The Line King: Handicapping SEC games - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

THE LINE KING: The SEC can be cruel to prognosticators, but here goes

(RNN) Thank goodness for the SunBelt! I had warned my old editor friend Skeeter Brown that picking nothing but $EC games was a road to ruin and the first week of picks has left me feeling like a Civil War minie-ball is lodged in a lower limb.

I can still function, but at some point ol' Saw Bones will be pulling out his tool of trade and handing me a stick to chew on and that's not a very good feeling. It's sad when you have to rely on SunBelt teams to pick you up off the mat, but they helped me break even and I thank them for that.

Special thanks to Skeeter for editing out last week's Tulane pick, one of the few I got right. But that's the breaks in this business. Word to the wise, Tulane might be a team to watch out for – not to win a ton of games, but Curtis Johnson will have his team playing above their talent level most of the season

This week, I favor all teams that wear purple – in case of a tie (Washington v. LSU), I go with the more attractive cheerleaders.

Saturday, Sept. 8

Georgia State at Tennessee, TBD, PPV

After last week's triumph, Big Orange fans have returned to their usual delusional state of mind. They will see Bill Curry on the sidelines and think they are playing Bammer. And come on Double D, how about tucking in your shirt! This is the $EC, not the fraternity flag football league. Forget this game exists.

Auburn at Mississippi State (-3), Noon ET, ESPN

A noon kick-off the first weekend in September in Starkvegas cannot be good for anyone. I think it qualifies as a level of hell in Dante's Inferno. I'll take the Bulldogs (Maroon is kind of like purple) – guessing that they won't find a way to lose to Barn this year.

East Carolina (+22.5) at South Carolina, 12:21 p.m. ET, SEC Network

Here is another game that could have a number waaaay out of line. SoCar is only 3-5 versus the Pirates the last eight games. I am wearing purple and taking ECU.

Florida at Texas A&M (-1.5), 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

Wow, Florida is a road dog to the 12th Man – who have been yell-practicing since last May. I am sure that $EC Death Star homers are all over Florida, so I'll go with the Aggies.

Western Kentucky at Alabama (-40.5), 3:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network

Bammer proclaims dominance over the SunBelt – again. The Crimson Tide has played every SB team, with the exception of one … Lots of red uniforms in this game. Take the Tide and get another national championship tattoo.

UTEP (+7.5) at Ole Miss, 7 p.m. ET, FSN

In an attempt to relive its glory years, Old Mississippi re-enacts the 1967 Sun Bowl…oh yeah, they lost that game. Mike Price gets busted for yelling "Roll Tide Roll" in The Grove. Orange and Blue combine to create something similar to purple, so take the Miners.

Washington at LSU (-23.5), 7 p.m. ET, ESPN

This is one of only two games worth attending on the ol' Agriculture & Mechanical College's home schedule – look it up. Next week? Idaho. Take the Purple Tigers.

Louisiana-Monroe (+30.5) at Arkansas, 7 p.m. ET, ESPNU

Another case of 4 million Hog fans taking the Hogs and about 10 ULM fans taking the War Birds. Another upper-half SunBelt team getting a ton of points, so take them – and Maroon is almost purple.

Kent State (+7) at Kentucky, 7:30 p.m. ET, CSS

Seriously, outside of Old Mississippi what $EC team would only be a 7-point favorite over a MAC school? If you are insane enough to care about this game, take the Golden Flash and hope they don't run in the wrong direction.

Georgia at Missouri (+3.5), 7:45 p.m. ET, ESPN2

I actually drove to Athens and put a "For Sale" sign in Richt's yard; next Monday the moving trucks start showing up. Georgia is like the $EC version of Oklahoma State – just not good enough. Take Mizzou.

Vanderbilt at Northwestern (+3.5), 8 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network

Last week, the Vandy fan was oh so close to achieving glory. What excuse are Death Star fans going to have after a Big Ten team stomps an $EC team? Actually, both these teams don't count. Take the purple.

Louisiana-Lafayette at Troy (-3) 8 p.m. ET, No TV

OK, so here is Troy again. My thoughts are nobody cares about this game outside of Pike County, Alabama and Larry Blakeney has NEVER lost a home opener AND that includes games against Marshall, Missouri and Oklahoma State (two were ranked in the Top 25). So ride the Trojans until they break and give the 3 points.

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