Observer Roundtable Week 3: Army wins, Tennessee loses and other bold predictions
Welcome back to the third week of the Observer Roundtable! We took a week off, but the previous edition saw some close calls. Sports writer senior Liam Coolican almost made the call of the year as he called for Kansas to upset Texas as a 30-point underdog, and the Jayhawks came within two points of doing just that. So if you want to make easy money, take our picks and bring them to Vegas. But also, don’t sue us if we’re wrong — we’re all paying off student loans. Once again the scoring format is one point for picking the result and another point for picking the spread. A correct upset call doubles your score for the week. Here are the current standings and this weeks predictions:
Dominic Gibson – 20 pts
Aidan Thomas – 19 pts
David Kramer – 18 pts
Nate Moller – 15 pts
Liam Coolican – 15 pts
Patrick Gallagher – 14 pts
#8 Georgia @ #6 Florida (+5)
#15 SMU @ #24 Memphis (-3.5)
#22 Kansas State @ Kansas (+6.5)
Dominic Gibson: In a big SEC East matchup, both the Bulldogs and the Gators will look to make statements. Ultimately, I think that the talented Georgia team will come out on top to win but not cover.
This SMU team has proven to be something special this year with an undefeated record. Memphis will be no easy task for the Mustangs but with an offense led by the talented Shane Buechele, I think that SMU will win outright.
Both Kansas and Kansas State are coming off huge wins going into this weekend. Aside from the late second half push from Oklahoma, the Wildcats looked dominant in their victory, and the offense for Kansas looked explosive both against Texas and Texas Tech. I ultimately think that Kansas State will win and cover in this projected shootout.
Aidan Thomas: A tough call for sure. My head tells me to go with Georgia – they’re the more talented roster undoubtedly. I could spend a lot of time analyzing this matchup, but ultimately, my gut says Florida has performed better, has a better win and a better loss on their resume, and is hungry to end Georgia’s stranglehold on the SEC East. Gators win outright.
SMU has had several gut-check victories en route to a 8-0 start, while Memphis is a gut-wrenching loss to Temple away from being unbeaten. This one should be a nail-biter, but SMU has scored at least 34 points in every game, and I like SMU to swing the upset on the road.
This is the mother of all trap games for the Wildcats, who stunned Oklahoma last week and now travel to Kansas to take on a Jayhawks squad that has looked really good these last two weeks. The offense can certainly be explosive, but the defense has been extremely porous. Which version of either of these teams will show up is impossible to guess, so I’ll say with an extreme lack of confidence that Kansas State wins and covers.
David Kramer: These one-loss powerhouses will fight for sole control of the SEC East, a matchup that depends on the success of Georgia’s young talent. Especially at wideout, the Bulldogs will have their hands full against a now-healthy Gator defense. Look for Florida to claim its first victory in its last three matchups against the Bulldogs.
Aside from their last-minute defensive stand against TCU, SMU faces its first true test in Memphis this weekend. If the Mustangs hope to continue their perfect season in primetime, their defense needs to withstand Memphis’ threatening 40 points per game, a feat that I feel is far-fetched. I expect Memphis to win and cover.
With all due respect to the Wildcats for their stunning victory against Oklahoma last week, their run defense remains far too vulnerable for Kansas not to learn from Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley’s mistakes. A high-scoring game is nearly inevitable, a dynamic that I feel favors the Jayhawks in a close game at home. Kansas wins outright.
Nate Moller: Georgia will head into Florida with something to prove after their disappointing loss to South Carolina a couple of weeks ago. I think this one will end up being a defensive slugfest for most of the game, but I expect Jake Fromm and D’andre Swift to make some big plays late. Georgia wins but doesn’t cover.
SMU has squeaked out a couple of close victories the past few weeks, and they will have to play much better against a quality Memphis team on the road. There seems to be something special about this SMU team, and I expect SMU to step up their game, and win this one outright.
Kansas head coach Les Miles looks to build off his first Big 12 win from last week in a battle against Kansas State for the Governor’s Cup. Kansas State, however, is also riding momentum off of their surprising upset of Oklahoma. I like Kansas State to win and cover.
Liam Coolican: One-loss teams are still very much in contention for the playoffs this year, and this is a rivalry game, so it means a lot. Both teams are extremely talented, but I think Georgia is the better team. Florida’s defense has been horribly inconsistent, and Georgia should take advantage. It won’t be a blowout, but Georgia should win and cover.
SMU is undefeated, but the best team they’ve beaten is TCU, and in two of the last three weeks they have nearly lost to sub-.500 teams. Memphis’ offense has been rolling in recent weeks, and I expect that to continue at home against SMU. Memphis wins and covers.
Both of these teams have actually looked very good recently, with Kansas State knocking off undefeated Oklahoma and Kansas getting their first conference win against Texas Tech. Kansas is a good team, and I expect them to keep it close, especially at home, but Kansas State will pull it out late. K-State wins but doesn’t cover the spread.
Patrick Gallagher: Despite their recent offensive struggles, I believe that Georgia’s high-end talent will give them the slight edge. The Bulldogs stacked defense is ranked fifth in the nation, and it will be hard for the Florida offense to establish a rhythm. I think that quarterback Jake Fromm will be extremely motivated to redeem himself after an awful 35 yard performance, and Georgia will both win and cover the spread.
The Mustangs have had their best season in recent memory with impressive victories over programs such as TCU and Houston. Former Texas Longhorn and SMU quarterback Shane Buechele has thrown for over 2,000 yards this season and leads the sixth ranked scoring offense in the nation. Playing at Memphis will be tough, but the Mustangs are up for the challenge and will win outright.
Head coach Les Miles has seemingly done the impossible by making Kansas football relevant. The Jayhawks have found ways to defeat more traditionally talented programs such as Boston College and Texas Tech; however, they have not been able to consistently compete with the Big 12 elite. Conversely, Kansas State is coming off a huge win against the Sooners and will use their momentum to earn a close rivalry victory but will not cover.