Jeff's Journal #17

If I could ever figure out the Ole Miss Rebels, I’d be pretty dangerous at this picking business. When I pick them to win (Texas Tech), they lose. When I pick them to lose (Florida), they win. The Rebels’ victory in the Swamp prevented me from my first perfect week. The stats: 3-1 in the SEC (4-1 overall). For the season, the box score reads like this: 35-11 in the Southeastern Conference. 43-18 overall.

We won’t have to wait long to determine the accuracy of this week’s first pick.

Kentucky at South Carolina - Thursday night in Columbia. Both teams are searching for their first SEC win. It says here the home team will get it. South Carolina 24, Kentucky 21

Navy at Vanderbilt - Finally a team Vandy can whup, right? Don’t be so sure. It’s Homecoming in Nashville. This time I think the Commodores will not disappoint. Vanderbilt 31, Navy 21

Arkansas State at Ole Miss - Fresh off that big win in the Swamp, the Rebels are back in Oxford to celebrate Homecoming and begin a 4-game homestand. Eli and the Rebels tune up for the Tide.

Ole Miss 42, Arkansas State 14

Memphis at Mississippi State - Can Jackie Sherrill’s Bulldogs make it back-to-back wins? Remember - Memphis has already beaten Ole Miss this season. I told myself I would not pick the Bulldogs anymore this season. And I’m sticking to it. Memphis 31, Mississippi State 28

Florida at LSU - Can the Gators rebound from last week’s home loss to Ole Miss? Will it matter even if they do? Maybe not against an LSU team that’s won all 5 of its games, by an average of 40-9.

LSU 30 Florida 27

Georgia at Tennessee - Winner takes over the top spot in the SEC East. Let’s take Tennessee to rebound from last week’s loss to Auburn. Cue up "Rocky Top." Tennessee 28, Georgia 20

Auburn at Arkansas - Saturday morning at 11:30 on WSFA. The Razorbacks rarely lose in Fayetteville. And they’ve "owned" Auburn the past few years. The Tigers will put up a fight, but…..

Arkansas 24, Auburn 21

Southern Miss at Alabama - Maybe it wasn’t the best idea to pick Southern Miss for the Tide’s Homecoming game. The Golden Eagles always bring their "A game" to Tuscaloosa. This year will be no different. If Brandon Avalos plays quarterback, look for Shaud Williams to get 40 carries.

Alabama 22, Southern Miss 21

Tuskegee at Albany State - After two weeks off, the Golden Tigers are ready to hit somebody else. Albany State will do. Tuskegee 23, Albany State 13

Alabama State at Jackson State - The Hornets have had an extra week to prepare. An extra week to decide what went wrong two weeks ago against Southern. Let’s see if interim coach Charles Coe III gets Bama State back on the winning track. Alabama State 29, Jackson State 22

And let’s not forget baseball. Another first-round flame-out by the Atlanta Braves. Twelve straight division titles. Only one World Series. With so many free agents (including future Hall of Famer Greg Maddux), the 2004 Braves could look very different from the ones we’ve gotten used to seeing. We’ll be watching to see if general manager John Schuerholz works his magic during winter meetings. Until then, just enjoy the playoffs. I’ll take the Cubs in 6 over the Yankees. See you next week! God bless - Jeff