Jeff Schultz

This AJC sports blogger takes things seriously when he has to, but he really would rather not

Weekend Predictions: Dogs over Jackets in Bad Aura Bowl


According to the National Day Calendar , without which we wouldn't know that Monday was National Eat A Cranberry Day (true), Tuesday was National Sardines Day (true) and Thursday was To Hell With Thanksgiving/Go To Sleep NOW NOW NOW Because Play-Doh, Potholders and Possibly Freddie Freeman Go On Sale For $1.79 At 3 o'clock Friday Morning Day! (almost true) -- I'm almost to the end of the sentence; promise -- Thanksgiving isn't the only important day this week.

Because on Saturday, when Georgia plays Georgia Tech in a game matching two teams with inverse records but relatively equal misery quotients, it will be: International Aura Awareness Day.

International Aura Awareness Day "was created to spread awareness of the human aura and how our physical and mental health affect our auras."

Great idea.

For everybody else.

The state of Georgia chooses to secede from the world this week. Probably not the first time.

The bad news is: It's the end college football's regular season. The good news is: It's the end of college football's regular season. Georgia is 8-3. Looks nice. Like an H&M shirt before you throw it in the dryer. These Dogs have lost every game that mattered.

Georgia Tech is 3-8. Somehow, the Jackets have one more impressive win than the Dogs (Florida State). But they also have 33 fumbles (13 lost), have lost seven A-backs to injuries this season and finished with its worst record in the ACC (1-7) since somebody walked up to Bill Lewis, handed him a spatula and said, "Go find your purpose."

Paul Johnson has beaten Mark Richt twice, both times in Athens, including last season when Tech rushed for 399 yards, and this time we think Jeremy Pruitt only punched himself. The big question this week is how effective quarterback Justin Thomas will be after leaving last week's game early with an injury.

This is a game Georgia should win easily. But I have a strange feeling. Or is that my aura?

Dogs win. But I have enough doubts so give me Tech and 5.

Something to get you into the Black Friday mood

Faber College

(Knowledge is Good)

Alabama at Auburn: Gus Malzahn blew a gasket this week because he thought the media was probing too much on what trick plays he had in store for Alabama. Not sure any trick short of morphing into the '66 Packers would make a difference. Bama covers 14.

Malzahn tries to pull a rabbit out of a hat

Mississippi at Mississippi State: Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze yelled, "War Eagle" as he left his press conference this week. Here's why: An Alabama loss and a Mississippi win would put his team in the SEC title game. On a related note, Discovery News once placed the odds of being crushed and killed by a vending machine as one in 112 million. No need to look up, Hugh. Miss State win a pick 'em.

Texas A&M at LSU: Congratulations to whatever LSU officials, boosters or fans are feeding this Les Miles Must Go campaign. Because if you think it's time to get rid of a coach who won a national championship and has been to the title game twice, most recently in 2012, you're either drunk, deluded or, given the geography, more likely both. Tigers cover 5.

The line for the South Carolina job.

Clemson at South Carolina: South Carolina was prepared to pay Houston's Tom Herman $3 million a year to take over as coach. He said no. So it turns out the Gamecocks were shooting too high thinking they could lure an American Athletic Association coach to Columbia. Welcome to the nadir. Clemson covers 17.

Florida State at Florida: Jim McElwain is 10-1 with a mediocre team and he's far more entertaining than Richt when it comes to describing his team's drab offense: "Here's the visual. When you guys go to a seafood market or if you go to the grocery store, you see all those dead fish on ice? Stop by Winn-Dixie, go to the dead fish aisle and look at the fish's eyes. That's the energy we are playing with. How excited are you to hang out with that dead fish?" I like this guy. But Seminoles cover 2½.

Louisville at Kentucky: Louisville has gone from 23-3 in Charlie Strong's last two seasons to 15-9 in Bobby Petrino's first two. Fortunately, athletic director Tom Jurich hired Petrino to set a fine example and raise young men so winning really isn't even an issue. Wait, what? (Lightning strikes me.) Cardinals cover 4.

We take you live to Tom Jurich's office

Troy at Georgia State: I was emailed a press release that says the Panthers have won two straight and can finish with a winning record in the Sun Belt. I really need to lay off the paint chips in the morning. State covers 1.

South Alabama at Georgia Southern: Georgia Southern take a step up in competition from the Georgia game. (Bam!) Eagles cover 21.

Patriots and Lesser Beings

Maybe Matt Ryan should start over in target practice.

Vikings at Falcons: To all of Matt Ryan's defenders, think about this: He has lost three straight games to Jameis Winston, Blaine Gabbert and Matt Hasselbeck. He has thrown 10 interceptions and lost last week's game to Indianapolis (three interceptions, a pick-six, 25-for-46 passing) all by himself. So what happens when the Falcons play a pretty good team? Don't know why I'm doing this but: Falcons cover 2.

Patriots at Broncos: Ray Lewis said he would've rather played for Rex Ryan "all day" than Bill Belichick. Wonder if he soured on Belichick when the Patriots decided to cut a murder suspect, Aaron Hernandez. (Oh look, attorney phoning me.) New England covers 3.

Ravens at Browns: Johnny Manziel said before the bye week, "“I don’t think anyone has to worry about me this week.” Then he was spotted partying in an Austin bar, holding what appears to be a silver bottle of Dom Perignon, and later evaded answering questions about the video evidence and was benched. Get comfortable, Johnny Screwup. With Josh McCown, Cleveland covers 2½.

via BustedCoverage.com:

Steelers at Seahawks: Marshawn Lynch had sports hernia surgery and might be done, which would mean there's one less team for the rest of the NFC to worry about. Seattle wins but take Pittsburgh and 4.

Eagles at Lions (Thursday): "And this game is brought to you by Kinko's, your one-stop shop for resume copying. Hey look, it's Chip Kelly by the machine with a roll of quarters. Lions win a pick 'em

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Panthers at Cowboys (Thursday): Greg Hardy called Carolina, his former team, "a nameless, faceless opponent." But then that's pretty much how most felons think. Dallas wins a pick 'em.

Lilly's Pick: The mutt nailed the Falcons' loss to Indianapolis last week, which puts her ahead of most of us. She's 8-4. Damn. This week, in her final appearance of the season, Lilly had to choose between cheese'd pictures of Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson (left) and Georgia coach Mark Richt (right). The pooch went to Richt. Dogs win.

Accountability scorecard

football-gambling

Last week (putrid): 9-8 straight up, 7-10 against the line.

Bottom line: 97-55 straight up; 78-82-2 against the line.

Sack Schultz update: It's the final week in the chase for the grand prizes. Our national leader is "1Donna1" of Alabama with 131 wins, followed by "djdjdj" of Ohio at 130. Our local leader "Moovemkr" of Georgia at 129 followed by "wjhill5740" of Georgia at 128. My scorecard has been burned. Thanks to all for playing. If you want to play for final week prizes, go to  AJC.com/go/sackschultz2015 .

Lilly goes with Georgia, and Paul Johnson doesn't look happy.


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About the Author

Jeff Schultz is a general sports columnist and blogger who isn't afraid to share his opinion, which may not necessarily jibe with yours.