LSU vs. Alabama: SEC Football Week 10 Preview and Predictions Against the Spread
It is Week 10 of the SEC football season, and the games and hype are the biggest yet.
With epic clashes between top-ranked LSU and Alabama, and a battle between Top-10 nationally ranked South Carolina and Arkansas, Saturday should be a fun day of Southeastern Conference football.
As I do each week, I will preview each SEC game and make a score 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 9 results below):
Record Straight-Up Week 9: 5-0
Record Straight-Up Season: 59-7 (89 percent)
Record Against the Spread Week 9: 3-2
Record Against the Spread Season: 37-25 (59 percent)
In a cream puff game, Mississippi State will rout Tennessee Martin 45-6.
Click through the slideshow to see my picks for the remaining games in Week 10 of the season...
Vanderbilt at Florida
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images
The Game: November 5th, 12:21 PM ET (SEC Network)
The Stakes: This is all about a bowl invitation. Both teams are 4-4 on the year and need to win at least half of their remaining games to become bowl eligible.
The winner will have a probable shot at a bowl game. The loser, while not impossible, will have an uphill battle to get to six wins.
What Will Happen: The Vanderbilt defense is solid and will create turnovers against a Florida offense that has been struggling and dealing with injuries.
However, the Vanderbilt passing game will struggle against a strong pass-rush from the Gators, and running back Zac Stacey's solid day won't be enough for a victory.
Florida, with all of its speed, will make just enough big plays on offense and special teams to escape with a home victory over the Commodores.
The Predicted MVP: Florida DL Dominique Easley
The Predicted Score: Florida 24, Vanderbilt 17 (line: Florida -14)
New Mexico State at Georgia
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
The Game: November 5th, 12:30 PM ET
The Stakes: With all of the suspended players, especially running backs, the Bulldogs hope to just get a win on Saturday and move on.
New Mexico State would love to put an SEC upset on its résumé.
What Will Happen: It won't be close. Even with the missing players, quarterback Aaron Murray and his cast of talented receivers will dominate against a poor Aggies defense.
The Georgia defense will play hard and squash the hope out of the New Mexico State offensive attack early on.
Georgia wins big at home.
The Predicted MVP: Georgia QB Aaron Murray
The Predicted Score: Georgia 40, New Mexico State 6 (line: Georgia -32)
Ole Miss at Kentucky
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The Game: November 5th, 3:30 PM ET (ESPNU)
The Stakes: Ole Miss needs a win, any win, as its record stands at 2-6 overall and 0-5 in the SEC. The Rebels' only victories are against Southern Illinois and Fresno State. An SEC win would at least give them something to build on for next season.
Kentucky needs the win to have any shot at a run for a bowl invitation. The Wildcats have three wins now, and this could make it four. With four wins and games against Vanderbilt and Tennessee still on the schedule, a bowl game is not impossible.
What Will Happen: Ole Miss will have enough offense, including a nice rushing total from Brandon Bolden and Jeff Scott, and edge out a Kentucky team that will struggle, once again, to put points on the board.
The Predicted MVP: Ole Miss RB Brandon Bolden
The Predicted Score: Ole Miss 28, Kentucky 13 (line: Ole Miss -1)
Middle Tennessee at Tennessee
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
The Game: November 5th, 7:00 PM ET
The Stakes: Tennessee will win this football game. However, it needs to use this game to iron out the kinks on offense. The Volunteers' rush and pass game, since losing starting quarterback Tyler Bray, has been horrific. This will give them a chance, against a lighter defense, to gain some confidence.
What Will Happen: Tennessee will run the ball well and play solid defense again this week. It will be enough for them to win by at least three touchdowns.
The Predicted MVP: Tennessee RB Tauren Poole
The Predicted Score: Tennessee 34, Middle Tennessee 13 (line: Tennessee -20)
South Carolina at Arkansas
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
The Game: November 5th, 7:15 PM ET (ESPN)
The Stakes: While this game has been somewhat hidden behind the epic game between LSU and Alabama, it is a major matchup between two Top-10 nationally ranked teams.
The winner of this game will literally be in the national championship race, as they will be 8-1 and ranked in the top six or seven in the nation.
If Arkansas wins, they have a game left against LSU that could change the SEC West. If South Carolina wins, they will lock down an SEC title game appearance and get a shot at the top West team in Atlanta.
What Will Happen: The Razorbacks have been sluggish in their last two games, and it will catch up with them against a good Gamecocks squad. South Carolina will miss Marcus Lattimore, but still have star wideout Alshon Jeffery and a backup running back who scampered for 138 yards against Tennessee last weekend.
The biggest key, though, will be the Gamecocks defense slowing down the Razorbacks offense, including star quarterback Tyler Wilson and the prolific Arkansas receivers, just enough to earn a huge road victory.
The Predicted MVP: South Carolina DE Melvin Ingram
The Predicted Score: South Carolina 31, Arkansas 30 (line: Arkansas -5)
LSU at Alabama
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
The Game: November 5th, 8:00 PM ET (CBS)
The Stakes: This is one of the bigger games in the history of the SEC, so obviously there is a lot riding on this matchup.
The winner will be ranked No. 1 in the nation and be the odds-on favorite to win the national title. The stakes don't get much bigger than that.
What Will Happen: The Alabama home crowd will be loud and disruptive early on, and the Crimson Tide will take an early lead behind the hard running of running back Trent Richardson and the big and hard-hitting 'Bama defense.
Then watch for the aggressive LSU defense to pressure Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron into mistakes and at least one key turnover that changes the momentum in the ball game.
From there, LSU will then turn to its dangerous offensive weapons, like wideouts Reuben Randle and Russell Sheppard and running back Spencer Ware, and turn a couple of big offensive plays into the game-winning drive.
A very close and hard-fought win for the road team.
The Predicted MVP: LSU DE Sam Montgomery
The Predicted Score: LSU 21, Alabama 20 (line: Alabama- 4.5)