Florida (4-2, 2-3 SEC) vs. Georgia (4-4, 3-3)
Our game of the week, and amazingly, one that still matters in the SEC race. Despite Georgia losing four straight earlier this year, and Florida currently riding a three-game losing streak of its own, the winner positions itself well in the SEC East, where South Carolina leads but has two difficult conference games ahead.
The Cocks should handle Tennessee at home this Saturday without much trouble, but the next two games are daunting. If the Gamecocks fail to clinch the division at home against 19th-ranked Arkansas the following week, we could be looking at must-win game for Steve Spurrier against his alma-mater on Nov. 13. Oh, and the game is in The Swamp. As this guy sees it, the East is far from wrapped up.
But which team is better positioned to jump back into the discussion? Georgia enters as the hotter team, having won three straight and scoring at least 40 in each of those contests. Florida’s offense bottomed out two weeks ago in a 10-7 home loss to Mississippi State, but they’ve since had a bye week to figure things out and will add RB/WR Chris Rainey back into the mix.
My gut tells me to follow the recent history of this rivalry and pick the Gators, who have won 10 of the last 12 meetings, but the Murray/Green cocktail will prove a bit stronger than Addazio on the rocks. Dawgs 37, Gators 34
#1 Auburn (8-0, 5-0) at Mississippi (3-4, 1-3)
Here’s the part where I heap praise on Cameron Newton and state how impressive his athletic achievements have been this season. Here, I’ll add some hyperbole illustrating both his jaw-dropping athleticism and physical prowess, and point out that the two attributes combine to make him the most unstoppable player in college football history.
Then, like the bitter LSU fan I am, kindly remind the rest of college football that the player you’re so willfully praising is a criminal. When he wins the Hesiman in two months, they should just give him the trophy Reggie gave back.
Now that my purple and gold grapes have reached the requisite level of sourness, here’s the part where I give you a prediction about Cam Newton’s next game. He continues to run roughshod through SEC defenses, doing his best Vince Young impression.
In the battle of QBs who like stolen electronics, Jeremiah Masoli will put up decent numbers himself, because apart from the undeniably monstrous Nick Fairley, the Auburn defense is not very good. Mr. Heistman 41, Rebels 31
Vanderbilt (2-5, 1-3) at #19 Arkansas (5-2, 2-2)
Yeesh, Vandy is awful. Want to know how awful? The Commies offense is ranked last in conference total offense, first downs gained, and points per game. The defense? Ninth in scoring, and 12th in rushing yards and total yards. Arkansas is banged up on offense, but quarterback Ryan Mallett (bruised throwing shoulder) will make the start. Greg Childs and Joe Adams are each nursing ankle injuries and it’s unclear how much either will play, if at all. But given how bad Vanderbilt is, the Razorbacks should roll with or without their top guns. ‘Backs 45, Commies 13
Tennessee (2-5, 0-4) at #20 south Carolina (5-2, 3-2)
Expect South Carolina’s Marcus Lattimore to have a huge game in this one, and for Tennessee’s winless SEC campaign to continue for another week. Could the Volunteers do the unthinkable, and pull a Detroit Lions on the SEC? They couldn’t possibly go winless, could they?
The final three games for the Nazi Vols: Ole Miss, at Vandy, Kentucky. Derek Dooley should be able to avoid the oh-fer, but he’ll be lucky to finish better than 2-6 in his first year. ‘Cocks 28, Vols 10
Kentucky (4-4, 1-4) at #21 Mississippi State (6-2, 2-2)
* A correction before I preview this game, last week I erroneously stated that Mississippi State for having to schedule UAB on the road. That game was played in Starkville.
This is probably one of the better games in the conference this weekend, which should tell you just how bizarre this season has been. Kentucky has lost four of its last five, but they’ve been competitive in all but one of them — a Sept. 25 blowout at the hands of Florida.
This match-up is all about Kentucky’s O, which is one of the league’s best, going up against a stingy Bulldog defense which is only surrendering 17 points per game, good for 3rd in the league. Kentucky quarterback Mike Hartline has been lighting it up lately, throwing for 349 and 353 yards in his last two games with eight touchdown passes.
Dan Mullen has brought his State bunch a long way in his second year, but they aren’t yet at the level where they win every game they’re supposed to. I like Kentucky in a mild upset. ‘Cats 24, Bulldogs 21
Last Week: 5-1 Season: 29-10