There are only six Southeastern Conference games on the plate of the Almost Perfect Picks panel of experts, but there really is only one game that doesn’t look like a challenge – for the teams involved and for predictions.Most of the attention has been on Alabama, the nation’s number one team according to the Coaches Poll conducted by USA Today and number three in the Associated Press poll of sportswriters and broadcasters, against 11th ranked Ole Miss. The reason this game has drawn so much attention is because Alabama is known as the Crimson Tide, but has an elephant for a mascot, and Mississippi is known as the Rebels, but has a bear for a mascot. Which brings us to whether there is room for more than one Bear in the history of SEC football. Alabama (4-0 overall, 1-0 in SEC games) is at Ole Miss (4-0, 1-0) for a 2:30 p.m. CDT game that will be televised by CBS – Alabama usually wins this game, just as Bama usually wins every game. But that doesn’t mean Alabama always wins against Mississippi. Although neither of these 2014 versions of the teams has been in a game the magnitude of Saturday’s contest, Alabama has more players, a head coach, and more assistant coaches who have been in these high-profile games. Alabama 27, Ole Miss 17. There are other games this week involving SEC teams ranked in the polls. The SEC West Division has been particularly noticeable in this year’s college football rankings. This week there will be two games other than the Tide vs. the Rebels involving SEC West teams ranked in the top 25. Texas A&M (5-0, 2-0), ranked sixth in AP, seventh in Coaches, is at Mississippi State (4-0, 1-0), 12th AP, 14th Coaches, for an 11 a.m. CDT kickoff on ESPN – Any thoughts of Mississippi State stomping Texas A&M went out the window when State’s stomper – center Dillon Day – was suspended for this game. Everyone expected the annual Mississippi State fade to begin a little earlier this season since the Bulldogs were going to Baton Rouge. But when Mullen’s Mutts came out with a rare win there, there was a thought that this might be The Year. Meanwhile, the Aggies looked horrible against Arkansas last week while State had an off week. This is going against the signs, but hard to forget UAB passing for 435 yards against State. Texas A&M 38, Mississippi State 35. LSU (4-1, 0-1), 15th in both polls, is at Auburn (4-0, 1-0), ranked fifth in both polls, for a 6 p.m. CDT kickoff on ESPN – Neither team’s Heisman Trophy candidate – Nick Marshall at Auburn or Leonard Fournette at LSU – has been all he was cracked up to be thus far this season. This is a huge game, the Bengal Tigers trying to stay in the race, the Barn Cats trying to avenge last year’s loss and make the college football world look at Auburn. Auburn 49, LSU 14. Florida (2-1, 1-1) is at Tennessee (2-2, 0-1) for a Noon EDT (11 a.m. central time) game on the SEC Network – This is not a huge game in terms of the national championship. Or the SEC championship. Probably not for the SEC East. But it is a barometer game. Where are Will Muschamp’s Gators as he fights for his job? Has Butch Jones got the Vols way ahead of schedule? There are things the APP panel likes about both these teams. In spite of the fact we noticed that there are two ‘L’s and only one ‘W’ in “Will.” Florida 28, Tennessee 21. South Carolina (3-2, 2-2) is at Kentucky (3-1, 1-1) for a game that begins at 7:30 p.m. EDT (6:30 central) on the SEC Network – Which South Carolina team shows up? Is it the one that rebounded from a loss to Texas A&M to defeat Georgia, or the one that was unable to protect a lead in the final seconds at home against Missouri? Before last weekend, this looked like a routine prediction, but APP looks for a reasonably tight game. Gamecocks 31, KY Cats 24. Vanderbilt (1-4, 0-3) is at Georgia (3-1, 1-1) for a 4 p.m. SEC Network game – The APP panel didn’t have to re-sharpen pencils to work this one out. As disappointing as the Bulldogs sometimes can be, there is no chance of a letdown great enough to let this one get away. Vandy is the Vandy of our pre-Fanklin memory. It is hard to imagine Todd Gurley getting his uniform dirty. Georgia 52, Vanderbilt 10. For the year, APP is 44-5 on its picks, but only 45-24 on gambling opportunities (the spread and the over/under).
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BamaMagYesterday at 5:34 PM