SEC Countdown: Ole Miss-South Carolina Tops What to Watch in Week Four

Will HarkinsContributor ISeptember 21, 2009

OXFORD, MS - NOVEMBER 17: An overall view of the stadium during a game against the LSU Tigers and Mississippi Rebels on November 17, 2007 at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium/Hollingsworth Field in Oxford, Mississippi. LSU beat Mississippi 41-24. (Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images)

As we enter Week Four of the football season, survival in the SEC gets harder and harder. This week shouldn't be any different.

Let's see what the most interesting games to watch this week will be.

8. Vanderbilt @ Rice

Maybe all Vandy needs is to play another low-level team to get its offense in gear. Vandy has been outscored 38-12 since their opening 45-0 win over W. Carolina. Their defense seems to be doing an excellent job so far, but you need to score points to win the game.

Vandy 38-10

7. Auburn vs. Ball State

Auburn's offense is the polar opposite of what it was last year. Last year, if someone had jumped out on Auburn 14-0 in the first five minutes, the Tigers would have collapsed and given up.

Not this team. They fought back with impressive ferocity and clawed their way to a 41-30 win over a very good West Virginia team.

AU's defense gave up nearly half of WVU's 509 yards of offense in the first quarter, but came up big in the fourth with four INTs, one returned for a touchdown.

This week's game provides a good opportunity for Auburn to recover from a hard-fought game last week. 

Auburn 52-10

6. Tennessee vs. Ohio

Tennessee showed they can fight and fight hard, ending Florida's 30-plus-points streak against SEC teams. This week is a good time for UT to get their offensive feet under them.

Don't forget, though, this is the same Ohio that almost upset Ohio State last year (even though the SEC knows how good the Buckeyes really are).

UT 31-0

5. UGA vs. Arizona State

Man, back-to-back weeks of hard-fought SEC games. It's nice to take a break and play some weak Pac-10 teams. This is UGA's chance to recover.

UGA 38-14

4. Alabama vs. Arkansas

Arkansas has shown some great firepower so far, but where's the SEC defense that is required by all SEC teams? You might be able to throw the ball all over creation against Georgia, but Alabama is a whole other animal.

Maybe they can pull it off and throw for another 400-plus yards and make this game real interesting, but I doubt it.

Meanwhile, the Tide has put up impressive numbers on offense, too, while punishing teams with a very brutal defense. The Tide rolls in this one.

Bama 38-10

3. Florida @ Kentucky

After a lack of production against Tennessee, Florida has reason for concern. Kentucky has shown toughness and firepower at times, plus they like to make habits out of upsetting top-ranked teams in the SEC—just ask LSU. Of course, Tim Tebow has a will that can't be stopped.

UF 42-10

2. LSU @ Mississippi State

This should be interesting. Can State show some defense and stop the Tigers? Can they move the ball and score enough to get the upset? We'll find out Saturday. I think this will be closer than you might think.

LSU 28-21


Ole Miss @ So. Carolina: Thursday, 7:30 PM ET on ESPN

So many questions, so little time. Ole Miss got their highest preseason rank in who knows how long, and so far they've looked good, but play time is over for the Rebels. They are about to embark on their SEC schedule, starting with a trip to South Carolina.

Can Ole Miss live up to the hype and put the Gamecocks away? I don't know. I know it won't be easy, though. The Gamecocks gave Georgia fits two weeks ago in a 41-37 loss that could have easily gone the other way.

Ole Miss will likely get a helping hand from the So. Car. offense, as they failed to convert on seven of their 10 third downs against FAU. I'm pretty sure Ole Miss has a better defense than FAU. Plus South Carolina has racked up an impressive 20 penalties for 195 yards. That should be the nail in the coffin for So. Car.

Ole Miss should remain on upset alert this week.

Ole Miss 21-20