Last Week: 8-0
For at least one more time, I'm sticking to my preseason picks. I don't feel like anyone besides Vanderbilt in the conference has two really valid data points so far. LSU is close, but UNC was shorthanded in that game. As always, the games are presented in schedule order.
ARKANSAS at GEORGIA, 12:00 ET, ESPN
The Razorbacks got off to a slow start last week, perhaps as they were looking forward to this game. The Bulldogs meanwhile had a big test at South Carolina that left them feeling good about some things but not about others. This one could easily end up a shootout if the conventional wisdom is true (note: this almost makes it a lock that it won't be). I think that, even on the road where they've struggled, the Hogs still have more firepower even if A.J. Green is somehow miraculously cleared by game time.
Arkansas 31, Georgia 24
VANDERBILT at OLE MISS, 12:21 ET, SEC Network
This week's conference pillow fight. Will Ole Miss's play decline in the second half for the third straight week? Will it even matter?
Ole Miss 20, Vanderbilt 9
ALABAMA at DUKE, 3:30 ET, ABC
I get the feeling that Alabama might come out slow and maybe even allow the first score. That will be the most magic the Blue Devils will be able to muster.
Alabama 48, Duke 10
FLORIDA at TENNESSEE, 3:30 ET, CBS
Even in the first half, Oregon's offense moved the ball freely on Tennessee using the same kind of plays Florida runs. Jeff Demps is probably in for another big day. Tauren Poole is also probably going to have another big day, but Matt Simms is going to find out why UF has eight interceptions in two games.
Florida 27, Tennessee 13
AKRON at KENTUCKY, 7:00 ET, FSN South
The Wildcats have the kind of non-conference schedule that Bill Snyder can really appreciate. Also, did you know that Akron lost to a I-AA team last week?
Kentucky 55, Akron 18
CLEMSON at AUBURN, 7:00 ET, ESPN
It's hard to get a firm grasp on Clemson since the best team those Tigers have faced so far is North Texas. They allowed 222 yards in the first half alone to the Mean Green, and that was before the game got really out of hand. Auburn should move the ball quite nicely, but I think Clemson will rack up some yards too. If Auburn pulls out some uniform gimmickry, go ahead and put it on full-on upset alert.
Auburn 38, Clemson 30
FURMAN at SOUTH CAROLINA, 7:00 ET, PPV
After 37 carries last week, I think Marcus Lattimore earned a week off. If not, then at least a game with fewer than 10 carries.
South Carolina 33, Furman 6
MISSISSIPPI STATE at LSU, 7:00 ET, ESPNU
This is a game I targeted a month ago as the first real SEC upset of the season. I feel even better about it now. Mississippi State's defense appears to have improved over last year, while LSU isn't lighting anyone up offensively again. As long as Dan Mullen doesn't put the game on Chris Relf's arm, I think the Bulldogs can pull this one off even though it's at Tiger Stadium at night.
Mississippi State 24, LSU 21