A bunch of our games this week feature the annual tussle with an opponent from the Football Bowl Championship Subdivision (FCS, formerly D-1AA). The conference games on the docket do have some important bearing on bowls and even the division winners. It will be next weekend before we can can officially say LSU is the SEC West champion. However, the East will be decided this weekend if Georgia can take care of business against Kentucky.
I’m now 55-22 (71.4%) on the year with the SEC picks. For those keeping score, I was 54-21 (right at 72%) at this point last year and I had habitually picked against the number one team in the country. Anyway, let’s take a look at this week’s games.
Kentucky (4-6) @ Georgia (8-2)
Georgia has shown a lot of moxie the last few weeks with the come-from-behind win over rival Florida and the absolute donkey punching of rival Auburn last week. I just don’t see where Kentucky can exploit any of the Bulldogs weaknesses. Georgia wins its ninth in a row and this one propels them into the SEC Championship Game as the SEC East representative.
This game isn’t much of a match up for Georgia. They hold an advantage at every position and assuming they don’t start looking ahead, should be more than capable of sending the Wildcats to a losing season.
Pick: Georgia 38, Kentucky 6
Vanderbilt (5-5) @ Tennessee (4-6)
Vanderbilt needs a win either here or against ACC foe Wake Forest next week to make a bowl game. Hard to believe that I actually think Vandy can get it done this week. Tennessee is so injury-laden it’s hard to not think the Commodores can get this one.
The series has been close the last several years but it’s worth noting Vanderbilt has only defeated Tennessee twice since 1975 (the most recent in 2005). In terms of match ups, Vandy has good balance on offense with QB Jordan Rodgers and the defense can produce turnovers. That spells disaster for the Volunteers who are just too young to do much of anything right now. This should be the best game of the weekend with the Commodores wrapping up bowl eligibility with a victory but it won’t come easy.
Pick: Vanderbilt 28, Tennessee 24
LSU (10-0) @ Ole Miss (2-8)
Ole Miss quit two weeks ago as evidenced by the blowout loss to Louisiana Tech last week. LSU could sleep walk and still maul the Rebels.
Pick: LSU 45, Ole Miss 6
Mississippi State (5-5) @ Arkansas (9-1)
Mississippi State’s pass defense is going to be tested then shredded by the high flying attack of Arkansas. The Bulldogs may fight for a short while but they won’t be able to hang in a track meet with the more talented Razorbacks.
Pick: Arkansas 35, Mississippi State 17
Out of Conference Games
Citadel (4-6) @ South Carolina (8-2)
South Carolina’s hopes of a return trip to the SEC Championship Game may be over, but a ninth win on the season would greatly improve their bowl location.
Pick: South Carolina 27, Citadel 10
Samford (6-4) @ Auburn (6-4)
Auburn’s reeling following a fourth blowout loss this season. The Tigers will honor former quarterback and 1971 Heisman Trophy winner and current Samford coach Pat Sullivan before the game. Then, they’ll proceed to work out some final kinks and maybe frustrations as they cruise to a victory.
Pick: Auburn 41, Samford 17
Furman (6-4) @ Florida (5-5)
Florida needs a win badly and while Furman isn’t a slouch team, the Gators speed should be more than enough to carry them to victory.
Pick: Florida 33, Furman 14/i>
Georgia Southern (9-1) @ Alabama (9-1)
Alabama gets a tune up before playing Auburn next week. Alabama won’t have to show much or do much to win this one even if Georgia Southern is a good team. Fact is outside of LSU, there isn’t a more ferocious defense in the nation.
Pick: Alabama 37, Georgia Southern 0