was just joking about, so help me Roger Goodell — and this week’s big event! (No, I’m not talking about John Rocker’s appearance on “Survivor,” which is something that happens when you can’t get a job any more, sit behind a folding table at Hall of Fame weekend in Cooperstown begging for spare change or Anabol, behind a sign that reads, “Speak English,” and most of the literate world views your place on the evolutionary scale one notch below bellybutton lint.)
Georgia and Tennessee play a rather significant football game in Athens. The Bulldogs will be trying to convince everybody they’re better than the team that bungled an SEC game in South Carolina two weeks ago (jury deliberating) and the Volunteers hope to prove they’re better than the team that’s 4-20 in the SEC in the last three years (because, really, playing in uniforms that make you look like a tangerine with ears should be torture enough).
When these teams last created mayhem in Knoxville, Georgia had three offensive regulars carted off the field and Mark Richt labored on the sideline with a sore hip and cut his finger on a folding chair. But the Bulldogs won because Todd Grantham’s defense saved the day by allowing three second-half touchdowns to the SEC’s worst offense and … wait, scratch that.
The Dogs are experiencing post-Troy annihilation bliss. But wins over Troy don’t get you more than a bus ticket ticket to the Liberty Bowl.
Welcome to the start of the season, Georgia. Lose this and you’ll give Rocker the look of legitimacy. Dogs win and cover 17.
Back To School
Missouri at South Carolina: Berating young quarterbacks actually is what keeps Steve Spurrier sane. What really drives him crazy is seeing Vanderbilt return two kickoffs for touchdowns last week. And you wonder why he’s “humiliated” and every South Carolina game week starts with the point spread shifting in the other direction. Tempted to pick an upset, but: Roosters win but take Mizzou and 5½.
Mississippi State: Off, after last week’s upset at LSU. But a big Weekend Predictions shoutout to Mississippi State center Dillon Day, who won the Ndamukong Suh Cretin of the Week award for getting suspended by the SEC after stomping two LSU players. Day denied gooning either player intentionally. His brain his fine, it’s his feet that are psychotic. But there’s video evidence to support the charges. He probably has a future with the Ravens.
Keep your eye on No. 63
La. Tech at Auburn: Tigers coach Gus Malzahn claims to have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to players tied to domestic violence. Hey, sounds great, Gus. So maybe you can ask the OTHER Gus Malzahn why he’s recruiting former Georgia defensive tackle Jonathan Taylor despite allegations he choked and punched his former girlfriend? I’ll hang up and listen. Tigers win but take La. Tech and 32½.
FSU of Perpetual Enabling at N.C. State: Recruit Matthew Burrell supplied this report to 247Sports on the halftime feast during his visit to Tallahassee: “One of the best parts of the visit was the food with the crab legs.” Honest. Hey, it’s good to know somebody at least made it out of the Publix parking lot this time. Seminoles win but take N.C. State and 19.
North Carolina at Clemson: North Carolina allowed 70 points and 789 yards in last week’s loss to East Carolina. It’s been downhill ever since players had to start writing their own papers. Tigers cover 14½.
Vanderbilt at Kentucky: Kidding.
Arkansas at Texas A&M: Spurrier took a not-so-veiled shot at Texas A&M when he was asked about the SEC’s high-scoring offenses, saying, “Most of these teams play somebody like Lamar.” The Aggies beat Lamar 73-3. Of course, they also beat South Carolina 52-28. “I think (he) forgot about the first week,” Kevin Sumlin said. And then he dropped the mic. A&M covers 9.
Between The Lies
Falcons at Vikings: Minnesota hasn’t evaded the truth as much as Baltimore with its star running back, it just wanted to avoid the obvious ramifications: Minus Adrian Peterson, they stink. This won’t by the Tampa Bay game on rewind, but if the Falcons struggle this week, it’s a bad sign. The 3 is covered.
Panthers at Ravens: Steve Bisciotti held a news conference to shoot down every element of an ESPN investigative story that, in short, revealed the Baltimore owner and his top lieutenants to be cheaters, liars and have backbones with the substance of nougat. Of course, it helps when the NFL commissioner also is morally bankrupt. OK. I’m done now. Ravens cover 3½.
Jaguars at Chargers: Manti Te’o has a broken foot. It must be true, I read it on the Internet. Chargers win but take Jacksonville and 13.
Saints at Cowboys: A stripper claims Jerry Jones has been paying her hush money for years. I can only assume she’s still suing him because he’s paying Tony Romo even more. Saints win but take Dallas and 3.
NFL begins to diversity training
Eagles at 49ers: Philly quarterback Nick Foles ranks first in the NFL in passing yardage. Tom Brady ranks 24th. Exhibit A why three-week statistical analytics mean bupkis. Niners cover 5½.
Packers at Bears: Green Bay fans think Aaron Rodgers is too distracted by his girlfriend, Olivia Munn. First of all, to any guy complaining about Olivia Munn: Man card revoked. Secondly, if Rodgers is distracted, it’s because he’s been sacked nine times and feels like a shack in Kabul. Packers cover 1½.
Snippet from South Park’s monumental takedown of NFL
“The best throw of the dice is to throw them away.”
Last week: 9-3 straight up, 5-7 against the line
Profits, losses: 35-12 straight up, 19-28 against the line.
Lock of the Week: Schlage.
Lilly’s Pick: The Beast is hot (3-1), last week nailing Georgia Tech over Virginia Tech. Maybe I should be eating the kibble. This week, it’s Falcons vs. Vikings. Lilly went right to the cheese’d photo of Freddie Falcon.
Sack Schultz 2014: Another blah 9-6 week leaves me with 43 wins, in 190th place, or as I like to call: The Sweet Spot! Last week’s winners were Ken Jenkins of Atlanta and Gary Bevington of Alliance, Ohio, who each went 13-2. There are seven contestants tied at the top with 48 wins. Enter and win great prizes at AJC.com/go/sackschultz2014.
— AJC: Braves’ Hart is open to mentoring GM role — AJC: Would Braves be better off not going “Braves Way”? — MyAJC: Georgia is 0-1 but SEC East is still there for taking — MyAJC: Full column: Frank Wren did a lot right but big things hurt him — AJC: Quick blog: Frank Wren failed at major decisions — AJC: Terry McGuirk is on the clock (updated) — MyAJC: Georgia’s next 7 games are what really counts — AJC: Short takes on Georgia’s 66-0 win over Troy — MyAJC: Falcons now realize they need to step on gas — AJC: Weekend Predictions: Falcons win, Jackets lose, Goodell cowers — AJC: Braves see Nats celebrate, and Pirates may do same — MyAJC: Fredi Gonzalez: ‘It’s my team, I take full responsibility’ — AJC: Braves’ opponents often celebrates here — MyAJC: Falcons let everybody see their ugly side — AJC: Short takes on Falcons’ loss to Cincinnati — MyAJC: Georgia Tech has problems, but it also has Justin Thomas — AJC: Short takes on Georgia Tech’s narrow escape — AJC: Ferry takes leave but Hawks won’t change with this ownership — AJC: Hawks giving lessons on how not to contain a fire — AJC: Weekend Predictions: Goodell sees alibis, I see Dogs — AJC: Goodell was at Masters when Rice video arrived — AJC: Silver says Ferry’s words not ‘terminable’ offense — MyAJC: Only cure: All Hawks’ owners and Ferry must go — AJC: Levenson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar miss point about Atlanta — MyAJC: Levenson gone but timing raises questions — AJC: Hawks’ Levenson has ugly exit because of email — MyAJC: Matt Ryan wouldn’t let Falcons lose — MyAJC: Georgia Tech still looks wobbly at 2-0 — AJC: Weekend Predictions: Falcons (real ones) over Saints — AJC: Video evidence of Stephen Garcia hitting bottom — MyAJC: Falcons need Mike Nolan to create an illusion — AJC: Michael Sam not being viewed as just a player — MyAJC: With Todd Gurley, possibilities are endless — AJC: Weekend Predictions (no lie): Dogs over Clemson — MyAJC: Richt, Georgia need another highlight