Submitted by Jim Hurley on Friday, October 25, 2013 at 7:00 PM
It’s right there on the prime time schedule…#21 South Carolina at #5 Missouri is the showcase game of Saturday Night in college football this week…as the shocking new entry in the BCS race hosts a suddenly crucial SEC East affair that will be nationally televised by ESPN2. NUMBER FIVE MISSOURI?!
In a development that literally NOBODY saw coming, the Missouri Tigers are now in control of the SEC East race given their undefeated record and the two league losses apiece already suffered by projected powers Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida.
*Georgia: lost to Missouri and Vanderbilt
*South Carolina: lost to Georgia and Tennessee
*Florida: lost to LSU and Missouri
Missouri is two games clear in the loss column of all three of those teams, and already owns tie-breaker advantages over Georgia and Florida because of straight up victories. Also, somebody’s going to lose when Georgia plays Florida…and somebody’s going to lose when South Carolina plays Florida! Missouri is very close to mathematically locking up the East with a month to play. And, they’re doing it from off the radar in a very competitive division. Amazing.
Here’s what Missouri has left after this week:
November 2: vs. Tennessee
November 9: at Kentucky
November 23: at Ole Miss
November 30: vs. Texas A&M
The Tigers will be favorites in the first two games…possibly near pick-em or a small dog at Ole Miss depending on what happens between now and then…and probably a home dog against Texas A&M depending on how the Aggies season is going at the time.
*Win Saturday vs. SC, and the Tigers are virtual locks to win the East unless they lose to Tennessee or Kentucky.
*Lose Saturday vs. SC, and the Tigers are still in pretty good shape unless they end up in a tie with SC.
*Win out…and Missouri would take an undefeated record into the SEC championship game against what is expected to be an undefeated Alabama team.
We’ve looked ahead…let’s look behind for a few moments to see how these teams have performed heading into this suddenly HUGE prime time affair…
South Carolina (-12) beat North Carolina 27-10 (winning yardage 400-299)
South Carolina (+3) lost at Georgia 41-30 (losing yardage 454-538)
South Carolina (-12) beat Vanderbilt 35-25 (winning yardage 579-268)
South Carolina (-6.5) won at Central Florida 28-25 (winning yardage 490-427)
South Carolina (-21) beat Kentucky 35-28 (winning yardage 453-301)
South Carolina (-6) won at Arkansas 52-7 (winning yardage 537-248)
South Carolina (-7) lost at Tennessee 23-21 (winning yardage 384-325)
Hey, give Steve Spurrier credit for scheduling tough! They opened the season with a real team in a national TV game rather than a cupcake from nowhere. They went on the road to face a very dangerous Central Florida squad. You can say from that schedule that this group of Gamecocks won’t be intimidated or overwhelmed playing in Missouri. This is already their FIFTH road game of the year. Let’s note the potential for travel fatigue though. This will be the third straight road game for SC, and their fourth road game in the past calendar month.
Missouri (-38) beat Murray State 58-14 (winning yardage 694-297)
Missouri (-14) beat Toledo 38-23 (losing yardage 389-384)
Missouri (-2.5) won at Indiana 45-28 (winning yardage 623-475)
Missouri (-21.5) beat Arkansas State 41-19 (winning yardage 495-425)
Missouri (-3) won at Vanderbilt 51-28 (winning yardage 523-468)
Missouri (+7) beat Georgia 41-27 (losing yardage 375-454)
Missouri (+3) beat Florida 36-17 (winning yardage 500-151)
You can’t really say that Missouri came from out of nowhere given their undefeated run. They were favorites in their first five games…meaning they were supposed to be at least 4-1 or 5-0 when the Georgia game rolled around. The first “statement” wins were the big road blowouts at Indiana and Vandy. Then the Tigers caught a tired and injured Georgia team just as they ran out of gas. What has to scare SC and the rest of the SEC about last week’s win over Florida are those yardage numbers. That wasn’t any kind of lucky win. With its backup quarterback, Missouri won yardage 500-151!
Hey…if THAT’S legit, then Missouri could finish off the regular season undefeated given what’s left on the schedule…even beating Texas A&M. We’ll learn a lot about Missouri and the dynamics of the remaining SEC race Saturday Night in Columbia.
Current Vegas Line: Missouri -3, total of 53
JIM HURLEY has his eye on this game because it’s the most important TV affair. But, he knows that there’s never a reason to force a play just because a game is on TV. The full NETWORK team will comb the entire Saturday card to find you the best plays on the board. You can purchase those before kickoff of the early games with your credit card here at the website. If you have any questions, call us in the office at 1-888-777-4155.
Our prime time previews continue through the weekend here in the NOTEBOOK, as we look at Green Bay/Minnesota in the Sunday report, and Seattle/St. Louis on Monday.
Enjoy this great Saturday of college football (and World Series!) action. Be sure you GET ALL THE MONEY with JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK!