Editors Note: This season, on top of the usual SEC picks, we will be picking the best games on the Virginia D-1 slate. We, as in the LCB, all spent our formative years in Virginia. So, we probably should have been doing this all along.
SEC Games of the Week
(14) Arkansas v (3) Alabama @ 3:30 on CBS:
After a quick perusal on the google machine, it appears that Arkansas has turned into a fashionable upset pick for this game. I would guess it's due to the youth of Alabama's defensive front and the awesomeness of QB Tyler Wilson, which to me is always a funny reason (the youth, not the awesome QB) for a team to be favored. Aren't all of these guys young and inexperienced? Sure, the freshman need to adapt to the speed of play in the SEC and realize they can't just touch a guy to insure a tackle (Fun-da-men-tals kids, WRAP HIM UP!). But that's why each FBS team has so many roster spots, to provide the depth needed to avoid starting a bunch of underclassmen. To be honest, the only teams that can use "youth" and "inexperience" as an excuse are the ones dealing with coaching turnover or a high amount of attrition. Alabama doesn't fit that bill. But it doesn't even matter, I could never pick Arkansas over Bama. Not, at least, with Trent Richardson playing for the Tide. Alabama 31, Arkansas 27.
This game, to me at least, holds more intrigue in the stands than it does on the field. Two of the more notoriously rowdy fanbases coming together for a night game in Morgantown. Couldn't these AD's just think of those poor couches for once? LSU 24, WVU 17.
VA Game of the Week
(8) James Madison v (16) William & Mary @ 7:00 on PPV:
If you read last week, you would know that I thought Liberty was the better team. I was clearly wrong as the Dukes overcame the challenge of playing in Lynchburg. What do they get for it? A trip to Williamsburg to play a ranked opponent that plays much better at home than anywhere else.
With lots of rain in the forecast, the weather is likely to be less than ideal. Add that to the fact that both teams have fantastic defenses and questions surrounding the quarterback position, and you get the most important ingredients to an ugly football game. Speaking of quarterbacks, JMU doesn't know which Justin Thorpe they're going to get, the one who almost blew the game against woeful CCSU or the one who helped lead them to victory over a ranked Liberty squad on the road. As for the Tribe, they just handed the reins from Michael Paulus to Michael Graham. This was a non-decision, as Paulus just couldn't seem to return to his pre-inury form and was hurting more than he was helping. However, if Graham's not the answer they're looking for and they can't find a way to move the ball with any consistency, it will be a long year in Williamsburg. Anyways, I like JMU to win, because they have Dae'Quan Scott and W&M doesn't. JMU 17, W&M 14.