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SEC Week Eight Previews and Picks

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Arkansas at Ole Miss
Arkansas continues to improve at a much faster rate than their talent allows for. After blowing out Auburn and fighting Florida before succumbing in the end, the Razorbacks are due a let down in a game. Ole Miss’s offense has been less than spectacular, but the defense is solid and good against the pass. Turnovers will be the key to this game and I think Ole Miss will make enough plays to get by an up and coming Arkansas team. Ole Miss 27, Arkansas 24. This game is televised on SEC Network (check local listings) at 12:21 p.m. ET.

Tennessee at Alabama
The third Saturday in October can best be understood as a game of hate. Just ask this guy. Tennessee had an off week after blasting Georgia (finally finding some offense to go with a decent defense) and the Vols nation would love nothing more than to play spoiler here. Alabama’s defense is top notch in every way. The running game is excellent while the passing game needs more consistency. Alabama won’t need to throw to beat Tennessee as the Vols won’t be able to handle Mark Ingram and the very good Tide offensive line. It’ll be close early, but get out of hand late. Alabama 31, Tennessee 6. This game is televised on CBS at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Vanderbilt at South Carolina
South Carolina is the second best team in the SEC East so far. The defense is good and the offense works well enough especially against lesser defenses. Vanderbilt is not really good at offense or defense. The Gamecocks strut in this one. South Carolina 27, Vanderbilt 7. This game is televised on ESPNU at 7 p.m. ET.

Louisiana Monroe at Kentucky
Without looking, which team has the better record? That’s right – the Warhawks of La. Monroe. Of course, they didn’t play three ranked teams in a row – all losses – like the Wildcats did. Kentucky comes off an emotional (if surprising) win against Auburn and returns home to take on this common (to the SEC) foe from the Sun Belt. La. Monroe is no pushover and will test Kentucky, but the ‘Cats run game should be enough to get the win here and move them above .500. In the end, Kentucky still has better players on the team than La. Monroe and that’s difference enough to matter. Kentucky 26, La. Monroe 20. This game is televised on FSN at 7 p.m. ET.

Florida at Mississippi State
Tim Tebow and the Gators take on former OC Dan Mullen and his rebuild project in Mississippi State. MSU’s defense has progressively played better as the offense has started to come around some. Florida has played it close to the vest for several weeks (for varied reasons). I look at this game similar to the Gators matchup with Kentucky – Florida has way better athletes at every position (with the exception being RB). Coupled with their speed on defense and familiarity with the scheme, the Gators will roll here. Florida 44, Mississippi State 10. This game is televised on ESPN at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Auburn at LSU
Auburn’s offense has gone in the tank the last two weeks and put a thin defense in bad position leading to two straight losses in the conference. LSU’s defense is good, but the offense is a huge disappointment, especially the running game. Conventional wisdom says LSU, at home, will blow Auburn out as the Tigers have snoozed through the last two games. However, the games in this series have been close for many years and I expect nothing less this week. In the end, Auburn can’t stop any team, even a bad offense and LSU can stop teams, especially bad offenses. LSU 17, Auburn 10. This game is televised on ESPN2 at 7:30 p.m. ET.

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