Will the South rise again?
After a long-awaited absence, the Southeastern Conference kicks off its season this week. All eyes will be on this conference Saturday. To say the SEC has dominated college football in recent years is an understatement. A representative from this Power 5 conference has won the national title 12 of the last 14 campaigns.
Taking for granted we haven’t had any Big Ten or Pac-12 play, we really haven’t had a chance to see most of college football’s elite yet. Seven teams from the SEC occupy a current Top 25 ranking (Alabama No. 2, Georgia No. 4, Florida No. 5, LSU No. 6, Auburn No. 8, Tennessee No. 16, Kentucky No. 23). By the way, once again, the SEC had the most teams ranked in the Top-10 for this off-season’s recruiting class, with seven.
— Baylor Football (@BUFootball) September 21, 2020
Some changes for the SEC this season: It will be a 10-game, conference-only slate and concluding the regular season Dec. 5, with the SEC title game the following week. With this, there will be no inter-conference rivalry games that we all enjoy so much.
In the SEC East, Georgia’s schedule softened with the addition of Arkansas and Mississippi State. In the SEC West, Texas A&M lost its usual walk-in-the-park schedule for the first few weeks of the season. With Alabama adding Kentucky and Missouri, they remain the team to beat in the West. LSU’s schedule got drastically easier with the addition of Missouri and Vanderbilt.
As sports bettors and fans, the SEC starting this week will surely benefit all of us.
Here are this week’s Best Bets (Lines are as of Tuesday and can change. If a line is around a Hot Number or moves against us, be smart):
Florida State at Miami-Florida -11.5: Miami is off to a 2-0 start, both SU and ATS, with decisive wins over UAB and Louisville. Offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee has the offense running smoothly. Houston transfer quarterback D’Eriq King and running back Cam’ron Harris are an explosive 1-2 punch that has brought excitement back to the Hurricanes and their fan base.
Falling from grace the last few seasons, Florida State has a lot on their plate this campaign. Going back to last year, the Seminoles have dropped three in a row SU. They just don’t possess the playmakers anymore (14.6 PPG last three). To add to their distractions, head coach Mike Norvell will not be on the sidelines for this one as he is out with coronavirus.
The Hurricanes have taken the last three meetings in this rivalry SU (2-1 ATS) and are 4-1 ATS the last five in the conference and 14-6 ATS the last 20 in the month of September. The Seminoles are 7-15-3 ATS the last 25 in the conference and 3-8-2 ATS the last 13 in the month of September. MIAMI-FLORIDA
Kansas at Baylor -16.5: Any optimism Kansas had for the 2020 season was quickly snuffed out in their 38-23 loss to Sun Belt rep Coastal Carolina. Les Miles must think he is still at a top-ranked school, where he didn’t need to go out and recruit to replace graduates. He is going to need a miracle to improve on last year’s 3-9 squad.
We finally get to see Baylor after two cancellations. There is some talk that the Bears might be a step down on the defensive side of the ball. But considering they return several key role players from a stop-unit that allowed just 19.3 PPG last season, I wouldn’t worry too much. Especially with quarterback, Charlie Brewer (7,147 yards passing, 64.8% completion rate, 48/18 TD/INT) back at the helm.
Baylor is 10-0 SU the last 10 meetings with Kansas, going 9-1 ATS (eight straight covers by 40.5 PPG). BAYLOR
Last week: 1-2