Thursday, September 20, 2018

Football 2018: Week Four

By Saturday night, Texas A&M will have completed one-third of the regular season, and will theoretically have their two toughest games behind them. The Aggies play at Alabama in the 2:30 showcase game on CBS, and they aren't getting any respect from the people who set betting lines (Bama is a 27-point favorite).

I plan to watch as much of the game as I can stomach. Typically, I'll stick with an A&M game on TV as long as the Aggies are tied, ahead, or no more than 14 points behind (ten points behind if the game's more than halfway through the fourth quarter). I'd love to see Saban get knocked off at home, but the only time A&M pulled that off, Saban came back with five consecutive wins, including a 59-0 blowout in 2014. Kevin Sumlin went from 1-0 to 1-5 against Saban, then went to Arizona.

The prediction at College Football News is that Alabama will win without covering the spread (40-17). If the Aggies can't get a major upset, I hope they'll play well enough to avoid a crushing defeat, and finish the game with no significant injuries to starters and key backup players.

Update 4:50 PM Saturday: The first half started badly and ended badly for A&M, and I decided an 18 point deficit (31-13) was way more than the Aggies could overcome in the second half against Alabama's offense and defense. Based on what I've seen so far, I don't think the Tide will lose a game until the playoff, and probably not even then. They don't make many mistakes, and even when they do, it doesn't slow them down much.

Update 6:49 PM Saturday: Final score 45-23, so the good news is that A&M beat the spread, and probably won't have to play another team in Alabama's class this season. This is a game the Aggies might possibly have won if they played virtually flawless football, and Alabama had made a few turnovers to set up 2-3 easy A&M scores. Neither of those things happened.

Other score predictions from College Football News:
  • Georgia at Missouri (11:00): Bulldogs win 34-17 (Final score 43-29 Georgia)
  • Florida at Tennessee (6:00): Gators get by Vols 27-23 (Final score 47-21 Florida)
  • Arkansas at Auburn: Razorbacks fall 41-13 (Final score 34-3 Auburn)
  • Mississippi State at Kentucky: MSU stays unbeaten 30-16 (Final score 28-7 Kentucky)
  • South Carolina at Vanderbilt: Gamecocks edge Vandy 23-17 (Final score 37-14 South Carolina)
  • TCU at Texas: The horns lose to the Christians, 27-23 (Final score 31-16 Texas U)

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