SEC Football: Week 7 Preview and Predictions Against the Spread
We are half way through the 2011 SEC season as we roll into Week 7.
Over the the first six weeks the competition has been strong and the games have been exciting.
Expect more of the same this weekend. All five games are SEC versus SEC and could make for a great day of pigskin.
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 (I included my Week 6 picks below):
Record Straight-Up Week 6: 6-0
Record Straight-Up Season: 44-7 (86 percent)
Record Against the Spread Week 6: 3-3
Record Against the Spread Season: 29-19 (60 percent)
Click through the slideshow to see my thoughts and picks on each week seven SEC matchup...
South Carolina Gamecocks vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
The Game: October 15th 12:21 PM ET (SEC Network)
Look for both running backs, Marcus Lattimore for the Gamecocks and Vick Ballard for the Bulldogs, to run the ball effectively on Saturday. Both teams rank in the bottom half of the conference in rush yards allowed per game, each allowing over 145 rush yards per game.
The difference will be in the passing game. Look for South Carolina quarterback Conner Shaw to connect with all-star receiver Alshon Jeffery for several big plays in this matchup.
Meanwhile, Chris Relf may continue to struggle in the vertical passing game against the solid pass rush of South Carolina. The Gamecocks are tied for first in the SEC in sacks, with 13 already this season.
Expect a South Carolina road win in this one.
The Predicted MVP: South Carolina WR Alshon Jeffery
The Predicted Score: South Carolina 28 Mississippi State 17 (line: South Carolina -3)
LSU Tigers vs. Tennessee Volunteers
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
The Game: October 15th 3:30 PM ET (CBS)
If Tennessee QB Tyler Bray hadn't been injured, this may have been a dangerous game on the road for LSU.
However, with Matt Simms playing at quarterback for Tennessee against a nasty LSU defense that allows just 254 yards per game and a Vols running game that averages a horrific -14 rushing yards per SEC game this season, this one could get ugly.
Look for a decisive Tiger win in Knoxville.
The Predicted MVP: LSU DB Tyrann Mathieu
The Predicted Score: LSU 31 Tennessee 9 (line: LSU -17)
Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Ole Miss Rebels
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
The Game: October 15th 6:00 PM ET (ESPN2)
The Ole Miss defense has allowed over 400 yards of offense per game this season. Nearly 200 of that is rushing yards. Not a good sign when you are about to play Alabama and running back Trent Richardson, who already has 11 rushing touchdowns in just six games.
The dominate Alabama defense, ranked first in total defense in the conference, should be able to shut down the meager Rebel offense. Ole Miss is averaging just 274 yards per game, ranking them 10th in the SEC in total offense.
Alabama wins big in Oxford.
The Predicted MVP: Alabama RB Trent Richardson
The Predicted Score: Alabama 38 Ole Miss 6 (line: Alabama -28)
Florida Gators vs. Auburn Tigers
Doug Benc/Getty Images
The Game: October 15th 7:00 PM ET (ESPN)
Auburn and Florida are coming off conference losses last Saturday and both need a win this weekend to keep the season on track.
Both teams will run the ball well and look to get talented backs the ball in open space. The Tigers and Gators rank third and fourth respectively in the SEC in rushing yards per game.
The difference will be the loud home Auburn crowd at night in Jordan Hare Stadium. Florida is being forced to start third-string freshman quarterback Jacoby Brissett again this week because of injuries, and it is asking a lot of him to go into Auburn and beat a top 25 team, on the road, in his second start.
Look for Auburn to win a close battle.
The predicted MVP: Auburn RB Michael Dyer
The Predicted Score: Auburn 27 Florida 26 (line: Florida -2)
Georgia Bulldogs at Vanderbilt Commodores
Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images
The Game: October 15th 7:00 PM ET
Georgia should be on upset alert, because if Vanderbilt is playing up to its potential they could keep this game close.
The Vanderbilt defense is sixth in the SEC in total defense, giving up just over 300 yards per game and they have excelled in creating turnovers.
However, if Georgia avoids fumbles and interceptions, the Commodore offense is poor and Georgia should be able to put enough points with quick freshman running back Isaiah Crowell's legs and talented quarterback Aaron Murray's arm to keep things from getting too close.
Look for a pretty comfortable win for the Bulldogs.
The predicted MVP: Georgia RB Isaiah Crowell
The Predicted Score: Georgia 27 Vanderbilt 7 (line: Georgia -11)