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MC&J: A couple of fun Group of Five matchups compliment some Week 9 SEC slugfests

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Georgia/Florida and Ole Miss/Auburn will get a lot of publicity, but don’t sleep on two Group of Five games on Saturday night.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 21 Tulane at SMU Photo by George Walker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Last week ATS: 6-6 (3-4 National, 3-2 B1G)

Season ATS: 62-50-3 (29-25 National 33-25-3 B1G)

Even though last week wasn’t the greatest week for MC&J, we still found a way to grit out a .500 record. Breaking even didn’t feel all that better after some of the dud picks we threw up the previous week.


National games:

(All lines are courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.)

Texas v. No. 16 Baylor (-3) - 12:00 PM EST - ABC

TEXAS IS BACK.....in action. The Longhorns had a week to try and regroup after losses to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State that saw them blow sizable first half leads in each game. Texas was up 17-3 on the Cowboys in the second quarter, but couldn’t make the lead stick, as Oklahoma State outscored the Longhorns 29-7 the rest of the game.

Baylor has quietly been one of the biggest surprises in college football this year. The Bears are 6-1 after beating BYU 38-24 two weeks ago. Not only has Gerry Bohanon thrown for 12 touchdowns and just one interception, running back Abram Smith has found the end zone 10 times. The Bears have just as balanced of an offense as Texas, averaging 232 yards passing and 239 yards rushing per game.

I know that Texas has the better athletes, but I just can’t trust the Longhorns right now. Even if they jump out to a lead, I know eventually the other shoe is going to drop and before you know it Texas will be trailing. Baylor is just as good as Texas when it comes to offense, and a whole lot better on defense. Bijan Robinson will make some plays, I just don’t think it will be enough for Texas to snap their two-game losing streak.

Baylor 34, Texas 27


No. 1 Georgia (-14) v. Florida - 3:30 PM EST - CBS

Florida has already played the top team in the country this year and almost scored the upset. The Gators welcomed Alabama to Gainesville in September, with the Crimson Tide narrowly beating Florida 31-29. Things will be a little different with this matchup against the nation’s top team. Not only will this game be played in Jacksonville, Georgia doesn’t quite have the holes that we have discovered with Alabama.

The Gators were a mess when we saw them lose a couple weeks ago to LSU. If the Tigers are able to roll up over 300 yards rushing against Florida, just imagine what Zamir White and the Bulldogs can do. It’s still not known whether Stetson Bennett or J.T. Daniels will start at quarterback for Georgia. If Daniels can go, things might get even uglier for Florida.

There definitely is the possibility that Florida could have spent their week off on trying to fix what went wrong in Baton Rouge a couple weeks ago. I’m just not buying that happening. It’ll be smooth sailing to Atlanta in December for Georgia after they secure a spot in the SEC Championship Game with a pretty easy win over Florida on Saturday.

Georgia 34, Florida 14


No. 10 Ole Miss v. No. 18 Auburn (-3) - 7:00 PM EST - ESPN

Ole Miss has to be wishing they had a break in the schedule right about now. The Rebels have won three straight, with the most recent victory being a 31-17 win over LSU last week. Prior to the win over the Tigers, Ole Miss was pelted with trash in Knoxville, barely slid by Arkansas, and was rolled by Alabama. Matt Corral’s numbers have been sliding, so you can tell the hits he is taking are taking a toll on him.

On the other hand, Auburn should be feeling good coming off a win over Arkansas before getting a week off last week. While the Tigers might not be quite as explosive as Ole Miss, Auburn does have veteran leadership at quarterback with Bo Nix, who threw for nearly 300 yards and two touchdowns against Arkansas.

At some point all these tough games are going to catch up with Ole Miss. I feel like this is the game where we truly see it. Auburn is solid on both offense and defense. Bo Nix outduels Matt Corral, who isn’t quite as sharp as he was earlier in the season.

Auburn 31, Ole Miss 24


No. 12 Kentucky (-1) v. Mississippi State - 7:00 PM EST - SEC Network

While Mike Leach still has an offense that is all about passing the football, it’s a little weird to see him with a defense that isn’t terrible. The Bulldogs are very close to coming into this game at 6-1 this season. Aside from a 49-9 loss to Alabama, the other two losses for Mississippi State came by just three points each to LSU and Memphis.

Kentucky better hope their pass defense is on point, or else Will Rogers could make the Wildcats looks silly. As long as Kentucky can keep Mississippi State’s receivers in front of them, they should be in good shape. The goal of the Wildcats will be to bend but don’t break, holding the Bulldogs to field goal attempts.

The Wildcats are the better team here. I know Mississippi State might be a little flashier, I just have more faith in Kentucky, especially after they didn’t get completely blown off the map by Georgia a couple weeks ago. I think this game looks a lot like Kentucky’s win over Florida earlier in the year.

Kentucky 21, Mississippi State 17


No. 19 SMU v. Houston (-1) - 7:00 PM EST - ESPN2

Whoever wins this game on Saturday night will pretty much clinch a spot in the American Conference Championship Game in December. SMU is still undefeated this year, so if the Mustangs get by Houston, it could set up a colossal clash with Cincinnati in November. Meanwhile, Houston’s only loss of the season came in their season opener against Texas Tech.

It’s gonna to be very interesting to see SMU quarterback Tanner Mordecai try to solve a Houston defense that is allowing just 277 yards per game. Mordecai is coming off a performance against Tulane which saw him pass for a season-high 427 yards. The Oklahoma transfer has been great in his first season with the Mustangs, already tossing 29 touchdown passes.

Houston’s defense has been very strong this season, I’m just not sure that it’s going to hold up against the Mustangs. A lot Houston’s wins this year have come against pretty bad teams. SMU is undoubtedly the best team on Houston’s schedule this year. If this game turns into a shootout, I’m not convinced Clayton Tune and the offense of the Cougars can match what the Mustangs put up on the scoreboard.

SMU 45, Houston 35


Fresno State v. No. 21 San Diego State (-1) - 10:30 PM EST - CBS Sports Network

Even though San Diego State is undefeated, I think the Aztecs are the worst of the remaining undefeated teams. Somehow Brady Hoke’s team survived a trip to Fort Collins last week, defeating Air Force 20-14. Had the Falcons had a little more time in the game, the Aztecs might have not been so lucky.

It’ll be fun to see how San Diego State tries to slow down Jake Haener and the Fresno State offense. The Bulldogs have already pushed Oregon to the limit, beaten UCLA, and most recently defeated a pretty good Nevada team. Even though Fresno State has to hit the road for this game, I’m sure they won’t find the trip to San Diego too tough after playing at Oregon and UCLA earlier this season.

San Diego State has been flirting with disaster at points this season. I think this is the time when they finally fall from the ranks of the unbeaten. I know I said the same thing last week, but I feel better about Fresno State’s ability to move the football. The Bulldogs take the lead in the Mountain West’s West division with a victory over the Aztecs.

Fresno State 27, San Diego State 20

Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.