THE ROBERTSON REPORT - WEEK 5

[Premium site article] It's the SEC East against the SEC West this week.

Well folks, the races will take shape in earnest this week. The strange things is that the preseason favorites to win the west, MSU and LSU, may open with two losses in conference. With so much parity in the West the eventual winner may even have three losses in conference. This week it is East vs. West all the way around. The East plays host this time around, which is a huge advantage. The media is already praising the strength of the East and the lack of depth in the West. Top to bottom the West has more talent and that will be apparent after this week.

The Robertson Report is 21 and 3 after 3 weeks, but we missed the all important MSU/USC game. We probably played about as bad as we could, I hope! I thought our secondary played well, but our front seven looked about as bad as I've seen us play. Our offense seemed out of sync after the Walker fumble. We had over throws and backs not following the blocks. I, like you all, was extremely disappointed. If we play our best and get beat that's easier to take, but to lose to a lower level of talent because of your own mistakes is another deal entirely. That strange thing about it was in years past we got blown out of games like that, so maybe there is some silver lining. I'll give USC some credit though they didn't make many mistakes, but they capitalized on ours. I won't beat a dead horse, but the missed field goal, the fumbled pick by Banks and the Madkin pick cost us plenty. If you reverse those three plays the game is not close. We lost that ourselves, they didn't beat us. The sad news it's still conference loss #1. The USC game was a spark for the rest of the season last year, so here's hoping for a repeat.

Alabama @ USC

Alabama, as bad as they are sit alone atop the SEC west with a 2-0 mark in conference. The sad news is the meat of their schedule begins now. Their offense still looks pitiful and had three scores courtesy of the defense last week. As good as USC's defense is expect more of the same this week from the Tide. USC does not have the talent on offense to win a track meet, so they win ugly by playing ball control and strong defense. Don't look now, but they have the same record as Florida and they've played a tougher schedule. USC will be a force to be reckoned with. If they can upset either UT or UF they may win the East. It would be a pretty safe bet in saying that if USC is 7-1 in conference they will win the East. USC will be looking to avenge a tough loss last year in Tuscaloosa. Watch closely as Cinderella's glass slipper shatters.

USC 24 Alabama 13

Arkansas @ Georgia

If there is a worse team on offense in the SEC I haven't seen them. The 1st game was blamed on 1st game jitters. The 2nd game was blamed on Tennessee. The 3rd game....well, we've got a few problems on offense we're trying to work out. The Hog faithful are getting a little hot under the collar. It was announced that Robby Hampton, the starting QB a year ago, is out for the year. Great for Robby. Who wants to sit through this and waste a year of school? Georgia has looked strong on defense in the early going, but who hasn't looked good on defense so far this year. It is safe to say the defenses are way ahead of all the offenses for the most part. With the exception of Vandy and Kentucky all team's have had bright spots on defense. Look for Georgia to dominate again this week on D, but we'll find out more about them in a week or two. If David Greene can convince Terrance Edwards to catch a few passes this week this one will be down right nasty.

Georgia 35 Arkansas 10

Auburn @ Vanderbilt

How bad is Vandy? They have put up some points, but they can't stop anybody. The Richmond Spiders gave them a game for crying out loud. Stricker and company should be able to find some wide open spaces against the Auburn secondary that still looks real shaky, but they don't have the guns anywhere else to really threaten an SEC caliber team. Auburn imploded in the Carrier dome last week. Jason Campbell had all sorts of problems, but nobody had a good game for Auburn. They are young and were due for a big loss. Look for the Tigers to improve this week and they are getting fat off the same meat the Tide's been eating too......SEC teams on the mend. Auburn will be 2-0 after this week and in 1st place in the west. Just wait til conference call next week. My goodness, I can hear it already. Auburn has too much talent to struggle at Vandy, but they aren't very sound just yet. This one could be entertaining for a while.

Auburn 31 Vandy 23

Ole Miss @ Kentucky

Eli and the Ole Miss Rebels are back in action this week after a 2 week layoff. The lay off more than anything UK does will cause the Rebs some problems. Kentucky looks horrific on defense and there seems to be no signs of any improvement. A lot of teams have looked bad against Florida, but UK has been bad all year. If Eli and company were fresh this would be a huge blowout, but a little rust and having a long time to think about the Auburn loss is a problem. If Joe Gunn can get going it will make times easier for the Rebs while the offense tries to get back in sync. The fact that Ole Miss has been unable to run the football could be a huge problem in the immediate future. Eli can only do so much and the more times he drops back the more times he is going to get hit. The Wildcats won't do much damage this week, but this is an issue to watch going forward.

Ole Miss 27 Kentucky 17

LSU @ Tennessee

This is a huge game for both teams. LSU is the only team in the west who hasn't tasted defeat yet. That will change this week. UT hasn't been that impressive, but they have played tougher competition than LSU has. LSU has looked pretty rough on defense against powerhouses Tulane and Utah State. UT runs with authority, while LSU's previous opponents have thrown religiously. The most telling thing is that these throwing teams had success running the ball as well. Both teams have been off for two weeks which makes the lay off a wash both ways. LSU hasn't shown a lot on offense in the 1st two weeks, but how much do they really have. Toefield is a huge talent, but the front seven at UT may be the best in the nation. LSU will not be able to run on John Henderson and company. UT will make Rohan Davey beat them. He pulled that rabbit out of his hat last year when nobody really knew who he was. You can beat the Vols won't make that mistake this year. If the Vols get more than one sack in the 1st half it'll be a long painful night for the LSU offense.

Tennessee 35 LSU 17

Game of the Week

MSU @ Florida

MSU is mad right now. Florida wants revenge. MSU is looking to bounce back from a game they should have won despite playing well below their talent level. Florida has coasted through the early going as everyone expected them to. Florida wants us bad and we may have looked ahead a little last week. The Dogs have had two days of extra rest and two days of extra planning. This is a make or break game for both schools. Florida may be a little over confident despite what Spurrier says in the media. We ran our mouth a little last year in the papers after the game. Believe me the Gators know it. If they could get 100 this week they would. Jackie seems to have Spurrier's number, but the meetings have been few and far between. How healthy is Zo? Is this a coaches ploy to steal a little momentum? How will Fred Reid respond against his home school? Can Madkin duplicate the success he had a year ago? Can our secondary continue to improve against the mighty Gators?

I wouldn't put anything past Jackie, but I don't think he's lie about an injury. This puts more pressure on Madkin and the WR corps. I thought Terrell played well against USC and seems to always find a way to get open. I don't think Florida can stop the offense that played the last half of the Memphis game and the 1st quarter of the USC game. If that team shows up the Gators are in trouble. I can't see Joe Lee's boys playing bad in consecutive weeks. Look for a huge effort on defense and if the offense can control the clock and win the battle of field position we will win. If we hold Florida under 30 we win. Dontae will probably have 200 yards.

MSU 34 Florida 28

MSU folks, don't jump ship. Even if we lose this week we have the talent to run the table. Outside of Florida, LSU is the only game we may not be favored to win and after they lose two straight to UT and UF there's no telling what shape they'll be in. It's still our year and we may have learned more in that loss than we would have in a win. We can still attain all our goals. With a win this week everyone will forget about USC, much like last year. 9-2 will win the west. In fact, 8-3 might do it this year so there's no point in being down. Get out there and ring those bells. We are still MSU right?

Until next week,

Steve Robertson


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 therobertsonreport@hotmail.com.


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