(3-2, 2-3 ATS)
Alabama Crimson Tide
(5-1, 4-2 ATS)
Common logic in this NCAA football betting affair is that the Alabama Crimson Tide are going to be a very angry bunch after losing their first game in two years last Saturday. However, the Ole Miss Rebels have been in this type of spot before, and they are going to be giving it their all under the lights in Tuscaloosa.
Ole Miss is starting to look better and better as the weeks go by. All of a sudden, after getting held to just 41 points in two games against the Tulane Green Wave and the Vanderbilt Commodores, the ‘O’ has exploded for 97 points against the Fresno State Bulldogs and the Kentucky Wildcats. It is clear that QB Jeremiah Masoli is starting to get his legs under him. Though his passing yardage totals are down in recent weeks, five of his six TD passes came in these last two games, proving that he is starting to really get used to these receivers. RB Brandon Bolden is the start of the offense that Masoli gets the ball to. He has rushed the ball 76 times for 518 yards, and he leads the team with seven total touchdowns. HC Houston Nutt’s defense has been absolutely atrocious, but when you have an offense that can score with anyone in the nation, it doesn’t necessarily matter all that much. Running the ball is relatively hard on the Rebs, as they are only allowing 115.6 yards per game.
Alabama now knows what it feels like to have to come back from somewhere aside from the top of the country to make the National Championship Game. There is clearly no margin for error to make the title game now, especially in the SEC, where another loss could knock it out of the SEC Championship Game. This defense, which looked so dominant prior to last week was absolutely torched for 35 points by the South Carolina Gamecocks in Columbia. The offense had some troubles last week as well, and if that stays the case, the Tide are going to be in a lot of hot water. RB Mark Ingram has been totally MIA over the last two weeks, which really could end his quest to become the second man ever to win the Heisman Trophy twice. QB Greg McElroy has thrown for 1,298 yards this year in six games, but he now has a blemish on his record for the first time since he was in eighth grade. McElroy might be without WR Julio Jones, his top receiver, as Jones broke a bone in his hand last week. He played through the pain last week, but it’s up in the air whether he’ll be available to do the same this week or not.
This is the second straight week in which the Tide are playing a team off of a bye week, which as we already proved last week, is a very dangerous thing. Ole Miss has its legs under it, and Masoli knows what it’s like to play in the biggest games from his days with the Oregon Ducks. Another upset? Probably not. But a scare from out of nowhere is a very legitimate possibility for Alabama.
College Football Free Pick: Mississippi Rebels +21