Weekend Predictions: Auburn mojo over Mizzou in SEC

Sometime during or after the party that followed the 109-yard touchdown return of a missed field-goal attempt last week, which should not be confused with the party that followed the equally implausible 73-yard touchdown pass off the lamp post, the barn door and possibly the 3-year-old flying stolen laptop that was thrown out the window by Cam Newton, which, as it turned out, had magical powers on the Plains, there was a funeral. Kinda. Sorta.

Maybe you missed this: The cleanup crew at Jordan-Hare Stadium following Auburn’s win over Alabama found ashes on the field. Not the usual Alabama ashes, as in, “Sorry, daddy, but I fell asleep with an unfiltered Camel in my mouth and burned down the shack, but here I saved your Ding Dong.” No, these were actual human ashes. Or maybe animal ashes (Harvey Updyke?). Or maybe dog ashes (Todd Grantham?).

It’s true. The Auburn grounds crew (@auburnturf) this week tweeted a picture of the ashes found near the 40-yard line. The tweet read: “Rest in peace: cremated remains dumped on field after #ironbowl2013.” Nick Saban unfollowed.

This week, Auburn plays Missouri for the SEC championship at the Georgia Dome. There will be plenty of ashes on the field. The Falcons play there.

Last season Auburn and Mizzou finished a combined 2-14 in the SEC, so they were not the betting favorites this week to still have a game left.

Missouri is a better team. More physical. Less erratic. Better on defense. Is 11-1 despite missing its starting quarterback (James Franklin) for four games.

But I was at Auburn’s past two games. So I fully expect the Loch Ness monster to flop out of the Chattahoochee at about 3:45 p.m. Saturday, sing the national anthem and maybe return a punt. Then Auburn will win 4-3 on a safety, a penalty kick and correctly picking a number between 1 and 10, and it will lead Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs to claim the tiebreaker proof of Auburn’s superiority over not just college football but the ’62 Packers.

It’s Missouri and Auburn. It’s not supposed to make sense. So Auburn wins because, well, just because. I’ve seen too much, and my head hurts. (But take Mizzou and 2.)


ACC title: FSU vs. Duke, no, wait, Duke? Now that real life issues have been settled with college football's best player — and if Jameis Winston doesn't win the Heisman Trophy, something seriously is wrong — the Seminoles can go about trying to win a BCS championship. David Cutcliffe has done a remarkable job at Duke. But this really is kind of an ACC-title game nightmare. Again. Seminoles cover 29.

Big Ten title: Ohio State vs. Michigan State. I understand the general disdain for selective disciplinarian Urban Meyer and the mocking of the Big Ten. But bad teams in AQ conferences don't go 24-0 over two seasons unless they're doing something right (besides scheduling, I mean). Everybody seems to be on Sparty this week. Not feeling it. I'm going the other way: Buckeyes win, but take Michigan State and 5 1/2.

Mid-American title: Northern Illinois vs. Bowling Green. Kidding.

Pac-12 title: Stanford at Arizona State. I understand why David Shaw loves coaching at Stanford, but he is going to be inundated with NFL offers in a few weeks, and USC isn't going to stink for long. Take the gift 3, but the Cardinal win this straight up.

Oklahoma at Oklahoma State: This is called the "Bedlam Series." I believe it's named for what happens inside of Bob Stoops' head in a big game. Okie State wins, but take the Cowboys and 9 1/2.


Falcons at Packers: It's going to be minus-327 degrees. Nobody knows if Aaron Rodgers will play, but for most of this season nobody has known whether the Falcons will play, so let's call it even. A lot of folks putting a lot of stock in a narrow escape over Buffalo. Not safe, even if Packers kind of stink. Based on an unofficial 1 1/2-point line: Sick Bay wins and covers.

Panthers at Saints: Carolina has won eight consecutive. The last time Newton was in first place this late in a football season, we had to wait for the NCAA to tell us that all is well and he had already been suspended, I think on a Monday during lunch. Saints cover 3 1/2.

Seahawks at 49ers: Seattle has three road games left: San Francisco, New York (Giants), New York (Super Bowl). Niners cover 2 1/2.

Cowboys at Bears: Tony Romo is now 26-6 in November as a starting quarterback. He's also 13-17 in December. Wait, what's today's month? Bears cover 1.

Lions at Eagles: Ndamukong Suh, who has been suspended two games and fined eight times in his career, still thinks he's just misunderstood: "I don't think one moment in somebody's life is going to define them." Apparently, he also has a math problem. Eagles cover 2 1/2.


Last week (hiccups): 9-4 straight up, 5-8 against the line

Bottom dollars: 134-30-1 straight up, 93-67-5

"Sack Schultz" update: Congratulations to master Tarot card reader Chad Whitley of Covington. He won both the AJC and national contests. Prizes: $5,000 trip to Hawaii and tickets to last week's Georgia-Georgia Tech game and the Chick-fil-a Bowl, all on our dime. (Well, not my dime. I have no dimes.)

Lilly's Pick of the Week: The mutt's in a post-Thanksgiving leftovers coma and was unavailable for cheese duty this week. Hello, Independence Bowl.