No two ways about it; this slate of SEC games suck. Out of the eight conference games this week, only one is against a FBS team. A week like this is the reason people trash the SEC for cupcake out of conference schedules (even though there are times, like next week, where there are four SEC vs. ACC match-ups). Needless to say, there is going to be a lot of bloodshed this weekend. Even the worst SEC teams (I’m looking at you, Kentucky) are more talented than their FCS opponent. Luckily, there are a few interesting games on the weekend docket. Without further ado: the paycheck games
Western Carolina @ Alabama
Alabama was embarrassed by Texas A&M last week and has put the national title game in jeopardy. Pray for Western Carolina, they will need it.
Ole Miss at LSU
It took eight games, but it looks like LSU has finally unleashed its full offense. For the second week in a row Zach Mettenberger was flinging the ball all over the yard, to the tune of 273 yards and two touchdowns. The rushing totals took a dip, but were still over 100 yards for the game. For LSU, achieving that balance has made the Tigers a very dangerous team to deal with. Ole Miss has to overcome that challenge if they hope to become bowl eligible. The Rebels just needed one more win and let it slip through their fingers with a heartbreaking loss to Vanderbilt. The Rebels had a better chance of dealing with LSU when the offense was stuck in neutral. The Rebel defense has been average at best, allowing 380 ypg. They will need a better defensive showing against the new and improved Tigers.
Wofford @ South Carolina
South Carolina gets to contribute to in-state “rival” Wofford’s athletic fund. Wofford’s also about to get a beating as South Carolina will look to improve upon their offensive progress made last week.
Jacksonville State @ Florida
Florida is without starting quarterback Jeff Driskel for this game and possibly next week against Florida State. Jacoby Brissett takes over the job this week, but it will not matter. Even with the Gators offensive struggles, they will over power Jacksonville State.
Alabama A&M @ Auburn
The future of Gene Chizik is still up in the air. Any Auburn fan that really wants him to get fired should root for the upset by Alabama A&M. That would guarantee a pink slip on Sunday. Auburn is awful! As bad as they are, they still won’t lose this game.
Sam Houston State @ Texas A&M
The Aggies pulled off the biggest win of the season, knocking off the Tide. After such an emotional win, the question is if the Aggies can avoid the emotional letdown. Simply put, even if they do not they will still blow the doors off of the poor Bearkats. Joker Phillips will get a feel good win before his termination begins.
Arkansas @ Mississippi State
Both teams need this game in the worse way. Arkansas wants to go to a bowl game to have some positive momentum going into next season. They have to win their next two games to get to bowl eligibility. Mississippi State came out hot, winning seven games in a row, but has since lost three straight. The Bulldogs need to prove that they are not the sum of a soft first half schedule. Though State lost to LSU, quarterback Tyler Russell had one of his best games, throwing for 295 yards. The Bulldogs should get their leading rusher LaDarius Perkins back after missing the LSU game. All of this is bad news for an Arkansas defense that is pretty terrible at stopping anything. The Hogs have a chance with Tyler Wilson and Biletnikoff Award semi-finalist Cobi Hamilton, but State’s defensive strength is their secondary. This game will come down to the fourth quarter.
Tennessee @ Vanderbilt
A funny thing happened over the weekend. Derek Dooley lost an overtime game to Missouri. Missouri now has more SEC wins than the Vols have had in the past two years under Dooley. Missouri has been considered the underbelly of the SEC East and the poor Vols could not get it done against them. On Sunday it appeared that Derek Dooley got fired, however that claim seems to be inaccurate. However, make no mistake about it; Derek Dooley is done on Rocky Top. The story on this game will be if the lame duck coach can motivate his team enough to finally win another conference game, especially over Vanderbilt. The Vols need a miracle touchdown in overtime to beat Vanderbilt this time. The Commodores know they are close enough to knock off their in-state rival and will probably get it done in Nashville. This could be James Franklin’s live audition when the Vols position becomes available.
Syracuse at Missouri
The biggest out of conference game on the slate (that is not saying much at all) will guarantee one of these teams makes a bowl game. Both Missouri and Syracuse are coming off of big wins; Missouri was able to shock Tennessee in overtime, while Syracuse upset ninth ranked Louisville. Mizzou quarterback James Franklin finally hit his stride in the Tennessee game, which did wonders for the Tigers’ offense. This game could go either way, but it is being played in the Zou, so the edge goes to Missouri.
What do you think of the slate of SEC games this week? Will there be any upsets on Saturday? Let us know what you think in the comments!