Last week I had a rather unfortunate beat at The Swamp. With Tennessee up 27-14 late Florida staged an improbably comeback, and then survived a missed field-goal to hold on for a 28-27 victory over the Vols. Don’t ask me why Tennessee didn’t go for two after their last touchdown, you can ask Butch Jones that. Florida completed on a 4th and very long to score and take the lead. You can also ask Butch Jones and the Vols’ defensive coordinator why they played the 4th down on defense the way they did. Tennessee called a spy on the Florida quarterback, taking a defender out of the passing game. There was no need to put a spy in that situation on a 4th and 16. If they had an extra defender defending the pass, that convert on 4th down probably never happens. Tennessee then had a mulligan late, missing the first field goal attempt from 55 yards, but Florida called a timeout. The Vols kicker came within an inch of hitting the winning field goal.
Such a hard loss for Tennessee swallow and for gamblers included. Those are the kind of losses that are on the coaching staff. They had no business losing that game against a Florida team that has had issues offensively this season. Nevertheless, a huge win for Florida, which sent them to the top 25 in the country for the first time in 2015. A loss this week against Ole Miss would end that real quick, though. At 23 in the country, I suspect a beat down by the Rebels would send them back out of the top 25. A good loss against them and who knows, but the goal here for Florida is to shock the nation and beat who many say are the best team in college football.
Considering the struggles a lot of the top teams have had this season. Even number 1 Ohio State, who barely got past Northern Illinois at home, has looked very beatable thus far. Note that TCU needed a miracle tip on the last play of the game last week to defeat Texas Tech. Their defense is severely banged up and are another team that look like it is only a matter of time before they lose. Mississippi has looked the part, due in large part to their big win over Alabama, 43-37. In college football there is no time to relax, so they have to keep it up if they want to gain an elusive spot in the college football playoff. It is still early in the season and anything can happen.
Ole Miss Rebels vs. Florida Gators College Football Pick
Ole Miss -7(-110)
@Florida +7 (-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Ole Miss vs. Florida Pick:
For Florida to win this game they need to have a short memory. They can’t still be excited about last week. This could be hangover game if you will. The Gators need to get right back on the horse and prepare for one of the best teams in the nation, Ole Miss. Scoring 76 points and then 73 points the following week is mighty impressive, but when those teams are against Tennessee-Martin and Fresno State, it doesn’t evoke the most excitement putting up that many points on weak opponents. But 70+ point against any teams in consecutive weeks is impressive.
To ascertain if Mississippi was for real, they had a glorious chance to do it against Alabama on the road. They passed the test with ease, throttling the Alabama defense for 43 points. That is no easy thing to do. Scoring over 20 point in Alabama is seen as a win, over 40 points is something not many teams are able to accomplish. At one point they had a 43-24 lead before letting up in the 4th quarter, nearly blowing it, but the Rebels held on for a massive victory. There was no letdown spot against Vanderbilt, which could have been a tricky game after achieving such a massive upset. Ole Miss are averaging an absurd mark of 54.8 points per game. TCU and Baylor come to mind when thinking about high octane offenses, but Ole Miss doesn’t have the same ring.
It is time to start including Ole Miss in that discussion. Chad Kelly has thrown for 1219 yards with 10 touchdowns and 3 interceptions in his first season after taking over for Bo Wallace. In my mind Wallace was the guy holding this team back. Too many mistakes at the wrong time for him. Kelly has brought the Ole Miss offense to the next level. On top of that, Ole Miss has been playing well, allowing only 19.3 against. Florida is still a year or two off I think. This game may have the same feel to it as the Tennessee game, only difference is that Ole Miss will be able to put Florida away late. The Rebels flex their muscles in front of the country against the Gators this time in week 5.
PICK: OLE MISS -7 (-110)