Jeff Schultz

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

Weekend Predictions: Dogs rebound, Jackets win, Falcons fall


Before we get to this week's big game between the Missouri Tigers and the Georgia Afterthoughts on Nicholls State's Schedule, this important update: Sunday is National Cheeseburger Day. This came as a complete shock to me because I didn't realize there were was only one of these, more like 297, built around Leftover Chinese Day and Cold Pizza For Breakfast Day and Fall Asleep On The Couch With Your Head In The Haagen Daz Carton While The Dog Licks Around You Like It's A Food Crime Scene Day.

The cheeseburger is on the low end of the world culinary scale. Simple, cute, unintimidating. Like the SEC right now. (Wow! Look at those phone lines light up!)

It's only two weeks into the season. I dare you to name an SEC team other than Alabama that's not a cheeseburger. From QuikTrip. At 2 a.m. Alabama is No. 1 in the AP rankings but the next SEC team until . . . 15th. There sits Tennessee, which almost lost to Appalachian State, followed by No. 16 Georgia, which created a lifetime of memories for Nicholls State.

Kirby Smart took last week's crummy performance by his offensive line well.

Not really.

"They. Just. Played. Harder. Than. We. Did."

He spoke slow for effect. Also because his blood pressure was rising, and maybe because he gave the 49 points last week, and maybe because he was talking to sportswriters and he figured at any moment one would dare ask to talk to a player. (Insert "Soup Nazi" response: No quarterbacks for you!")

This week, it's the SEC opener against Mizzou. The Dogs are favored by 6, a line based on an assumption that they were abducted by aliens last week. I'll bite. But I don't know why. Georgia wins 10-3. That's a cover.

The Quote Nazi

Sack Schultz 2016

Week 2 update:  Through two weeks, I'm in 144th place. The sweet spot. There's a bunch of losers tied for first place at 26-4. Congrats to last week's winner, Glenn Clark of Sugar Hill, Ga., who cheated and went 15-0, winning both the Kroger gift card and the Fathead. Still plenty of time to enter for a chance to win the grand prizes: tickets to the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and a $2,500 Apple Vacation. Go to MyAJC.com/go/sackschultz2016 to register.  For more info click here.

Between (Optional) Study Hall

This has been Nick Saban in the last two games against Mississippi.

Vanderbilt at Georgia Tech: Vanderbilt probably peaked under former coach James Franklin, and ironically James Franklin probably peaked at Vanderbilt. Jackets cover 6½.

Alabama at Mississippi: Since the start of the 2014 season, Alabama is 0-2 against Ole Miss and 28-1 against everybody else (the loss coming to Ohio State in the national title game). Nick Saban hasn't lost three straight to anybody since he turned six and the clown at his birthday party kept making the purple handkerchief disappear. On a related note, nobody has seen Chuckles since. Payback: Bammy covers 11½.

Florida State at Louisville: The ACC hopes to relocate its conference title game in Orlando because the weather is nice and it touches Florida State's fan base. It's a great plan, except for the fact Florida State may not be there. Cardinals win (take the 1½).

Texas A&M at Auburn: Gus Malzahn's SEC record in 2013: 7-1. Gus Malzahn's SEC record since: 6-10. Next two opponents: Texas A&M and LSU. Kaboom. Aggies cover 3½.

Colorado's response to Jim Harbaugh's depth chart.

Colorado at Michigan: Jim Harbaugh refuses to put out a Michigan depth chart so Colorado reciprocated week with the sports information department putting out a fake on. At quarterback for the Buffaloes: Elmer Fudd. There's also Manute Bol at receiver and Bernie Sanders at free safety. Free, of course. Damn liberals. Michigan covers 20.

Mississippi State at LSU: Mississippi State freshman Jeffrey Simmons had two tackles for loss and a forced fumble in his debut following a one-game suspension for punching a woman several times, which made coach Dan Mullen feel much better about selling his soul and having no moral compass and comforted the weasley administration because MSU really doesn't care about violence against woman and plans to become an all-male school for felons anyway. Wait. That didn't come out right. Tigers cover 14.

North Texas at Florida: The Gators' first three opponents: UMass, Kentucky, North Texas. What, couldn't work in Montessori? Cardboard tough guys cover 37.

Georgia State at Wisconsin: Wisconsin is home to the Lumberjack World Championships. And you thought I didn't do research. The Panthers are coming off a 48-14 loss at Air Force. Wisconsin is coming off a 54-10 win over Akron. So add those two together and divide by two and Georgia State should lose 51-12. See, I'm embracing analytics. Badgers win but take State and 34½.

You say: lumberjacks. I think: The Lumberjack Song.

Pros and Protesters

A field-level shot of the Falcons' defense last week.

Falcons at Raiders: Congratulations. If you're reading this, you're tied for the Falcons' lead in sacks. If we can take a break from the Kyle-Shanahan-must-eat-paint-chips-because-we-still-stink-in-the-redzone rants, the defense last week extended three Tampa Bay scoring drives with third-down penalties and allowed touchdowns in four out of five possessions. I need evidence of improvement. Oakland wins but take the Falcons and 5½.

Colts at Broncos: Andrew Luck on playing in Denver: "Very few times in life do you get to go somewhere where 80,000 people want to call you bad names." He should try blogging. Denver covers 6½.

Ravens at Browns: This week from Cleveland coach Hue Jackson: "We're going to win a championship here for the Cleveland Browns." Note he didn't say it would be in football. Because he certainly clinched the title for the season's funniest declaration. Baltimore covers 7.

Remember, it's about presentation, not substance

Dolphins at Patriots: The NFL passes a rule to minimize kickoff returns and increase touchbacks in a window-dressing attempt to minimize concussions. So what does Bill Belichick do? He has his kicker intentionally kick off short so Arizona has to return it and more likely gets pinned inside the 25. I swear, I'm never playing that guy in Monopoly. Patriots cover 6½.

Packers at Vikings: Aaron Rodgers all-time vs. Minnesota: 34 touchdowns, 5 interceptions, 113.2 rating and I'm pretty sure he stole their sheep. Packers cover 2½.

Saints at Giants: Drew Brees considered retiring last season but then he threw seven touchdown passes against New York and realized they were on the schedule again this season. Take the gift 4½ and Saints in an upset.

P&L Statement

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"I like to play blackjack. I'm not addicted to gambling. I'm addicted to sitting in a semi-circle." -- Mitch Hedberg

Last week: 11-3 straight up, 7-6-1 against the spread.

Week 2 totes: 17-6 straight up, 11-10-2 against the spread.

Lilly's pick: Lilly earned extra table scraps. She picked Tampa Bay last week. All bow to the mutt. This week, with salami on the menu, the choice was Uga or Missouri's mascot, Truman The Tiger. Lilly goes right -- to Uga. Dogs win.

lilly3

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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.