Four of the conference’s unbeaten teams prepare to square off with one another as SEC conference play ramps up for October.
My record on the year for SEC picks is 44-5. Here’s a look at this week’s games.
LSU (5-0) @ Florida (4-0)
LSU has been sleepwalking through the last couple of games and the doubters are out in force wondering if the cracks in the dam are real and if we are witnessing the last gasps from a team that’s spent a lot of time at or near the top of the SEC in the last decade. Florida has surprised many with a ferocious defense and an offense that seems to grow more confident with each pummeling win.
Here’s the deal. Florida’s defensive acumen is well deserved though they haven’t played a team as adept at running the ball and physically controlling the line of scrimmage like LSU does. Factor in Florida’s slow burn offense against LSU’s smothering defense, and the advantage leans ever so slightly to LSU.
This should be a close, hard-hitting game, but LSU’s experience and the aforementioned matchup advantages give the Tigers the edge.
LSU 23, Florida 21
Georgia (5-0) @ South Carolina (5-0)
If things go as I predict in the LSU-Florida game, Georgia could just about wrap up the SEC East with a win this weekend, but it won’t come easy.
Both of these teams have destructive defensive fronts. Both sport offenses with explosive players in the backfield. So where’s the advantage? Georgia’s overall experience. The Bulldogs team is largely composed of a lot of guys who have fought, lost, got up, and fought better the next time together. South Carolina has grown into a very formidable opponent week in and week out, but they are still missing experience or enough depth for me to feel comfortable picking the Gamecocks in this contest.
It will probably remain close but in the end, Georgia’s playmakers and experience should lead the Bulldogs to a win and one step closer to the SEC East crown.
Georgia 31, South Carolina 24
Arkansas (1-4) @ Auburn (1-3)
Aside from all the hyperbole you will see out there about the hot seat under the Arkansas’ Athletic Department or what may be the future of Auburn coach Gene Chizik, there’s actually “football” reasons for my pick this week. And here it is: big plays.
Arkansas has got the players to make them and Auburn’s defense has been known to give them up to opponents. Yes, Arkansas’ defense is not something to behold but neither is Auburn’s offense.
I expect it will be a close, rather ugly game, but Arkansas’ playmakers will be enough for the slightest of differences for both of these floundering SEC West teams.
Arkansas 21, Auburn 17
Texas A&M (3-1) @ Ole Miss (3-2)
Give credit where it is due. Hugh Freeze has done a lot with an Ole Miss team that seemed to lack talent last year. Kevin Sumlin has done quite well in his first year at Texas A&M as well and that team is clicking on all cylinders. This should be a fun game to watch if you like offense. The difference in the game is going to be the Aggies’ defense, which should find a way to stop Ole Miss more than the Rebels’ defense will be able to stop Texas A&M. The Aggies will win the shootout and notch another SEC West win.
Texas A&M 34, Ole Miss 24
Mississippi State (4-0) @ Kentucky (1-4)
Mississippi State needs to get off the bus and act interested if they want to win this one because Kentucky will show up to play. Unfortunately for Kentucky, they just don’t have the personnel for any advantages here. Expect the visiting Bulldogs to carve big running holes through the porous Wildcats defense.
Mississippi State 30, Kentucky 17
Vanderbilt (1-3) @ Missouri (3-2)
Missouri seems to have stopped the leaking in the ship and have reeled off a couple of big wins out of the conference. Vanderbilt has regressed each week since the opener, especially on offense. In this game, that’s bound to hurt because Missouri can move the ball effectively. If Missouri controls turnovers and keeps balance on the attack, the Tigers will notch a home win in the conference.
Missouri 23, Vanderbilt 16Powered by Sidelines