It is hard to believe it is just 56 days until the horses start running at Oaklawn, and it is harder to believe SEC football is hitting midseason Saturday.
That's football though. You wait nine months for it, and then the three months just seem to fly by.
Heard a comment a lot this week that the SEC is between Alabama and Georgia, and then there is everybody else. Can't argue the point.
The Bulldogs, 5-0, have outscored all opponents 205-23 and the Crimson Tide have a 228-91 edge. When they meet, it will be in the SEC Championship Game. Arkansas and Auburn are the only teams who play them both.
Had the worst weekend of picking in the history of these picks, going just 4-5, which brings the season total to 44-15.
Here are this week's picks.
Arkansas at Ole Miss
A year ago, the Rebels defense was its offense, and while the defense has improved, they still rank 12th in rushing defense in the SEC, allowing 154.5 yards per game and No. 10 in pass defense, allowing 216.8 yards per game. The Razorbacks aren't much better against the run, ranking 11th and giving up 153 yards per game. But they are No. 2 against the pass, allowing just 129.8 yards per game. Ole Miss is a pass-oriented team, averaging 305 yards per game, and Arkansas is pound the ground, averaging 223.8 yards per game. The odds makers have made Ole Miss a 5 1/2-point favorite. When you compare schedules, though, there is no arguing the Razorbacks have had the tougher row to hoe. This one is going to be close. Arkansas 38-35
Alabama at Texas A&M
In the preseason, this game looked like it might be for the SEC West championship. Not anymore. The Aggies are 0-2 in SEC play. Doesn't mean they can't win, but probably not as they don't seem to have an identity on offense. You can call it balanced, but really they haven't been consistent in the passing game. The Tide are not as good as they were a year ago, but are improving every week. Alabama 38-21
Georgia at Auburn
They say throw out the records when these two teams meet. Auburn has been really physical this season, and Bo Nix is having his best season as a quarterback. Georgia may have the best team in America. The Bulldog defense is No. 1 in the SEC and the offense is really good, even better when JT Daniels is at quarterback. This Georgia team is a lot like last year's Alabama team. Georgia 27-21
Vanderbilt at Florida
The Gators need this controlled scrimmage, and that's about all it is, after losing to Kentucky. The Commodores are ranked in the SEC: 12th in rushing offense, 13th in passing offense, 13th in rush defense and 13th in pass defense. The 'Dores probably won't win another game this season. Florida 49-10
LSU at Kentucky
Rumors are running hot and heavy this could be head coach Ed Orgeron's last game if they lose. He has a $20 million buyout but everything is negotiable. The Wildcats are better than expected. They have balance on offense and a physical defense. Kentucky 35-24
North Texas at Missouri
The Mean Green opened with a win over Northwestern (La.) State and haven't scored more than 17 points in the next three losses. The Tigers are not as good as expected because of their defense, however, this one should be relatively easy. Missouri 38-7
South Carolina at Tennessee
The Vols didn't just beat Missouri last week, they romped 62-24. This shouldn't be much of a test and people in the Smoky Mountains will hear the Vols' band playing Rocky Top. Tennessee 38-10