Guess who’s back?
I’m here for Week Six recaps and Week Seven outlooks from around the SEC gridiron.
I dropped another game last week, with South Carolina pulling it off in Oxford. That brings my record of picking SEC games in the past four weeks to 24-2. Not too bad if I do say so myself, including a few upset picks in Bama over UGA and Vandy over Auburn.
Week Six Recap
Week Six proved to be another wild and crazy weekend.
There were not as many upsets, but things were still shuffled enough to bring some interesting highlights.
The Bulldogs got a much deserved week off to regroup after the Alabama game.
I think Richt will have these Dawgs ready to take a bite out of UT’s poor Ol’ Smokey.
A week off helped them make it out of September still unblemished. The question is whether or not they can maintain that unbeaten streak as they travel to the Swamp and look to make it two straight over Urban and the Gators.
Did you rest well? Good. You won’t have any breaks coming up in the next four weeks, starting with a solid Vanderbilt squad.
Tennessee vs. Northern Illinois
I expected an ugly, close win for the Vols, and that’s exactly what they got. I didn’t watch the game, and don’t think many outside of Neyland did either, but I heard Tennessee almost slipped up at the end. Hey, I told you the Huskies would come to play.
The game prediction was UT 21 and UNI 20. The actual score was 13 to 9 in favor of the Vols.
Florida vs. Arkansas
I thought Arkansas would bring more, but apparently there is just no gas left in the tank.
My only disappointment with the game was Florida not cracking 40 points. I thought they would surely do that.
Either way, I predicted the Gators to win by 24 points, 44-20. However, they got it done by 31, with a final score of 38-7.
South Carolina vs. Ole Miss
After securing a solid win over the Gators in the Swamp, the Rebels came out on the short end of things Saturday night at home.
This proved to be an exciting game as Spurrier worked his magic and beat Houston and Nutt and Ole Miss 31-24. I had predicted a 28-13 win by the Rebels. Maybe I should have reversed that “1” and “3” for Carolina.
Kentucky vs. Alabama
I had a pretty good idea that Bama would give up 14 to the Wildcats. What I didn’t know was that Bama would fumble away and botch, literally, opportunities to score for themselves. That really hurt my game prediction, considering they could have had 13 more points.
My prediction was a 34-14 win for the Tide. They won 17-14.
Bama moved on to 6-0 (3-0) and the ‘Cats dropped to 4-1 (0-1).
Game of the Week: Auburn vs. Vanderbilt
I had a feeling Vandy would come out and play and that Auburn would waste away more opportunities this season. My predictions did not disappoint.
Vandy took full advantage of every opportunity and mistake Auburn made. It turned out to be a great game down to the very end.
All along I had predicted a one-point game in Vandy’s favor, simply because they were at home and Auburn has struggled with most games this year. The final score was 14-13, when I had predicted a score of 17-16, perhaps my best prediction of the season.
Okay, now on to Week Seven action!
Alabama has exceeded expectations of almost every logical thinking fan in the nation.
This week off will be great to regroup and refocus on finishing what was started. Undefeated after six games is great, but focus needs to be at directing full devotion to each game, taking them one at a time. That will begin by resting up this week. It’s a long season yet.
Coincidentally, the Rebels of Ole Miss have the week off as well before the showdown with the Tide.
Also of coincidence, the boys from Oxford have surpassed many expectations as well, especially with the huge win over Florida. A 3-3 record (1-2) is already looking better than last season’s dismal performance.
Rest up Rebels—you’ll be facing the nation’s No. 2 team next week.
Arkansas vs. Auburn
The Hogs need something to stop the bleeding, bad!
There were times last week that Arkansas actually looked like they were getting some things straight, but then Florida struck like lightning.
The Hog defense is awful. What can be done to help this team overcome some issues that have mounted both in play as well as in mental aspects of the game?
They have allowed 138 points in the last three games while only putting up 31 points in those three games. So, when you think about it, they have averaged just a bit over 10 points per game in those three big contests. Considering their competition this week, you might think that will be enough to at least compete.
What better way to help the morale than bring in a dismal offense in the form of Auburn?
Less than 24 hours after Tommy Tuberville spoke in his weekly press conference and told the Tiger nation that firing someone in midseason would be nothing short of a major disaster, that disaster has indeed struck!
What will become of this ‘08 Tiger team?
Everyone had such high expectations following last season’s bowl win over Clemson under the direction of the Tony Franklin spread offense. Now it appears they are heading back to square one and will simply pound it out in a physical, Tuberville hands-on approach.
More questions surround this team’s identity and direction than the direction of the nation’s economy. Wow!
Even though Auburn is struggling, Tuberville will not allow Petrino to come home to steal the show and add further distraction to this team.
Game Prediction: Auburn 20, Arkansas 9
Mississippi State vs. Vanderbilt
The Bulldogs are pretty bad.
Croom has his hands full in trying to win another game this season, considering the schedule that lies ahead. He may pull one out against either Middle Tennessee or Arkansas, but he won’t beat this Commodore bunch.
Vanderbilt pulled off the biggest upset in their team’s history. The question on everyone’s mind is whether or not they can keep up their intensity. It is a long season yet, but they can get over the halfway hump this week and move to 6-0 with a win.
Game Prediction: Vanderbilt 20, State 6
South Carolina vs. Kentucky
The Gamecocks managed to upset the Rebels last week. Now they finally have that SEC win under their belt and that monkey off their back.
The quarterback controversy seems to have settled. A good sign of improvement is evident.
The Gamecocks are almost to the end of a brutal eight-game stretch to open the season. I for one believe a win over Kentucky could be the biggest win they could hope for in vaulting them to a good finish this season. However, a loss might do them in for good in ‘08.
The Wildcats put up a good battle in Tuscaloosa last week, but the streak of never winning against Alabama away from home continues to be the story of that series.
I am impressed with what they have done this season.
Sure, they have played some less than average teams, but they have been consistent in many areas.
Their offense is not as good as last year’s, but it isn’t any slouch either. Add in a solid defense, and you have a team that will contend with a lot of really good teams.
Game Prediction: UK 21, USC 18
Tennessee vs. Georgia
This is the worst Volunteer team I can ever remember seeing. However, they always seem to play Georgia tough, so this game could be interesting, but I think it ultimately will not be.
That being said, there are two things that come to mind:
1) There is not much left to say about this team that hasn’t already been said. They're not good, at all. And...
2) This team could be dangerous, kind of like a wounded animal, never knowing what will happen.
Georgia has had the week off to lick their wounds following the Alabama game. If they want any hope of making it to Atlanta, it starts with doing things right this weekend, as they enter their toughest stretch of the year, having to face Vandy, LSU, and Florida in the next three weeks.
I don’t see Richt letting this one get away, though it could be closer than some want to think.
Game Prediction: UGA 28, UT 13
Game of the Week: LSU vs. Florida
I have seen this LSU team play in person once this season. I was impressed with their depth, but I was unimpressed with their intensity at times, particularly to start the game.
I was impressed with their smart play, but I was unimpressed with the way they gave up way too many big plays that should have never happened.
They are the defending champions, which could put a lot of pressure on them to keep the wins coming.
Florida has already tasted the agony of defeat this season. Their response to it is yet to be determined, having only faced the miserable Arkansas Razorbacks.
Tebow has seemed to be their only option on offense much of this season, which helps defenses focus and shut down the Gator attack.
Percy Harvin needs to help, but so do other players, whoever they are on the offensive side of the ball.
Well, I couldn’t imagine the Gators losing two in a row at home, nor to the Tiger team that edged them out last year.
I think these are two evenly matched teams in a lot more ways than people realize.
In Baton Rouge I give this one to LSU, but in the Swamp I have to give the edge to...
Game Prediction: UF 24, LSU 22