Jeff Schultz

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

Weekend Predictions: It's not a good time to invest in Georgia


(UPDATED: 7:30 p.m.)

Before getting to this week's feature presentation, "Whatever happened to the Georgia-Auburn game?" we have an important updates from Wall Street and the corpse laying in the middle of the road (the Braves).

The Braves officially began their offseason by trading shortstop Andrelton Simmons to the Los Angeles Angels for two pitching prospects and infielder Eric Aybars. Simmons has won two Gold Gloves and might be the best defensive player in baseball. But there wasn't room for him because he's a proven major league baseball player and people can pick him out of a lineup, and that totally messes up the organization's master plan, which last season resulted in 67 wins, give or take an exploding clown shoe.

Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei motions to his most important assets, none of whom play baseball.

This news dovetails nicely with the announcement that Braves owner Liberty "Scrooze McDuck" Media has spun the team off into a "tracking stock." I tend to get lost the news in the business world rises above the level of, "Four houses on Boardwalk. That'll be $1,700." But according to my sports business tutor Tim Tucker, who lives for this stuff (strange man), tracking stocks can be traded (no, not traded as in for a Double-A pitcher because the Braves already have enough of those). So yes, the Braves will become a public stock.

Sell.

Sell!

SELL!!!

Wait. On second thought, this could be a sure thing, even better than my Georgia-will-beat-Alabama pick. The more Liberty Media holds the line on payroll and John Hart and John Coppolella deal fully ripened vegetables for magic beans, it's good for business. Wins go down, stock price goes up. (This concept may excite Cobb's Tim Lee so much that he'll soon deal five public schools and three fire departments for a magic bridge.)

Anyway, on the subject of bad investments, let's talk about Georgia.

The Bulldogs are 6-3. That sounds so much better than saying they've beaten Louisiana-Monroe (1-8, Sun Belt), Vanderbilt (1-4 in the SEC), South Carolina (1-6), Southern (FCS), Missouri (1-5) and Kentucky (2-5).

Their losses have come to the only two teams at the grown-up table (Alabama and Florida by a combined 65-13), and Tennessee (the teenager who doesn't quite fit in with the grown-ups or the kids.)

Auburn is like Tennessee. Not a great team but it has one impressive win, 26-10 at Texas A&M last week, so that's one more impressive win  than Georgia. The Tigers have an improving defense under Will Muschamp. We're still not sure what Georgia has under Jeremy Pruitt, other than rumors he may not like Brian Schottenheimer, which actually would be just fine.

Auburn is trending upward. Buy. Georgia looks like an eight-track tape in a digital world. Dump.

The Tigers opened as a 2-point underdog. They're now favored by 1½.

The wolves of Wall Street know something. Auburn wins and covers.

SEMI-PRO

A guard stands over the treasure at Nick Saban's estate.

Alabama at Mississippi State: There's a new rumor the Indianapolis Colts will go after Nick Saban. I doubt Saban would make the move at 64 but he'll instruct his agent to fan the rumors, admonish fans for unrealistic expectations, admonish the media for spreading false lies, squeeze more money and power from Alabama's puppet administrators and then quietly eat a Little Debbie snack cake as if nothing ever happened. Tide covers 7½.

Arkansas at LSU: Bret Bielema was 3-16 in SEC games until winning the last two over Auburn and Ole Miss. So they're happy in Pigville again. Imagine how they'll feel if they upset a Tigers' team that may still feel punch-drunk from last week's loss to Alabama? Tempted to take the leap. But I can't. LSU wins but take Arkansas and 7½.

Florida at South Carolina: It's the Steve Spurrier Memorial Game, although technically he's not dead, he's just drifting from pier to pier telling fish stories. Maybe he can show up at halftime and call a play for South Carolina: Tell everybody to go out long and then take the ball and duck out the back. Gators cover 8.

Seems like a good time to give Spurrier the fish-slap dance

Clemson at Syracuse: The Tigers are 9-0 and have saved room for dessert: Syracuse, Wake Forest, South Carolina (combined: 3-15 in conference, 9-21 overall). The 28 is covered.

Miami at North Carolina: Hey, NCAA! Look! They're here in the same stadium! Do something! (This is what it must've been like when the heads of two organized crime families met for dinner and the FBI thought, "We got nothing.") Winner gets a Get Out of Probation Free Card. Heels cover 13.

UNC, Miami have turned NCAA investigators into "Boomhauer"

Kennesaw State at Coastal Carolina: The Owls have won six games (6-3), which is about four more than I expected, so some belated advice: Take the over. But they're beat up and missing their quarterback and Coastal Carolina is better than  the team KSU just lost two by two touchdowns (Charleston Southern). No worries, Owls. Georgia Tech and Georgia State would love to have six wins. C.C. covers 21½.

NFL FRIDGE PACK

This cover represents all the receivers who will get the ball before Roddy White (who's circled).

Falcons: Roddy White pasted his mugshot on every page of a "Where’s Waldo” book and gave it to Kyle Shanahan for the bye week.

Lions at Packers:  Detroit is 1-7 but made the decision to come back from its bye week. Pay all bets. Meanwhile, owner Marge Ford has cleaned out the front office, and if you're Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson right now you're probably thinking, "Are we the next to go? Please." Packers cover 11½.

Panthers at Titans: Former Miami coach Don Shula said he "would love to see" Carolina go undefeated. They won't. But this year has been therapeutic for Don's son, Mike Shula, Carolina's offensive coordinator, who after extensive therapy can walk down the street without believing the lamppost is following him for the first time since leaving Tuscaloosa. Panthers cover 5.

Bears at Rams: St. Louis fans look at Todd Gurley like Los Angeles fans looked at Eric Dickerson. Oh look, the moving van. Rams cover 7.

This cretin gives cretins a bad name.

Cowboys at Bucs: Greg Hardy briefly changed his Twitter bio to read, "Innocent until proven guilty." So I guess a judge declaring him guilty and pictures of a battered woman don't count. On a related note: Where does everybody stand on tying a cretin to a post and covering him with leeches? Dallas wins, take the gift 1.

Saints at Washington: New Orleans won three straight and then sudden a story was leaked to the NFL Network that coach Sean Payton has a clause in his contract that could allow him to become a free agent after the season. So I guess we know where his priorities are. Washington wins, take the 1.

What optimistic Saints' fans think of Payton leaving

Lilly's Pick

Lilly didn't hesitate: She choose Muschamp (Auburn) over Pruitt (Georgia).

Georgia at Auburn:  Lilly The Greek has reeled off three straight wins to raise her record to 7-3. This week, for a twist, we posted cheese'd pictures of two defensive coordinators, Auburn's Will Muschamp (formerly of Georgia) and Georgia's Jeremy Pruitt (also soon maybe formerly of Georgia). Lilly went straight to Muschamp. Auburn wins.

Accountability scorecard

football-gambling

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

Last week (cover your eyes): 8-6 straight up, 4-10 against the line.

Bottom line: 91-42 straight up; 64-67-2 against the line.

Sack Schultz update: Drew Harris and Ron Leon, who both went 14-1, were our weekly winners. Only three weeks left until the grand prize winners are decided! We have several bunched up with 110 to 113 wins through 10 weeks. I'm Belk Bowl-bound at 102. More details: AJC.com/go/sackschultz2015 .


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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.