Halfway home and the heat is finally on in the SEC. The SEC East has been thrown into turmoil. Georgia was firmly in the driver seat, but a rash of injuries and undefeated Missouri put a stop to that. In that upset, Mizzou lost their starting quarterback for most of the remaining season, putting their championship hopes in doubt as well. Over in the West, it still appears it will come down to Alabama. The Tide’s only real challenge will be LSU in November, but we can’t forget about Johnny Football. If LSU helps the Aggies out it sets them up with a chance to win the West in Baton Rouge. Lot of sparks still to fly in the conference.
Arkansas @ Alabama
Last week Alabama dismantled Kentucky 48-7. On the flip side, Arkansas was spanked by South Carolina 52-7. It was so bad South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier expressed his sympathy for the Hogs. Those scores tell you all you need to know about how this one goes. Alabama 42-10.
South Carolina @ Tennessee
Speaking of South Carolina, they take the trip to Neyland Stadium this week. Tennessee is coming off of the heart breaking overtime loss to Georgia. Tennessee played over their heads in that game, but eventually (even with all of the injuries) Georgia’s talent won out. If the Vols can come out with some confidence from the Georgia loss, they could make this an interesting match-up. Even if they do, I think South Carolina has more talent than Tennessee. But the Vols could make it interesting. South Carolina 31-21.
Georgia @ Vanderbilt
Georgia’s national championship hopes were dashed by Missouri, but they still have everything to play for within the conference. For Vanderbilt, they have a chance to right their season with a marquee win over a wounded Georgia team. Coming off of a bye week, Vandy may be catching a shorthanded Georgia team at the right time. This one should be close. Georgia 34-30.
LSU @ Ole Miss
Last week looked as if LSU’s defense took a step in the right direction. The Tigers smothered an anemic Florida offense. The offense got into the swing of things by abusing the top ranked Gators’ D for 175 yards on the ground. That is not good news for an Ole Miss team that has been in a slump recently. The Rebel Bears have lost three straight and have a laundry list of injured players coming into the game. Hugh Freeze has even said that they will not run up-tempo until the second half to keep players fresh. While this rivalry is typically close, Ole Miss has too much going against them right as LSU seems to being hitting their stride. LSU 34-20.
Auburn @ Texas A&M
Auburn has been the surprised team in the SEC West. The Tigers are 5-1 with its lone loss to LSU. The defense has progressed every week, and their offense can put up points on anyone. Auburn now heads to College Station where the Aggies have not been very good at stopping anyone. Johnny Manziel had to use some his magic to escape Oxford with a win last week. To the Aggies’ credit, when they had to have a stop, the defense did step up. It just has not been consistent enough for A&M to avoid shootouts with equal teams. Auburn is not A&M’s equal, but they are getting better. They will hang around, but Johnny Football will take over and save the day again. A&M 45-38.
Florida @ Missouri
Florida makes a rare appearance across the Mason Dixion line to face the East leader Missouri (who ever though they would see those words in the same sentence). Florida can control its own fate. A win over Mizzou would put the Gators in the leader chair. This is going to be the best defense that Missouri has seen to date, and they will have to do it with backup quarterback Maty Mauk. Gators backup turned starting quarterback Tyler Murphy was exposed a little last week. When faced with a talented defense in a hostile environment he was not able to make the plays to help the Gators win. That was not all his fault. The offensive coordinator Brent Pease came up with a vanilla game plan to take the ball out of Murphy’s hands, and it will probably be the same this week. The Gators’ defense should be able to contain Missouri’s offense without Franklin, but that Florida offense is awful. They may not be able to score enough to get a win in a low scoring game. Missouri 20-13.
What do you think of our picks in the SEC this week? Let us know in the comments!