Look for Georgia to all but wrap up the SEC East with a win over Auburn.
Last Week: 6-1 straight up, 4-2 against the spread
This Week: 58-14 straight up, 31-28-1 against the spread
I have to level with you: this Penn State scandal has made this one of the hardest weeks for me as a college football blogger. It's hard to focus on anything else news-wise, and it makes the importance of the game look vanishingly small. The victims and their families will be on my mind this weekend and on into the future. This is one of those things that doesn't ever leave you.
I also encourage you to take a moment on this Veteran's Day to remember those who have paid the price to preserve this amazing country of ours and make it so we can sleep securely at night. It's a sacrifice that is among the most noble there is.
And now, somehow, on to the games.
South Carolina (-3.5) over Florida 19-6
I've seen this story before. The Florida offense struggles against good defenses, so they throw in a wrinkle that works against Vandy but again falters against a good defense. Last year it was Jordan Reed as a runner and passer; this year it's the pistol formation. South Carolina's defense won't have too much trouble unless Charlie Weis really opens up the passing game, but it doesn't sound like from his comments this week like that's the focus.
Vanderbilt (-13) over Kentucky 20-10
Vanderbilt is favored by double digits in an SEC contest. Yes, it's in Nashville, but still. That doesn't look right now and it probably won't ever. I'm taking Kentucky to cover on sheer guy instinct, because seriously: Vandy is favored by two touchdowns (with a missed PAT).
Georgia (-13) over Auburn 28-13
Auburn is one of those teams that looks great against inferior competition but really lacking against superior competition. Especially at home, I like the Bulldogs' defense to guide the team to a big win.
Arkansas (-14) over Tennessee 44-17
Not one thing about this line being here makes sense. Arkansas has gotten its slump out of its system, and it still has the possibility of forcing a three-way tie at the top of the division by winning out. There's no way they sleepwalk through this one, which is what it would take for them not to cover this spread.
LSU (-41.5) over Western Kentucky 34-0
This feels like one of those games where LSU only throws it 10 times total and just runs out the clock from the opening kick. I have no doubt that the Tigers could name their score here, but I just figure their top priority will be winning without getting anyone hurt.
Ole Miss (+2) over Louisiana Tech 24-20
The Rebels will do their best to fight for their fired coach, while Sonny Dykes will probably leave a business card behind in the visitor's locker room.
Alabama (-18) over Mississippi State 24-9
I think Alabama will have just enough of a hangover and Mississippi State will shorten the game just enough by running a lot that the Tide won't cover this number. I don't expect it to be in doubt, but I don't expect fireworks either. Besides, it's in Starkville, and 55,000 cowbells are bad for a hangover.