Make no mistake: This is an elimination game for the SEC East Championship. Both of these teams already have one of the tiebreakers working against them, Georgia from its narrow loss to South Carolina and Tennessee for its defeat against Florida. Even as messy as the SEC East is this year, two division loss is probably one too many.
The game will really serve as a barometer for both of these teams. We think we kind of know how good Tennessee is, and it's probably not good enough to win the division this year, but that could always be wrong. And Georgia has surged over the last fweek weeks, but against teams that are not particularly good themselves, leaving us with the question of how far the Dawgs have come since starting 0-2.
We get the answers to all of those questions tonight. But if you're asking for an early guess? The teams aren't all that far apart, but one of them is about to fall far behind the other in the race for the East.
Georgia 24, Tennessee 21
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Don't look now, but Auburn is in a better position when it comes to the SEC West race. Of course, Auburn hasn't played Alabama yet, but that's still not an outcome many of us saw coming before the season began. For Auburn, this game is important, but Arkansas is literally fighting for its life.
The consensus, though, is still that neither of these teams are likely to become the third wheel in the LSU-Alabama fight that's shaping up at the top of the division. That's proably right, but at least they're going to give us a fun fight for third.
Arkansas 30, Auburn 21
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Is this a margin of victory kind of game? Can Alabama fans assume the win and just sit back and find out how large the score is going to get? Probably. But we all know that it's not that simple against Vanderbilt when the Commodores are having a bad year. And I'm not sure they're having a bad year this season.
Still, beating Alabama seems like a little bit much. Vandy can hang with the Tide for a quarter or two, or at least should be able to, butis a few big recruiting classes away from being able to leave Tuscaloosa with a win.
Alabama 35, Vanderbilt 17