Last Week: 5-2
Games presented in schedule order, as always. It's the smallest slate of games yet as only LSU is playing out of conference and Tennessee is taking its customary week off before playing Alabama.
Last year's 34-10 win for the Bulldogs was Georgia's first blowout win over Vandy since 2005. The Commodores won in 2006, lost by three in 2007, and lost by 10 in 2008. It's unfortunate for Vanderbilt that this one is between the hedges, because the Bulldog defense is allowing a touchdown more per game on the road right now. This one would normally have trouble written all over it being a noon hour game, but Georgia can't overlook anyone right now.
Georgia 27, Vanderbilt 13
One of Arkansas's biggest questions coming into this year was its performance on the road, which had been pretty bad so far under Bobby Petrino. The Hogs answered that question in Tuscaloosa a couple weeks ago. I'm picking Arkansas in this one because, while Auburn's run defense is much improved, that doesn't matter much here because Auburn's pass defense stinks. Auburn has more firepower to stay in the game better than last year, but I like the Razorbacks to end the perfect dream for the Tigers.
Also, the rule applies: any game universally expected to be a crazy shootout will almost certainly not become one (WAC games excluded). The winning team won't be in the teens, but I doubt anyone gets to 40.
Arkansas 31, Auburn 27
Prior to the season, I picked this one as a loss for South Carolina because I had them beating Alabama. It looked like a classic letdown game, where a team gets a big win and then goes on the road against a team that's better than it appears. I still kind of feel that way, but Stephen Garcia and Alshon Jeffery have been better than I expected. I think the Gamecocks will win this one (thanks in large part to how bad the UK defense is), but it'll be close.
South Carolina 38, Kentucky 33
For once, LSU should cruise.
LSU 48, McNeese State 3
So yeah, the Florida offense isn't that recognizable compared to previous years. What you don't know is that it was totally done on purpose because of this game. Dan Mullen has inside information on the Gator offense? Not anymore! But seriously, State played poorly in its one SEC road game so far this year and hasn't won in Gainesville since the '60s. Florida hasn't lost three in a row since 1988, and Urban Meyer never has lost three straight. Florida finds a way to squeak one out, especially since Jeff Demps will be back.
Florida 26, Mississippi State 17
The king has been dethroned, and now it's going up against the SEC's biggest WTF generator since Ron Zook prowled the sidelines. Houston Nutt is only 2-5 against Nick Saban though, and I can't imagine the Crimson Tide spitting the bit at home at night. Ole Miss should rack up some points and yards, but I don't see that Rebel defense stopping the Tide offense much.
Alabama 44, Ole Miss 27