What’s more fun than us giving you a chance to mock us every single week? In our new feature, Blowin’ Smoke presented by Weston Tobacco, we will do that each and every Thursday. Gabe DeArmond and Mitchell Forde will make five predictions almost sure to go wrong every week in this space. These will range from big games to big picture predictions with a bit of the comedic and absurd mixed in most weeks as well.
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1) Does Missouri end up playing 18 SEC basketball games?
Mitchell: I don’t see how they do unless the league starts having teams play on back to back days or two games in three days or something like that. They’ve already missed two games and there’s only one weekend left on the schedule to make games up. Plus, it would be naive to think they won’t miss a few more due to either another positive test within the Mizzou program or an opponent having to cancel. I assume the SEC wasn’t too concerned about everyone playing all 18 games, otherwise they would have built in some more flexibility.
Gabe: Yours is the only real answer. Unless the SEC makes some schedule changes, I don’t see how it’s possible. Mizzou just missed two games. As the Tigers resume activities, South Carolina and Vandy are still dealing with COVID issues. It will happen to other teams. Missouri may be fine the last eight weeks of the season, but they’re likely to have a game against someone postponed and as of now, there is nowhere to really put those games.
2) As of today, what’s the Tigers seed in the NCAA Tournament (yes, we’re doing this every week)
Gabe: They haven’t played since we answered this question a week ago and I had them as a six seed a week ago. So, for now, I’ll stick with that.
Mitchell: Based off resume so far, if the season ended today, probably a 3 or a 4. If I’m predicting where they end up, I’ll say 7.
3) Next January’s national champ: Alabama or the field?
Mitchell: It’s stupid that this is a legitimate question that I don’t know how to answer. If you actually got even odds, you’d have to take the field just because it’s very hard for a team to repeat as champs, but I would also pick Alabama as the best team in the country entering next season. That’s a long way of saying I’ll pick the field, but in this case the field is limited to about four teams (Ohio State, Clemson, Oklahoma, Georgia).
Gabe: If I was betting actual money I’d take the field because that’s the smart bet. Since I’m betting nothing but my Internet credibility, I’ll take the Tide. In the last 12 years, Alabama has won six titles and everyone else has won six titles combined. So it’s not like you’re really taking a risk saying Nick Saban will get it done again.
4) We know the first pick in the NFL Draft. Who goes second and third?
Mitchell: I have done very little research on this (not that it would really matter since mock drafts typically change a lot between now and April) but I’ll say Justin Fields at 2, Devonta Smith at 3.
Gabe: The Jets have the second pick and they have to go with a quarterback. I think they take Fields, but don’t rule out Zach Wilson from what I’ve seen. The Dolphins pick at three and while Smith will probably be the pick most people want to see, I think they go with defensive tackle Penei Sewell from Oregon.
5) This weekend’s playoff picks
Gabe: Rams (+7) at Packers: I picked the Rams to win this one straight up. I’m really impressed with the defense. Even if they don’t win, I think they cover.
Ravens (+3) at Bills: This is the best game of the weekend. Both teams could have gotten beat a week ago. I think it was a big hurdle for Lamar Jackson to win his first playoff game and I think the Ravens get it done. And we end up with Chiefs/Ravens at Arrowhead…which is exactly what people thought we’d get before the season.
Browns (+10) at Chiefs: The Chiefs have been awful against the spread this year. They’ve won, but they haven’t done so by a lot in the last half of the year. But I am one who subscribes to the theory they Chiefs were simply playing as hard as they had to until the playoffs started. The Browns defense just isn’t good enough to contain KC. I’ll take the Chiefs to cover, though I don’t feel great about it.
Bucs (+3) at Saints: The Saints are just better. They’ve already won this game twice this season. Make it thrice.
Mitchell: Rams (+7) at Packers: Assuming Aaron Donald plays, I really like the Rams here. I don’t think they win this game because they have no quarterback, but I think they’re a tough matchup for the Packers. Jalen Ramsey should be able to slow down Davante Adams, and outside of him the Packers have no receivers that scare me, and I think they’ll be able to hit Rodgers. Packers win a close one.
Ravens (+3) at Bills: This is a tough one. Both teams are flawed but both are playing their best football right now. I guess give me the Ravens. I don’t completely trust Josh Allen to avoid turnovers against that defense yet, and I know on the other side of the ball Buffalo can’t stop the run.
Browns (+10) at Chiefs: That’s a bigger number than I expected, but I have to go with the Chiefs. I don’t think Cleveland’s defense is capable of slowing the Chiefs down unless they make mistakes.
Bucs (+3) at Saints: New Orleans. It’s hard to beat a team three times in a season, but the Saints haven’t just beaten the Bucs twice this year, they’ve owned them. I think this one will be closer but I think the Saints get it done
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