Original Article Published on SEC Sports Report.
ATLANTA, Ga—I had a good run going with my predictions until last weekend. I was dead on with Bama beating Ole Miss and the Gamecocks taking out the Wildcats.
I’m still trying to figure out how the Bulldogs lost to the Vols so convincingly and why Auburn didn’t show up until the second half against Arkansas.
I knew I was going out on a limb picking LSU over Florida. I really didn’t believe Tim Tebow would play with the recent concussion, but things change significantly when he is in the game.
I’m now 41-9 with my SEC picks, which is 82 percent for the year.
Here are this week’s picks.
SEC Game of the Week: No. 2 Alabama vs. No. 22 South Carolina in Tuscaloosa
Alabama continues to roll over opponents, with their latest victim being Ole Miss in a 22-3 game on the road. The Bama defense forced five turnovers and dominated control of the ball.
South Carolina had a close game with Kentucky and emerged the winner with a 28-26 home win.
The true matchup will be the Gamecock defense vs. the Bama offense. Coach Steve Spurrier must isolate the corners with his tall receivers to keep the game interesting. The Gamecocks will have to keep it a low-scoring game to have a chance.
I like Bama in this one 24-14.
No. 1 Florida vs. Arkansas in the Swamp
Florida is coming off a big win on the road against LSU. Arkansas is coming off a huge win over Auburn at home. It looks like Florida is moving to more conservative offensive play calling with Tebow still recovering.
Arkansas is going to try to light up the Swamp with quarterback Ryan Mallett. The problem is the Gator defense just doesn’t give up many points.
I’m picking the Gators 24-14.
Auburn vs. Kentucky in Jordan-Hare Stadium
Auburn was AWOL for the first half against Arkansas last week, being down 34-3 in the third quarter. Fortunately, the Tigers rebounded and put up 20 points in the third quarter.
Kentucky played South Carolina toe to toe for most of the game. The Wildcats had opportunities but failed to convert.
No way Auburn covers the spread of 14 points in this game. I believe we see another shootout.
Auburn wins 35-31.
SEC East: Georgia vs. Vanderbilt in Nashville
The nicest thing I can say is that Georgia didn’t show up in Knoxville last week. Vandy lost to Army in overtime, so they didn’t do much better.
The Bulldogs players held a closed door meeting trying to salvage the remainder of the season. Vandy always gets up for this game. If Georgia loses this one, look for some staff changes.
Bulldogs win 28-10.
SEC vs. Conference USA: Ole Miss vs. UAB in Oxford
Ole Miss takes advantage of a sizable difference in talent.
The Rebels win big 45-10.
SEC vs. Sun Belt: Miss State vs. Middle Tennessee in Murfreesboro
I like Miss State’s Dan Mullen. He’s been pretty close to winning so far against some decent SEC teams. I’ve got to believe his Bulldogs can win this one, but I think it will be close.
I like the Bulldogs without all the turnovers 28-24.
Should be an interesting week with Auburn and Georgia trying to redeem their teams after losing big SEC matchups last weekend. Alabama will continue to run the score up against the Gamecocks in hopes of getting more votes than Florida in the AP poll. I’ll be watching them all.
Until next time, I will see you on the ball field.
Jay Holgate is an SEC sports analyst, freelance writer, and life coach. He can be heard around the South on sports radio.