The Picks: SEC needs strong push on back end of schedule

Florida quarterback Feleipe Franks calls out to a receiver during the Gators Homecoming game against LSU. [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun] Let me get this straight (which isn’t easy for someone who did as poorly as I did last week with The Picks).

The SEC was down last year, because it was Alabama and the 13 schlubs, right?

This year there is Alabama and then there are two other teams with a legitimate shot at the College Football Playoffs in Georgia and Auburn. Texas A&M gave that Alabama team all it could handle last week.

And the league is still down?

That’s the perception because there are still so many teams who seem to be underachieving in this league. And because the American Conference has as many teams ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 as the SEC.

Which IS kind of embarrassing.

The narrative on the league right now is a bit confusing, because there are three teams in the top 10 and the rest seem to be floundering about like fish on a beach fighting for life. (It doesn’t help when Alabama and Georgia are both 30-point favorites over teams in the conference).

The SEC had its chances to change that perception in the nonconference portion of the schedule, but went a pedestrian 6-6 against Power Five teams. How it fares at the back end will have a lot to do with how it is perceived after the season (forget the bowls; they are exhibition games).

The league with the biggest stadiums, most passionate fan bases and biggest paychecks is still fighting to get back to the top. The misguided answer is for one of those three teams winning it all, as if that makes your conference supreme.

But we have a long way before that will be decided. What was decided last week is that I’m really bad at this.

Dr. Football went 4-6 and that makes me 38-22 for the season. Maybe I need a new offensive coordinator.

TEXAS A&M AT FLORIDA: Gator fans don’t necessarily want to see new uniforms as much as they want to see a new offense. With all of the injured and suspended players, that’s not happening. And this team is not built to keep up with an Aggie offense that has the kind of weapons that are a distant memory in Gainesville. The good news is that I have been wrong a lot on Florida. Texas A&M, 31-17.

OKLAHOMA-TEXAS: The Dallas version of Florida-Georgia is part football game and part Carnival Eats episode. I saw a stat this week that Oklahoma has lost to double-digit underdogs each of the last seven years. Fortunately for the Sooners, they are only a touchdown favorite in this one. Oklahoma, 38-29. AUBURN AT LSU: LSU is bringing back Les Miles back for this game when it honors the 2007 national champs. When he sees all that uneaten grass on the field, he might flip out. Auburn, 27-21. VANDERBILT AT OLE MISS: If I’m an Ole Miss fan, I just want this […]