Alabama fans find themselves in the unusual position of having to cheer for Auburn this Saturday as the Tigers can give Ole Miss – which has the head-to-head advantage on Bama in the SEC –a second conference loss. The game is also of interest because it is an elimination game for two teams ranked ahead of the Tide in the CFP rankings.
It is unlikely that Alabama can count on Arkansas for help against another team ranked ahead of the Tide, number one Mississippi State, but Bama can take care of the Bulldogs on their own in a couple of weeks. There will also be an eye on the Florida-Georgia game, although that is another unlikely upset. The Bulldogs are expected to be the SEC East champion.
Auburn (6-1 overall, 3-1 SEC) at Ole Miss (7-1, 4-1) at 6 p.m. CDT on ESPN – Mississippi had perhaps the biggest win in its history when the Rebels defeated Alabama earlier this year and the Rebels have a very good defense. But Ole Miss may have a hangover from its poor performance at LSU last weekend. Auburn has some defensive issues, but can score with anyone. Take Nick over Bo. Auburn 37, Ole Miss 31.
Arkansas (4-4, 0-4) at Mississippi State (7-0, 4-0) at 6:15 p.m. CDT on ESPN2 – Everyone says that Arkansas is eventually going to get an SEC win under Coach Bret Bielema, but that may depend on how long he lasts with the Razorbacks. He’s 0-12 in a year and a half after taking over a terrible situation. Conventional wisdom had it that if Mississippi State got by Auburn, the Bulldogs wouldn’t have a chance of losing until playing Bama. Mississippi State 42, Arkansas 17.
Florida (5-3, 2-3) vs. Georgia (6-1, 4-1) at Jacksonville at 3:30 p.m. EDT (2:30 central) on CBS – We may have passed the point of “Will Muschamp has to win this game to keep his job.” The Gators have been nothing short of terrible. Georgia has managed well enough without the Gurley man and the Bulldogs are on a collision course to the SEC Championship Game. Georgia 45, Florida 17.
Tennessee (3-5, 0-4) at South Carolina (4-4, 2-4) at 7:30 p.m. EDT (6:60 central) on SEC Network – South Carolina Coach Steve Spurrier probably doesn’t have the drive to beat Tennessee Coach Butch Jones like he had to beat Phil Fulmer. The Gamecocks will have some trouble with new UT quarterback Joshua Dobbs, but South Carolina was able to put up points against Auburn. South Carolina 35, Tennessee 28.
Kentucky (5-2, 3-2) at Missouri (6-2, 3-1) at 3 p.m. CDT on SEC Network – Missouri is hanging around for the SEC East title that it won last year and Kentucky is playing better than expected, which makes this a game that is likely to be more interesting than it sounds. In Lexington, the Wildcats might have a chance. In basketball, the Wildcats might have a chance. Missouri 27, Kentucky 14.
Louisiana-Monroe (3-4) at Texas A&M (5-3, 2-3) at 11 a.m. CDT on SEC Network – This is an opportunity for the Aggies to show off those offensive stars again without having to worry too much about defense. Monroe has been very dangerous against SEC teams over the years, but this isn’t one of those years. Texas A&M 49, Monroe 21.
Old Dominion (3-5) at Vanderbilt (2-6, 0-5) at 6 p.m. CDT on ESPNU – Ordinarily, this would go into the category of breather, but this Vanderbilt team hasn’t met the team it can steamroll. The only sure bet is that you can get all the tickets you want for this game. Vandy 24, Old Dominion 21.
In addition to Alabama ()7-1, 4-1) , LSU (7-2, 3-2) also has an open date. The Tide will be at Baton Rouge next Saturday.
For the year, the Almost Perfect Picks has a record of 63-12, but against the line and the over-under the record is only 66-47.