Blowin' Smoke Presented by Weston Tobacco
What's more fun than us giving you a chance to mock us every single week? In our new feature, Blowin' Smoke presented by Weston Tobacco, we will do that each and every Thursday. Gabe DeArmond and Mitchell Forde will make five predictions almost sure to go wrong every week in this space. These will range from big games to big picture predictions with a bit of the comedic and absurd mixed in most weeks as well.
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1) Name Mizzou's bowl destination and opponent
Mitchell: The bowl selection process is always a bit unpredictable, but with everyone eligible this year, I have no clue what to expect. I advise taking any predictions, this one included, with lots of grains of salt. That said, I will go with Outback Bowl against Wisconsin.
Gabe: I'm going to make two assumptions: First, Ohio State makes the playoff. Second, the conferences work with bowls to keep the selection order as close to normal as possible. That will put Indiana or Northwestern in the Citrus Bowl. If Missouri beats Georgia, I think the Tigers actually end up here. But if the Tigers lose to Georgia, I think they'll end up in the Outback against the other one. Iowa and Wisconsin will be in the mix there too potentially.
2) Mizzou's recruiting class currently stands at 20 in the team rankings. Does this finish as a top 25 class? And to get completely over our skis, is 2022 a top 25 class?
Gabe: I think Mizzou can stay in that range through the rest of this class. They might get caught by a couple, but I'll say they stay in the top 25. As for next year, what kind of businessman would I be if I squashed hope 12 months in advance? Of course it will be a top 25 class.
Mitchell: I think it does. With most teams at or above 20 commitments (the number that's figured into the class ranking), there's not likely to be huge jumps in the next week. And I only see a couple teams that I think are really likely to jump Mizzou as they get a couple more commits (Penn State and Iowa). Plus, I think Missouri could well boost its average star ranking between now and then (insert eyeball emoji), which might allow them to pass a team or two currently in front of them. As for 2022, it's far too early to tell, but I'll say yes because it's good for our business if people are excited about Mizzou recruiting.
3) SEC picks of the week
Mitchell: Auburn (-7) at Mississippi State: Sounds like Gus Malzahn is really feeling the heat. I assume he can rally the troops at least enough to beat Mississippi State by more than one score. The Bulldogs are bad.
Alabama (-31) at Arkansas: I think Arkansas is good enough offensively to find the end zone a few times in this game, especially if Feleipe Franks comes back. But Alabama can also pretty much choose how many points it wants to score. I guess I'll say Arkansas covers in like a 52-22 game but I don't feel good about it.
Tennessee (-14) at Vanderbilt: Vanderbilt has zero left to play for this season. Tennessee desperately needs something to go right. I'll take the Vols, but that says a lot more about how bad Vandy is than anything else.
LSU (+23) at Florida: The wheels look like they've completely fallen off at LSU. Florida might score 60-plus on them. Gators.
Gabe: Auburn (-7) at Mississippi State: Does Auburn care at all? Does Mississippi State? Does anyone else? Give me Leach.
Alabama (-31) at Arkansas: Alabama is 30 points better than anyone but Florida in the SEC. The Tide is at least 32 points better than Arkansas.
Tennessee (-14) at Vanderbilt: Vanderbilt has 45 scholarship players. Many of them have never played. Tennessee is going to cover and keep Jeremy Pruitt around.
LSU (+23) at Florida: LSU is a wreck. Kyle Trask gonna try to win a Heisman courtesy of Bo Pelini.
4) Non-SEC picks of the week
Mitchell: Wisconsin (+3) at Iowa: Considering I picked Wisconsin to win by more than 14 points last week and they lost to a backup QB, I'm not inclined to take the Badgers here against an Iowa team that I think is pretty good.
Purdue (+11) at Indiana: As impressive as it was for Indiana to win without Michael Penix last week, this seems like too many points for a team without its starting quarterback in a rivalry game. Indiana wins, Purdue covers.
USC (-2) at UCLA: I haven't watched any of either team. But isn't UCLA pretty terrible? I'll take the Trojans.
Gabe: Wisconsin (+3) at Iowa: Defensive battle. Badgers cover in a 5-3 loss.
Purdue (+11) at Indiana: Apparently this game might be canceled by the time this runs. If it isn't, I'll take Indiana.
USC (-2) at UCLA: There might be no one in America less qualified to discuss PAC-12 (or PAC-whatever as Eli Drinkwitz called it) football than me. USC based on nothing.
5) NFL picks of the week
Gabe: Arizona (-3) at NY Giants: Arizona is falling off. Giants have momentum. Obviously Daniel Jones > Kyler Murray (yes, it's sarcasm). I'll go Arizona.
Minnesota (+6.5) at Tampa Bay: The Vikings can't put anything together. Bucs win and cover.
Indianapolis (-2.5) at Las Vegas: Am I betting on Philip Rivers? Well, no, I don't bet. But Colts.
Pittsburgh (-2.5) at Buffalo: The Steelers are going to find themselves having gone from 11-0 to hoping to just win the division. Bills.
Baltimore (-3) at Cleveland: Baltimore is cooked. Cleveland is actually not bad. Browns.
Mitchell: Arizona (-3) at NY Giants: The Giants are actually playing pretty well right now, and the Cardinals are not. Throw in the cross-country trip for Arizona and I'm taking New York.
Minnesota (+6.5) at Tampa Bay: I'll go with Tom Brady off a bye. The Bucs have a good run defense, and if Minnesota can't run it's doomed.
Indianapolis (-2.5) at Las Vegas: I still can't figure out how good the Colts are, but the Raiders have looked dreadful the past couple week. Indy.
Pittsburgh (-2.5) at Buffalo: Pittsburgh is looking a bit shaky right now. They can't run the ball and all their linebackers are hurt. Give me the Bills to win outright.
Baltimore (-3) at Cleveland: I don't think the Browns are anywhere near as good as their record, but the Ravens have a lot of issues right now. Cleveland should be jacked for this game, even if there aren't fans in attendance. I'll take the Browns.
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