Nerds suspect some SEC football results – Update Alaba

“Remember Doug Layton’s famous line when he was the Alabama basketball play-by-play announcer?” Grand Geek walked down the hall from the near-perfect selection department to my modest office.

Without waiting for me to think about which of Doug’s great lines he was probably talking about, he continued. “He said, ‘As you know, it is not my policy to challenge the incumbent. However, if I were ever to change this policy, it would be right now.”
I know the SEC officiating is below average, but I haven’t thought about it much since the Alabama-Tennessee game and wondered how it might be relevant today.

GG pointed down the hall towards the spacious dugouts where the Nerds were lounging outside the break room. “We don’t have any conspiracy theories there,” he said, “but we can’t help but notice things. If we ever include nefarious acts . . .”

“I’ll admit I’m a little lost,” I admitted.

“What if you decided that you could work day and night almost every day for the next seven years or so and make $80 million, or you could be fired for failure and get the same millions for doing nothing?” he said and it wasn’t hard to deduce who he was talking about. “Or maybe you want a new gig and think that if it looks like your team can fold on you, you’ll get fired, you’ll get a buyout, and you’ll be able to move on to your next job without a problem.

“As I say,” he continued, “we don’t let conspiracy theories cloud our work, but that doesn’t mean we can’t think about things.”

“Maybe it’s just bad coaching,” I suggested. “Or good coaching on the other hand. I said two years ago that I thought new SEC coaches Shane Beamer at South Carolina and Clark Lea were impressive additions.”

GG looked at me like I had three eyes, then handed me last week’s results and headed back to work.

I knew there were inexplicable upsets – especially this late in the season. Such things are almost predictable, especially with Vanderbilt extending its winning streak to two, Ole Miss losing two in a row after being one of the feel-good stories of the season, Tennessee going from a near-certainty in the College Football Playoff not to. All about Texas A&M.

Last week, the Nerds were 7-3 in picking winners, missing out on all three upsets and 3-5 against the streak and over-under (the total of both teams’ points).

On the year, the Nerds’ record is 73-22 in estimated wins, 38-54 vs. point spread and 38-54 in over-under.

Here are last week’s Southeastern Conference football games with pregame notes and betting lines from Caesars Sportsbook:

  • East Tennessee (3-7) at Mississippi State (6-4 overall, 3-4 SEC). No line. PREDICTION: Mississippi State 52, ETSU 10. ACTUAL: Mississippi State 56, East Tennessee State 7. No line / right on winner.
  • UMass (1-9) at Texas A&M (3-7), 1-6). Texas A&M -33 ½, or 47 ½. PREDICTION: Texas A&M 45, UMass 6. ACTUAL: Texas A&M 20, UMass 3. Right on the winner, wrong on the spread and ou.
  • Florida (6-4, 3-4) at Vanderbilt (4-6, 1-5). Florida -14, or 57 ½. PREDICTION: Florida 35, Vanderbilt 17. ACTUAL: Vanderbilt 31, Florida 24. Wrong on winner and against the line, right on ou.
  • Georgia (10-0, 7-0) at Kentucky (6-4, 3-4). Georgia -22 ½, ou 49. PREDICTION: Georgia 38, Kentucky 10. ACTUAL: Georgia 16, Kentucky 6. Right on the winner and ou, wrong vs. spreading.
  • Western Kentucky (7-4) at Auburn (4-6, 2-5). Auburn -5 ½, ou 52. PREDICTION: Auburn 31, Western Kentucky 10. CURRENT: Right on winner and against the line, wrong on ou.
  • Tennessee (9-1, 5-1) at South Carolina (6-4, 3-4). Tennessee -21 ½, ou 66. PREDICTION: Tennessee 45, South Carolina 10. ACTUAL: South Carolina 63, Tennessee 38. Everything is wrong – winner, spread, ou.
  • Ole Miss (8-2, 4-2) at Arkansas (5-5, 2-4). Ole Miss -2 1/2, ou 64. PREDICTION: Ole Miss 34, Arkansas 20. ACTUAL: Arkansas 42, Ole Miss 27. Bad about everything – winner, spread, ou.
  • New Mexico State (4-5) at Missouri (4-6, 2-5). Missouri -29 ½, or 46 ½. PREDICTION: Missouri 41, New Mexico State 9. ACTUAL: Missouri 45, New Mexico State 14. Right on everything – winner, spread, ou.
  • UAB (5-5) at LSU (8-2, 6-1). LSU -14 ½, or 52 ½. PREDICTION: LSU 42, UAB 14. ACTUAL: LSU 41, UAB 10. Correct on winner and spread, incorrect on ou.
  • Austin Peay (7-3) at Alabama (8-2, 5-2). No line. PREDICTION: Alabama 55, Austin Peay 7. ACTUAL: Alabama 34, Austin Peay 0. No line, straight to the winner.

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