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Protect Your Unit Week 8 Picks Thread

We celebrate the Third Saturday in October.

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NCAA Football: Tennessee at Alabama John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

(DISLCAIMER: This game is for entertainment purposes only. No real money is being wagered.)

This line made me a little sad:

Sat, Oct 21, 2:30 PM Tennessee +37.0 +10000
Alabama -35.0 -30000

Tomorrow is the third Saturday in October. That is the traditional date of the Tennessee-Alabama game, though it isn't always played that weekend. It's one of the south's greatest rivalries. A book has been written about it, and it begins with these words:

"On November 18, 1901, the University of Alabama and the University of Tennessee first locked horns on a football field. At the contest's end, the score was tied, nothing had been resolved, and about two thousand fans were on the field at Tuscaloosa, fighting."

Sources differ as to whether the donnybrook was caused by an offsides penalty, or the game being called due to darkness. Either way, it was the start of a rivalry that's been played every year since 1928, except one year during World War II when neither school fielded a team. It was one of the few ancient rivalries to survive realignment. When the SEC expanded in 1990 and split into divisions, Tennessee-Alabama was one of two cross-divisional rivalries the league made an effort to preserve, the other being Auburn-Georgia.

While such a one-sided rivalry game is a little sad, Tennessee-Alabama has always been a streaky rivalry. The modern Crimson Tide, cruelly efficient machine that they are, have won 10 straight in the series. Tennessee won 10 of 12 during their late 90s-early 2000s heyday, which coincided with an ebb in Alabama's fortunes. Before that, Alabama won 8 straight; then 4 for Tennessee; 11 for Alabama; 4 for Tennessee; and so forth. You have to go back to the 1940s to find the teams exchanging wins.

Also, these games tend to be decided by something other than a touchdown, or not decided at all. A sampling of results:

  • The aforementioned 1901 game that ended in a tie.
  • The teams tied six times between 1936 and 1965. Half of them were 0-0, the other half 7-7.
  • In that 1965 game, Alabama botched a chance to win. Late in the game at Tennessee's six-yard line, Ken Stabler thought the Tide had gained a first down, and threw the ball out of bounds to stop the clock on what was actually fourth down.
  • In 1966, Stabler would lead an Alabama comeback. Trailing 10-0 late in a rainstorm, he led them to a touchdown and two-point conversion, cutting it to 10-8. (Man, you'd never see that today.) A late field goal gave Alabama the win, though Tennessee missed a short kick that would have won it back.
  • 1968: After scoring a late touchdown, Bear Bryant goes for two and the win. The pass attempt fails and Tennessee wins 10-9.
  • 1990: In the series' biggest upset, 2-3 Alabama knocks off unbeaten #3 Tennessee in Knoxville. Late in a 6-6 game, a Tennessee field goal is blocked, and returned to the Volunteers' 37 yard line. Alabama is able to set up their own game winning field goal, which is successful.
  • 1993: Alabama scores a late touchdown, and David Palmer converts the two-point conversion from under center, to escape with a 17-17 tie. It was Alabama's final tie, and ended a 28-game winning streak.
  • 2005: Tennessee and Alabama's fortunes had begun to reverse. The Vols were 2-3 and the Tide #5 in the polls, the latter's highest ranking since their 1993 championship. In a 3-3 game, Tennessee nearly scored a decisive touchdown late, but Roman Harper forced a fumble through the end zone. Brodie Croyle led Alabama into field goal range, and the Tide won 6-3, only their second win in the last 11 games against the Vols.
  • 2009: Alabama's Terrence Cody blocks two field goals in the fourth quarter, including a game-winning attempt from 43 yards, to preserve a 12-10 victory.
  • 2015: A failed two-point conversion leaves mighty Alabama clinging to a 19-14 lead late, but a sack and fumble recovery foils Tennessee's upset bid.

You can see a lot of these highlights below:

Picks as of 1:30 PM Eastern (sorry, I was a little late today). Did anyone pick Tennessee?

andrewpina Ohio -19.5 points over Kent State 100.00
andrewpina San Diego State -7.5 points over Fresno State 50.00
andrewpina Penn State -360.0 money line to beat Michigan 50.00
andrewpina Massachusetts -7.0 points over Georgia Southern 40.00
andrewpina Over 60.0 points in the Memphis-Houston game 25.00
BrianMartin South Florida -11.5 points over Tulane 100.00
BrianMartin Michigan +10.5 points over Penn State 100.00
BrianMartin Southern California +4.0 points over Notre Dame 50.00
dsidwell31 South Florida -11.5 points over Tulane 200.00
dsidwell31 Maryland +24.5 points over Wisconsin 25.00
dsidwell31 Central Florida -7.0 points over Navy 25.00
Eastcoastbull South Florida -11.5 points over Tulane 100.00
Eastcoastbull Navy +8.0 points over Central Florida 50.00
Eastcoastbull Army -6.0 points over Temple 50.00
Eastcoastbull Houston -2.5 points over Memphis 50.00
ElliotMoore Penn State -9.5 points over Michigan 50.00
ElliotMoore South Florida -11.5 points over Tulane 50.00
ElliotMoore Cincinnati +265.0 money line to beat Southern Methodist 50.00
ElliotMoore Florida State -6.5 points over Louisville 50.00
ElliotMoore Navy +8.0 points over Central Florida 50.00
GaryStephen Texas Tech -7.0 points over Iowa State 50.00
GaryStephen Over 64.0 points in the Central Florida-Navy game 50.00
GaryStephen East Carolina +200.0 money line to beat Brigham Young 20.00
Gibbsak Iowa State +6.0 points over Texas Tech 10.00
Gibbsak Tulsa -6.0 points over Connecticut 10.00
gym399 South Florida -11.5 points over Tulane 82.00
gym399 Central Florida -7.0 points over Navy 82.00
gym399 Houston -2.5 points over Memphis 82.00
LrdNorman Texas +7.0 points over Oklahoma State 25.00
LrdNorman Over 54.0 points in the South Florida-Tulane game 25.00
LrdNorman Indiana +6.5 points over Michigan State 25.00
LrdNorman Navy +8.0 points over Central Florida 25.00
LrdNorman Indiana +210.0 money line to beat Michigan State 10.00
LrdNorman Texas +230.0 money line to beat Oklahoma State 10.00
LrdNorman Navy +250.0 money line to beat Central Florida 10.00
McIntyre2K7 Syracuse +625.0 money line to beat Miami (FL) 20.01
McIntyre2K7 West Virginia -9.0 points over Baylor 10.00
McIntyre2K7 Texas +230.0 money line to beat Oklahoma State 10.00
McIntyre2K7 Under 48.5 points in the Temple-Army game 10.00
McIntyre2K7 Rutgers +290.0 money line to beat Purdue 6.66
McIntyre2K7 Kansas +37.5 points over Texas Christian 1.00
TestUser Purdue -8.5 points over Rutgers 1.23
TestUser South Florida -11.5 points over Tulane 1.23
ucscott Purdue -8.5 points over Rutgers 30.00
ucscott Memphis +3.0 points over Houston 30.00
ucscott Purdue -8.0 points over Rutgers 30.00
ucscott Under 72.5 points in the Tulsa-Connecticut game 30.00
ucscott South Florida -11.5 points over Tulane 30.00
ucscott Over 66.0 points in the Central Florida-Navy game 30.00
ucscott Over 57.5 points in the Brigham Young-East Carolina game 30.00
ucscott Oklahoma -13.5 points over Kansas State 30.00
ucscott Kentucky +340.0 money line to beat Mississippi State 10.00
ULhothot Washington State -11.0 points over Colorado 110.00
ULhothot Georgia Tech -6.5 points over Wake Forest 110.00
ULhothot Brigham Young -5.0 points over East Carolina 11.00

As always, use this space to talk about your picks and this week's games.