Have you ever read Ash Wednesday? It's a poem by T.S. Eliot, and one of my absolute favorite works.
Why do I bring this poem up? Because, this morning, I noticed a number of resonances between the games I'm picking and lines from this classic poem.
On to the picks! Odds from USA Today.
Vanderbilt -3.5 against Tennessee
"Because I do not hope to turn again"
Is it too late for the Vols to turn their season around?
In a word: yes. Look for the Commodores to get things back on track against an absolutely floundering Tennessee team.
Prediction: Vanderbilt 24, Tennessee 13
Mississippi State straight up against Arkansas
"Desiring this man's gift and that man's scope"
Neither one of these teams is going to challenge for anything significant this year, or in the near future, although each has aspirations of building towards a better status.
Prediction: Mississippi State 19, Arkansas 17
LSU -5.5 against Ole Miss
"Because I do not hope to know / The infirm glory of the positive hour"
The Tigers were positive that they would be national championship contenders... and then, hampered by poor quarterback play and a floundering offense, they lost to Florida. And to Georgia. And to Alabama. Still... they're better than Ole Miss.
Prediction: LSU 31, Ole Miss 21
BYU +6 against Utah
"For what is done, not to be done again / May the judgement not be too heavy upon us"
BYU has lost a game. By beating Utah, and avoiding another loss, they will seek to become the first one-loss non-BCS-conference BCS team.
Prediction: BYU 24, Utah 21
Texas Tech +6.5 against Oklahoma
"Consequently I rejoice having to construct / something / Upon which to rejoice"
The Red Raiders, under the guidance of coach Mike Leach and AD Gerald Myers, have constructed something upon which to rejoice: a football team that, on the offensive and defensive lines as well as on the perimeter, is the equal of any in the country.
Prediction: Texas Tech 45, Oklahoma 41
Last Week: 3-3
All Time: 83-76-1