Alabama vs. Kentucky – The Pick


Back home after the crushing defeat of Georgia, the Tide take on the quietly undefeated Kentucky Wildcats. We’re making our picks this week while holding our breath; hoping Alabama doesn’t follow the pattern of playing down to the competition.

Taken at face value, Kentucky’s defense is scary good. Ranked #1 in the SEC, the Wildcats have allowed a combined 22 points this season. However, they have yet to face a team in Alabama’s league. Expect Glen Coffee to test them early and often. Alabama’s defense has a split personality; we hope they can play a complete game this week.

Offensively, both teams can put points on the board, but again, the numbers are deceptive. Alabama has done so against Clemson and Georgia; Kentucky against Norfolk State and Middle Tennessee. It’s interesting to note that against their one shared opponent – Western Kentucky – the scores were nearly identical.

Alabama is a good team that’s gotten better each week. Kentucky is no joke, but is untested. Tomorrow afternoon, they will be.

Other SEC picks:
Arkansas 10, Florida 56
Auburn 21, Vandy 24
Ole Miss 20, S. Carolina 16
Tennessee 38, N. Illinois 12

I recently read a fascinating story on the ESPN website that delved into the history of #2-ranked teams and how they did in the game after they rose to that lofty ranking. There wasn’t much good news in that history, and the author advised Bama to watch out in this week’s trap game.

I do think there is some danger in this game – partly from Kentucky’s #1-ranked defense in the conference, but primarily from Bama’s ranking. Say what you want about how coaches can bring their players back down to earth, but let’s remember that these are 19- and 20-year-olds we’re talking about. I think there will be some letdown.

But when all is said and done, I am truly trusting in The Process. I think Bama’s O-line will wear the Kentucky defense down (the O-line is pretty much 5 for 5 in that part of the process!) and that our own defensive line will be able to toy with Kentucky’s first-year quarterback and untested offense. If we can avoid turnovers, we’ll be in good shape. From my seat in the stands, I’ll be looking for the level of intensity on the field. If it’s there, I’ll feel good about this week, and the weeks to come (where we, perhaps, will be able to break fee of the #2 jinx!).

Other SEC picks:

Arkansas 14, Florida 35

– The Hogs will get a few more than expected!

Auburn 17, Vandy 14

– Boy do I ever want Vandy to eke this one out; they deserve it after years of heartache! But I’m afraid that Auburn somehow finds a way.

Ole Miss 24, S. Carolina 17

– yep, the Nutty Professor finds a way to win again!

Tennessee 20, N. Illinois 10

– Tennessee is Inept with a capital I, but still wins.

A few other picks for personal reasons:
Texas 35, Colorado 20 – I’m originally from Texas, and burnt orange is my second favorite color behind crimson. Colorado will be the first real test of the season.
Penn State 42, Purdue 28 – One of my favorite blog buddies is a former Purdue cheerleader and the biggest Boilermaker fan in the world. I will be yelling Boiler Up throughout the game, but fear for them. Penn State is for real this year!