Week 3 started off last Thursday night with a hard fought game between LSU and Mississippi State.
On Saturday an Auburn loss, after 17 straight wins, a Vanderbilt win, putting them at a surprising 3-0 on the season, a close call for South Carolina against Navy, and a painful loss for Kentucky against in-state rival Louisville made for an exciting week of SEC pigskin.
It should be no different in Week 4, as there are several big in-conference matchups, including Arkansas at Alabama, and fun out-of-conference matchups, like LSU at West Virginia.
As I do each week, I will preview each SEC game and make a prediction against the spread.
I will also be held accountable for my picks by posting updated results each and every week (my Week 3 picks included below):
Record Straight-Up Week 3: 6-3
Record Straight-Up Season: 26-5 (84%)
Record Against the Spread Week 3: 3-5
Record Against the Spread Season: 16-12 (57%)
After less-than-stellar picks last weekend, I am ready to redeem myself in Week 4.
Click through the slideshow to see my predictions for each matchup...
When to watch: 12:21 PM ET, September 24th
Why to watch: Whether the coaches like it or not, the focus of this game is two head coaches on the hot seat. If Georgia loses to Ole Miss, Mark Richt might as well start packing his bags. If Ole Miss loses to Georgia, Houston Nutt can keep packing his. Which coach prevails?
Who to watch: QB Aaron Murray. The talented Bulldog quarterback has thrown for 672 yards, nine touchdowns and just two interceptions in just three games. Pretty impressive when you consider Georgia has played No. 4 Boise State and No. 12 South Carolina this season. He should do well against an Ole Miss squad that gave up 225 passing yards to BYU quarterback Jake Heaps, also a talented passer, earlier this year.
What will happen: Georgia will soundly beat an Ole Miss team that is reeling from a bad loss to Vanderbilt a week ago. Murray and the Georgia offense will score plenty and the Bulldog defense will capitalize on mistakes from the Rebel offense.
Predicted Score: Georgia 34 Ole Miss 13 (line Georgia -9.5)
When to watch: 3:30 PM ET, September 24th, CBS
Why to watch: Arkansas has been mentioned as the dark horse in the SEC West since the 2011 preseason predictions starting popping out in early summer. Alabama, on the other hand, has been mentioned regularly as a national title contender. This is both teams chance to confirm or deny those projections. It should be a fun game in Tuscaloosa.
Who to watch: Alabama QB A.J. McCarron. The new Tide quarterback has thrown for just 193 yards per game this season. More importantly, he has thrown just two touchdowns and has two interceptions on the year. In his first SEC game, McCarron will need to be effective and avoid turning over the ball for Alabama to be assured of victory.
What to watch: Arkansas has played a light schedule, with a slight test against feisty Troy being the only mild challenge, and may not be battle tested enough. In contrast, Alabama had a big tune up game at Penn State and should be ready to go against quality competition.
This contrast will show in the first half, as the Alabama defense will shut down the Arkansas run game and slow down the dangerous Arkansas passing attack early in the game. Once the Razorbacks adjust to the competition it may be too late to make a difference.
However, in the second half, expect Arkansas receivers to make a couple of big plays and tighten the score a bit.
Predicted Score: Alabama 30 Arkansas 21 (line: Alabama -11.5)
When to watch: 7:00 PM ET, September 24th
Why to watch: While FAU isn't a very good team, at all, it should still be interesting to see how Auburn players and coaches respond after losing their first game in 18 tries.
Who to watch: Auburn DT Jeffery Whitaker. Run defense has been the glaring problem for Auburn so far this season (the Tigers are 116th in the nation in rush defense). Whitaker is a true freshman and is learning as he goes. He has the potential to be a superstar and needs to have a big game against FAU to gain confidence and work towards an improved Tiger defensive front as Auburn moves into the meat of its schedule in coming weeks.
What will happen: Auburn will score early and often and looked much improved on defense against an outmatched Owls offense. It won't be close.
Predicted Score: Auburn 45 Florida Atlantic 16 (line: Auburn -33)
When to watch: 7:00 PM ET, September 24th, ESPN
Why to watch: This is the classic trap game for Florida. An underdog SEC team the week before a game against No. 3 Alabama. Can Kentucky catch the Gators looking ahead?
Who to watch: Florida RB Chris Rainey. Last week Rainey blew up on Tennessee by rushing for over 100 yards, racking up over 100 receiving yards and blocking a punt. Kentucky has several solid defenders, including the best defensive player in the SEC, LB Danny Trevathan. If Rainey can have a big game against the Wildcats, his name should start showing up on more Heisman watch lists.
What will happen: Kentucky will put up a fight early, especially on defense, but the talent of Florida will wake up and be too much for the Wildcats. Florida wins pulling away.
Predicted Score: Florida 37 Kentucky 10 (line: Florida -19.5)
When to watch: 7:00 PM ET, September 24th, ESPNU
Why to watch: This is another trap game situation that could be interesting to watch. La Tech lost to two pretty good teams this season by two points (Southern Miss) and one point (Houston). Mississippi State can not afford to overlook the Bulldogs and look ahead to Georgia next week.
Who to watch: Mississippi State RB Vick Ballard. After a very disappointing game in the loss to LSU (38 yards on 10 carries), Ballard will try and get back on track versus La Tech. If he has a big game, this game will be comfortably won by State. If not, it could be closer than expected.
What will happen: La Tech will make a few big plays on offense, with talented RB Lennon Creer reaching the end zone at least once, but will struggle to stop the Mississippi State running game. State wins without too much worry.
Predicted Score: Mississippi State 38 La Tech 19 (line: Miss. State -20)
When to watch: 7:00 PM ET, September 24th, ESPN2
Why to watch: Could Vanderbilt shock everyone and move to 4-0 on the season? After upsetting Ole Miss last week 30-7 and South Carolina barely pulling out a win over Navy last Saturday, it is certainly possible.
Who to watch: South Carolina RB Marcus Lattimore. After getting 41 touches last week, how many carries will they feed Lattimore this week? Carolina will try and keep it on the ground, as Vanderbilt leads the SEC in turnover margin and have 10 interceptions on the young season. If he produces big yards, the Gamecocks should win. If not, they may have a close battle on their hands.
What will happen: Vanderbilt will play focused and hard, a demand of their new head coach James Franklin. However, at the end of the day, Lattimore and the Carolina offense will be too much for the Commodores to stop. South Carolina avoids the upset.
Predicted Score: South Carolina 31 Vanderbilt 17 (line: South Carolina -11)
When to watch: 8:00 PM ET, September 24th, ABC
Why to watch: It is an interesting out-of-conference battle on a national stage. No. 16 West Virginia is 3-0 and rank seventh in the nation in passing yards (356 yards per game) and 15th in the nation in points per game (42 points per game). No. 2 LSU is 3-0 and is sixth in the nation in total defense (207 yards per game) and 14th in the nation in points allowed (12 points per game). It is offense versus defense, SEC versus Big East and a Top 25 battle. Don't miss this one.
Who to watch: LSU DB Morris Claiborne. Claiborne picked off two Mississippi State passes in last week's victory. For LSU to ensure victory, the Tigers have to hinder the success of West Virginia QB Geno Smith (over 1,000 passing yards in just three games this season) and Claiborne will be a big key in that effort. If he can come up with a turnover and work all game to disrupt the Mountaineer passing game, that could lead to a road victory for the Tigers.
What will happen: West Virginia's running game will be smothered by the LSU defense, but they will connect on a few big pass plays during the game and keep the game in reach. LSU will thrive in the running game and by capitalizing off West Virginia mistakes. Look for a very close game and a road victory for the SEC.
Predicted Score: LSU 27 West Virginia 20 (line: LSU -6)