One week of SEC football is past, and with a few exceptions (Ole Miss, Florida, and Vanderbilt) things went as expected. Now it’s time to take a look at this week’s slate of games.
Auburn vs. Mississippi State (Thursday)
Auburn’s offense was very explosive under Cam Newton, while the defense struggled against Arkansas State. Mississippi State looked strong against Memphis in their opener as well. Neither team showed much in the first game, and we’ll all know a lot more about these teams after Thursday night. For the Bulldogs to win, they’ve got to force turnovers and take advantage of the softer parts of the Auburn defense. For Auburn, it’s all about limiting mistakes and letting the offense run at full tempo. It’ll be a shootout but in the end, I give Auburn the slight edge, though don’t be surprised if the Bulldogs get the win here.
Auburn 45, Mississippi State 41
Georgia vs. South Carolina
This one has major implications riding on it, as both teams jockey for position in the SEC East race. Both the Gamecocks and Bulldogs looked sharp in their season openers–Georgia without RB Washaun Ealey or WR AJ Green–and this one should feature a lot of points. The difference in this one will be Georgia’s defense, as they have all but ditched the tentative approach that plagued them for the last couple years and gone to a more attacking style. This will give SC QB Steven Garcia fits all night. It’ll be close early but the Bulldogs will pull away late.
Georgia 37, South Carolina 28
Florida vs. South Florida
Florida looked plain disorganized against Miami (OH) in week one and I’m sure Gators fans are wondering what Urban Meyer will do to right this ship. It’s a test this week against South Florida, who seemed to be on the same track as before under new coach Skip Holtz. That said, Florida’s defense is very good and I suspect that offense will be firing on all cylinders this week. It might be a close first half but Florida will win this one convincingly.
Florida 44, South Florida 17
LSU vs. Vanderbilt
I guess it’s finally time for me to exit the Les Miles/LSU train. That’s a talented team, but I no longer have any confidence he can coach them consistently enough to be anything more than mid-tier in the SEC. Vanderbilt: hats off to you and that coaching staff for fighting hard against Northwestern. All that aside, not even Les Miles’ idiocy can mess up the talent differential for the Commodores to win this game. LSU will win, but does is it really impress anyone? It’s like Mike Tyson after he bit off Holyfield’s ear. Sure he knocked out a bunch of tomato can opponents, but no one was in fear anymore. Same for LSU.
LSU 31, Vandy 10
Arkansas vs. UL-Monroe
Arkansas gets another chance to tune up the band before heading into SEC play next week. Mallett has another monster game.
Arkansas 45, UL Monroe 20
Kentucky vs. Western Kentucky
Kentucky needs a breather after a hard fought win over Louisville in the opener. They’ll get it here. W. Kentucky should have never made the jump to D1 competition.
Kentucky 33, Western Kentucky 12
Ole Miss at Tulane
You know I would have said Tulane didn’t stand a chance against Ole Miss in this one a week ago. I also thought the same about Jacksonville State. The wheels are coming off in Oxford, and Houston Nutt is looking for duct tape to hold this mess together. That stated, Ole Miss has the talent to beat Tulane. But again, I thought the same last week. Hopefully Nutt gets things right this week in New Orleans.
Ole Miss 23, Tulane 14
Tennessee vs. Oregon
Oregon possesses way too much speed for Tennessee to be able to contain. Even with the home field advantage, the Volunteers just don’t have the horses to consistently do anything against the Oregon defense. Oregon’s offense will do way too much for Tennessee to be able to contain. Oregon is going to get a jump in national stature by blowing out a traditionally strong SEC team this week, and they deserve all of it.
Oregon 46, Tennessee 13
Alabama vs. Penn State
It’s an old rivalry and a very interesting match up between and SEC and Big 10 power. The 101K will be rocking the bleachers in this one, but Alabama fans should know this is going to be a fight. Penn State will be fired up and ready for them, and I think they will give Alabama game–for three quarters. After that, Alabama’s superior depth and experience will kick in and finish off the Nittany Lions, but it will be not be easy.
Alabama 24, Penn State 16
Last Week’s Record: 10-1, Overall Record: 10-1