SEC Showdowns: Forecasting Week 8

Ryan BlanchfieldAnalyst IOctober 20, 2007

IconThere are three very important matchups in the country's best conference this week. Here's a look at all of them...

Tennessee @ Alabama

The Third Saturday in October—this is one of the most storied rivalries in the South, dating back through many years of excellent football.

Tennessee Volunteers

The Vols are in a dogfight for the SEC East, and a win this week would really help them—especially if Florida beats Kentucky.

UT is coming off a decent showing in a 12-point win over Mississippi State. Later in the season, Tennessee travels to Kentucky and has South Carolina at home—two games that should help decide the Eastern division.

Alabama Crimson Tide

The 5-2 Tide are looking for their fourth SEC win, as Nick Saban has brought the magic back to Tuscaloosa.

It took a 24-yard Leigh Tiffin FG for the Tide to beat Ole Miss 27-24 last week. The SEC West is pretty much decided, but a win would probably vault 'Bama into the Top 25, and would make them bowl eligible.

Tennessee 23, Alabama 21

IconFlorida @ Kentucky

This game may well determine who represents the East in the SEC title game.

Florida Gators

Florida is still a very good football team. Some people don't realize that.

If UF wins and Alabama wins, Florida would be in second place behind South Carolina, whom they play on Nov. 10th.

Tim Tebow and the Gators offense will have to take advantage of a subpar Kentucky defense—while the Gators D will have its hands full against a very talented Kentucky offense.

Kentucky Wildcats

UK is obviously one of the favorites in the conference title race, but it will be very hard to get to Atlanta if they lose and South Carolina beats Vandy.

This game should be a high-scoring affair as both UF and UK have rock-solid offenses and unspectacular defenses. I'm anxious to see if the UK defense can step up and give Tebow a hard time.

Kentucky 35, Florida 34

IconAuburn @ LSU

LSU is favored to win the West—but the Tigers had better watch their backs, as Auburn is lurking in the background with only one SEC loss.

Auburn Tigers

After consecutive last-second wins over Florida and Arkansas, Auburn is one of the hottest teams in the conference. Kicker Wes Byrum was the hero in both of those games.

QB Brandon Cox is going to have to make the LSU defense respect the pass, something Auburn hasn't had much success doing. They can't let LSU's defense hone in on the run, because the Bayou Begals' run D is next to flawless.

LSU Tigers

Wins over Auburn and Alabama would seal up the SEC West for No. 4 LSU.

The Tigers are coming off a 43-37 letdown in Lexington against the Kentucky Wildcats. Another loss would likely doom their hopes in both the SEC and the national title race.

In other words, LSU should be hungry.

LSU 41, Auburn 10