2022 SEC Football Pick of the Week: Week Two
The Georgia Bulldogs began their title defense with a very stylish 49-3 win over the Oregon Ducks on saturday night in Atlanta. The 46-point victory easily covered the spread and allows us to start the year 1-0.
Stetson Bennett was his efficient self, Ladd McConkey (or as my friend calls him, McHonky) played great, and the Bulldog defense looks just like it did last year despite the loss of roughly 43 players to last April’s NFL draft.
Then again, it was against Bo Nix, who is now 0-4 as a starter against Georgia in his career. The poor guy just can’t seem to catch a break.
As for the other games we profiled, Florida bested Utah 29-26 in what was one of the best games of the week and LSU, well, they tried.
For now though, we move forward.
SEC Pick of the Week: No. 20 Kentucky at No. 12 Florida (-5), 7:00pm ET on ESPN.
Whew, what a game that was last week. The Gators upset No. 7-ranked Utah in a finish that was par for the course, winning 29-26 with their second goal line stand of the evening.
The clincher: a game-winning interception by sixth-year senior Amari Burney, who by all accounts was in the right place at the right time.
I get the feeling that that is exactly one of new head coach Billy Napier’s biggest things. Being in the right place at the right time and good things will follow.
Quarterback Anthony Richardson is a freak (in a good way), the running back by committee approach worked well (despite two fumbles) and the defense held up their end of the bargain (despite a lack of depth).
Now, the revenge tour begins.
Despite starting slow last week against Miami of Ohio and dealing with multiple suspensions and/or injuries to numerous starters, the Wildcats are still a dangerous team.
They’re a very well coached – Mark Stoops is a top-10 coach nationally – disciplined football team with probably the best quarterback Stoops has had during his time at Kentucky in Will Levis.
But this Gators team is different. Sure they lack critical depth in key spots (defensive line, linebacker, wide receiver and tight end), still have issues holding onto the football and committ egregious penalties but there’s a confidence level (read: swagger) that hasn’t been seen since 2020.
And this game is at home in The Swamp.
And the Gators have Anthony Richardson.
Gators win this one by 10 or more.
Upset alert: No. 23 Wake Forest at Vanderbilt (+13.5), 12:00pm ET on SECN.
The Commodores may have their best quarterback since Jay Cutler. Mike Wright is the real deal.
This is legitimately the first time in a long time that Vandy has a shot to upset a ranked opponent at home and it not be considered a massive upset.
As for Wake, they’ll get quarterback Sam Hartman back and it couldn’t come at a better time. His return also marked an immediate 8-point swing in the spread.
If the Commodores pull this out they play Nothern Illinois next, win that one and they’re 4-0 heading to Tuscaloosa.
Keep an eye on: No. 24 Tennessee (-6) at Pittsburgh, 3:30pm ET on ABC.
I really, really want to make this game the Pick of the Week, but I just can’t. I’ve refused to put the Volunteers in that spot the last 4-5 years because it just never ends well.
But I’ve got a different feeling about this game. The Vols have one of the best offenses in the country and while they still have a few questions on the defensive side of the ball, they should be fine long-term.
I like the Vols here, big.
Trending up: Anthony Richardson and Florida.
The Gators extended their nation-leading home opener streak with an amazing comeback and Anthony Richardson has a new nickname.
That is all.
Trending up II: Vanderbilt.
THE VANDERBILT COMMODORES ARE 2-0!
Trending down: Nobody, kind of sort of.
On Saturday, the SEC went 13-0 as a conference and outscored their opponents by over than 300-points combined.
On Sunday, LSU… well, yeah. They lost to Florida State because of a blocked extra point AFTER they drove 99-yards down the field to tie the game with no time left on the clock.
Not exactly the best start to the Brian Kelly era.
Trending down II: Texas, maybe.
Just because the Texas Longhorns decided that joining the SEC in the not-so-distant future, doesn’t mean every decision they (or, their fans) make is a smart one.