The Robertson Report is 17-2 on the year in picking winners. There are only five games on the schedule this week. Expect some rust and some blowouts. Here are this week's games.
Arkansas @ Alabama
This is a showcase of the two worst offenses in the conference. Alabama will not be able to run the option with much success against John Thompson's defense. Expect some wrinkles from Coach Fran to keep the Hogs from teeing off on Tyler Watts. Arkansas has looked deplorable. Cobbs is not getting it done. He is dancing through the hole and not running north and south. Expect to see Talley and Holmes get some carries this week against the Tide. The Hogs passing game is not much better, but with no running game and a new QB it's too much to ask for any team. Alabama looked a little weak against the run. If the veteran O-line from Arkansas can make some holes they may have some success.
The Hogs can't cover Freddie Milons. This should be a huge factor in the game. If Freddie can get some touches early and excite the crowd, it should be their day. If Bama gets up by two possessions, Arkansas will quit. Ken Hamlin continues to impress from the safety position for Arkansas. UNLV and Tennessee ran straight at the Razorbacks and ran well. Neither team could find success on the corners. If BAMA runs between the tackles this could get ugly, but I expect another low scoring affair.
Alabama 20 Arkansas 14
Auburn @ Syracuse
Is Jason Campbell ready for the noise of the Carrier Dome? What's funny is all the media was talking about another young QB from the West all summer and it's Campbell that's making headlines now. Not to mention he won the showdown vs. Ole Miss. Campbell looks ready to thrive, but a tough test awaits in Syracuse. Syracuse looked weak against the run in the early games, but Auburn has yet to develop a bona fide running game. The Auburn defense has looked impressive on the young season, but they face their 1st road test this weekend. If Tubby can win this week many will think the Tiger's are for real. I just don't think they're ready. Look for a game early, but Syracuse will expose Auburn's secondary. I like the Orange late.
Syracuse 28 Auburn 23
Florida @ Kentucky
We need UK to give Florida a tough time. It will be interesting to see how Guy Morriss coaches this game. You know Florida may look ahead to MSU next week, so UK could get their attention early. If Morriss is still set on developing a running game, it could be a long day for the Cats. If Florida gets up early, UK will have to throw, which could be a blessing. I'd like to see Florida's defense on the field a lot. A track meet would suit me just fine. We don't need a blowout that would allow Spurrier to rest his starters. As bad as UK has looked I don't see any reason for the Gators to worry. Lorenzen has the ability to make this one interesting, but they don't have the defense to compete with the likes of Florida. As much as I hate to say it the Gators should roll, but UK will get some strikes.
Florida 42 Kentucky 28
Richmond @ Vanderbilt
After a dramatic loss to Bama in week 2 the Dores need a win. This week they'll get it. Vandy's defense looked better at time against BAMA, but Bama has been so poor on offense it's difficult to gauge. If Woody doesn't string together some wins soon he won't survive the season. This one will help, but it's non-conference. He must have some conference success to keep his job.
Vanderbilt 31 Richmond 10
Game of the Week
South Carolina @ Mississippi State
The Dogs are coming off a long layoff. They should be healthy and well-rested. USC is banged up after an ugly win over Georgia. That game should teach these Bulldogs one lesson, don't shoot yourself in the foot and you can win. USC was fortunate to sneak out with a win after an impressive performance from David Greene, the future of Georgia football. If Terrance Edwards holds on to a couple of more passes this game is not close.
MSU needs a quick start. The good thing is that USC has looked horrid on offense. Derek Watson has been a non-factor. Phil Petty cannot consistently make plays, but if you let them hang around long enough he can make enough to beat you. They have a few guys who can catch the football, but the offensive line was beaten several times on simple stunts by the Georgia D-line. More shuffling is in order with Melvin Paige in the dog house. One would wonder how USC will handle Joe Lee's blitz package. The game will be won or lost with MSU's ability to move the football on offense. IF MSU gets a quick start it will be a blow out. If we start out the way we did against Memphis we may be in trouble. The good news is if we do start slow USC doesn't have the offensive firepower BYU does, so it should still be in reach.
Our kids are hungry for a little payback after letting one slip away last year. USC seems to be confident coming in claiming last year wasn't a fluke. USC has the talent to beat the Dogs if the Dogs don't make plays early. If USC doesn't score early they won't score. I think we'll be rusty though.
MSU 27 USC 9
It is very difficult to predict what will happen this week after all the time off for these kids. No one knows how they'll respond after last week's tragedy. Not playing last week was the right decision. I missed the games, but it was the right thing to do. I think it is important that we play on and that the fans show up to support the teams. If you can get out to Scott Field on Thursday, show the nation what it means to be a Bulldog. Everyone will be watching. Wave your flags and leave the cowbells at home this week. Let's have a packed house and witness our Bulldogs take the next step to Atlanta. How disappointing it would be for our Dogs to play in front of a half-filled stadium. They deserve better. This week is pivotal in the health of our nation.
Enjoy the games this week, then get ready for next week because we've got some great games next weekend as well as the 1st Judgment day in the SEC.
Until next week,
Steve Robertson is a free-lance correspondent who writes The Robertson Report for the premium site portion of Gene's Page. Steve's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.