We are down to the last three weeks of the season. It is the time when the championship picture in the SEC becomes a little clearer (it’s Alabama and Auburn in the West, and South Carolina and Missouri in the East). For the rest, it is about finishing strong in the league and jockeying for bowl position. For the unfortunate few (only one in this case) it may be about a coach fighting for his job. November is never a time in the SEC.
Troy @ Ole Miss
The transitive property shouldn’t be used in sports (Team A beat Team B, so Team C will beat Team B), because it usually is not right. Going to make an exception in this case. Troy got blown out of the water against Mississippi State. Though they haven’t played yet, Ole Miss is a better team than the one from Starkville. Ole Miss runs it up.
Kentucky @ Vanderbilt
Vanderbilt just beat Florida for the first time in the Swamp since the end of World War II. The Commodores are sky high at the moment, and only one win away from becoming bowl eligible (which means those James Franklin rumors are about to go into overdrive). Meanwhile, Kentucky is still searching for their first conference win of the season. The Wildcats have shown some fight this season, which is a testament to their coach Mark Stoops, but Kentucky simply isn’t talented enough to compete with any SEC team right now. Vandy 37-17.
Florida @ South Carolina
When the athletic director has to give a vote of confidence: a) you know you’re in trouble, b) that confidence normally ends with a firing. Such is the case with Florida. Will Muschamp’s squad is 4-5 on the season and have looked terrible so far. The Gators have suffered a rash of season ending injuries, but the real problem has been the offense. No matter who the quarterback is, the offense cannot get out of its own way to even look functional. Next week the Gators have Georgia Southern, which they will win, but the final game is with Florida State. To ensure bowl eligibility, Florida really needs to pick up a win against South Carolina. The Gamecocks have been flying under the radar ever since losing to Georgia. With their big win against Missouri, they just need to beat Florida and wait to see if Mizzou slips up. A lot is riding on this game, but Florida hasn’t shown they can get any production from their offense, and Connor Shaw will be able to manage South Carolina to victory. If the Gamecocks blow out Florida, that vote of confidence may start to waver a little. South Carolina 27-13.
Alabama @ Mississippi State
Since Dan Mullen’s arrival, Mississippi State has played Alabama tougher than any SEC West school not named LSU. While the Bulldogs are always physical with the Tide, they have never been as good, man to man, as Alabama. The result is normally around a three score beat down. State would be lucky if they keep it that close this time. Their only hope is that Dak Prescott can frustrate the Alabama defense. It is known that Saban hates facing mobile quarterbacks, and one day Prescott may be able to show why. Right now, the rest of the guys in Starkville aren’t good enough to help him get it done. Alabama 42-13.
Georgia @ Auburn
The South’s Oldest Rivalry. Georgia comes in with most of its goals off the table. Untimely injuries and a suspect defense have cost Georgia to come up short in the SEC East race. On the other hand, Auburn is one win away from setting up an Iron Bowl to decide the champion of the SEC West. This game came at the right time for Georgia as they will get a few of their injured players back. The question is if, and how healthy, Todd Gurley will be. If he is able to go like he did in the beginning of the season, Georgia can get back to their balance attack and present a real problem for Auburn. Auburn is the best rushing team in the SEC and will look to pound the rock on Georgia. The Tigers have been so good at running the ball, teams think they can’t pass it; however Nick Marshall is efficient at making teams pay thorough the air. This is also a chance to get a little retribution for the team that let him go. Auburn is going to make it tough on Georgia’s defense, having Gurley would help keep the Auburn offense off the field. If he doesn’t play or is limited, Auburn gets the win. Auburn 34-30.