Maybe Back-Ups See Playing Time

You can't ask for much more than this year's Almost Perfect Picks of Southeastern Conference football games. Once again, we had only one miss among the slate of games last week, LSU failing to take advantage of its last chance and falling in a shootout at Georgia.

Among SEC teams playing this weekend, there is a notable difference in competition. Alabama is the only conference team playing a non-conference opponent. And it is a laughable opponent.

To be sure, a Homecoming game is supposed to be a game that can be won to please the alumni, but not many Bama alums or fans are happy about the undefeated, number one ranked Crimson Tide playing a game against winless Georgia State.

It should be a game to get a look at some of the back-up men and it should also be a game in which there are plenty of empty seats. We'll end the suspense – the only suspense being whether the Bama defense can get a second consecutive shutout -- quickly: Alabama 63, Georgia State 6.

Georgia (3-1) at Tennessee (3-2) – Both teams are coming off close calls, the Bulldogs having edged LSU, the Vols having hung on against South Alabama. One of these days UT may be back among the big boys, but this will not be one of those days. Georgia 35, Tennessee 24.

Arkansas (3-2) at Florida (3-1) – A lot of Gators watchers think the Florida offense has been improved with the loss of starting quarterback Jeff Driskel and the insertion of Tyler Murphy, but no one thinks Coach Will Muschamp's defense has been helped with the injury to Dominique Easley. Still, the Gators should feast on the Razorbacks. Florida 28, Arkansas 10.

Ole Miss (3-1) at Auburn (3-1) – This is a key match-up that features two of the best coaches in Arkansas high school history. The Tigers had an open date last week while the Rebels were being crushed by Alabama, which slowed Mississippi's hurry-up offense to a crawl. Both teams will want to play fast. Ole Miss is playing its fourth road game of the year. There's a temptation to pick the Rebels, who have some fine young defensive players, but history says a team that loses to Alabama often loses the next week, too. Auburn 30, Ole Miss 27.

LSU (4-1) at Mississippi State(2-2) – The Fighting Tigers had their defense shredded by the Georgia Bulldogs last week, but the Mississippi State Bulldogs are a more docile breed. LSU Coach Les Miles doesn't like having to play Florida as a regular SEC opponent from the East, but that's next week's controversy. This week there should be none. LSU 35, Mississippi State 10.

Kentucky (1-3) at South Carolina (3-1) – The self-proclaimed Ball Coach won't have too many worries this week, so he can probably throw back a few brewskis before the game and still not worry. The Gamecocks have a little mystery at quarterback (and a different kind of mystery about the play of defensive end Jadeveon Clowney), but the Wildcats have nothing. South Carolina 42, Kentucky 7.

Missouri (4-0) at Vanderbilt (3-2) – Missouri is the only team in the SEC other than Bama that is undefeated. The Tigers also are the only team not to have played an SEC game this year. Missouri eases into league play against a Vanderbilt team that seems to have slipped back to ol' Vandy after an exciting 2012 season. This may be the best game of the week. Vanderbilt 30, Missouri 27.

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