Once again a team from the SEC enters a weekend of college football ranked #1 in the BCS. Auburn hopes to avoid the curse that fell on Ohio State and Oklahoma in consecutive weeks as both teams fell in road games after reaching the lofty perch. Meanwhile in the SEC East, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida fight for a chance at representing the division in the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta.
Last week: 4-2 Overall: 44-18
(Home team listed first.)
Ole Miss vs. Auburn
It is time, perhaps past time, to consider Auburn a legitimate national title contender. Led by Heisman frontrunner QB Cameron Newton, Auburn rolled up over 400 yards of rushing against LSU last week. Ole Miss QB Jeremiah Masoli had a strong game in a loss against Arkansas. Masoli finished the game 21-for-36 for 327 yards and three scores. He also rushed for a team high 98 yards on 15 carries as well. Ole Miss will hope the curse of being number 1 in the BCS will follow Auburn to Oxford this week but they'll need more than luck and wishes to stop Auburn's top players - Newton and DT Nick Fairley. Masoli is a challenge for the Auburn defense but no one has blocked Fairley this year so that will neutralize the Rebel Black Bears' attack. Ole Miss gives up rushing yards in bunches and too many points late in the game to think they can weather the orange and blue storm heading their way. Auburn did not get to this ranking by overlooking opponents (see the way they've smashed the tune-ups this year compared to years past when the Tigers would have cruise-controlled in those games). They won't start this week either.
Auburn 35, Ole Miss 14
Florida vs. Georgia
This is only a rivalry because people tell us it is. Florida has owned Georgia for two decades in this one. This year the game is a tale of two teams passing each other on the mediocre highway in the SEC East this year. The Bulldogs were simply awful the first month of the season but turned a corner reeling off three straight conference wins. However, they still aren't that good. The competition has gotten much more manageable and oddly enough this week isn't that different. Florida's offense hasn't been on track all year (the anomaly against Kentucky still baffles) and the defense hasn't held up in three straight losses. Georgia can run the ball and QB Aaron Murray doesn't make a ton of mistakes. If his offensive line can hold up, the Bulldogs should be able to dictate the tempo. Florida needs an identity on offense because Georgia's defense while not great has improved in recent outings. The Mark Richt resurgence gets a real shot in the arm this week. The Urban Meyer belated retirement party seems all but inevitable.