[Premium site article] Steve Robertson predicts the winners and losers of this weekend's SEC games.

Another week, another loss for the Bullies. MSU has now lost its last 5 SEC contests and six of its last eight. I am not about to sit here and slam the Dogs, but I am very disappointed. Where is the offensive firepower from a year ago? The defense has played well except against Florida and we will no longer talk about that game this year. Outside of that contest, the MSU defense has given up a combined 42 points which works out to 14 points a game. That should be enough to win, but our offense is averaging just under 20 in those games and just over 14 for the season. The pre-season was filled with questions about our defense, but the offense is costing us games. There have been at least 5 plays this year where we needed less than a yard and couldn't get it. I will admit that there have been situations late in ball games when we needed a stop and couldn't get one on D as well. It will nearly take a miracle from God for us to make it to Atlanta. I'm worried now about a winning season. Now even Troy State looks formidable.

The Robertson report is 31-6 picking the winners this year and three of those losses come courtesy of the MSU Dogs. Florida still looks like they're playing against high school kids. LSU looks only a bit better than the Dogs. David Greene is by far the newcomer of the year in the SEC. This 18-year old kid went into Neyland Stadium and with less than 45 seconds put together the game-winning drive that marked the beginning of the Richt era in earnest. USC still looks strong and their offense has suddenly looked potent. They have a real shot against Tennessee and with a win already over UGA, they have a legit shot at the BCS at large bid. There is no way anybody beats Florida, but USC should give them a game. If you remember UF had to battle back last year to beat the Gamecocks. Since we are all but out of the race, the USC drama will be an interesting thing to watch.

Alabama @ Ole Miss

The Tide doesn't lose to Ole Miss. Alabama's offense has developed considerably since their early season problems. Ole Miss still hasn't developed any cohesiveness on defense and this is their 1st true test. Eli will get his yards because UM will be behind most of the time. The cannot run against Bama. If the Tide carries a two possession lead into the 4th quarter, don't expect to see much of Eli like you did against Auburn. Coach Fran will keep him on the bench by running the football methodically against a tired defense. Look for Bama to start fast and finish strong.

Alabama 31 Ole Miss 21

South Carolina @ Arkansas

This match-up of former expansion teams is interesting. Arkansas had some early success in the SEC with a trip to Atlanta a few years ago and USC was always considered the weaker sister. Well, the shoe is now on the other foot and USC is wearing it well. This really isn't going to be much of a game. Arkansas hasn't played well except in non-conference games and they're still questionable on offense. USC doesn't make a lot of mistakes and they have proven they can put points on the board. John Thompson will have some success, but USC is too much for the undermanned Hogs.

USC 27 Arkansas 10

Florida @ Auburn

Auburn may be the surprise team of the West, but they have had a lot of luck on their sides. The luck runs out this week. There will be no blown call on a TD pass in the end zone or blown call on a fumble. It won't come down to that, because it won't be that close. Florida may be the best team the SEC has seen since the Alabama teams of the late 70's. They are dominating on both sides of the ball. The Florida fade pattern is unstoppable and they run their pick patterns to perfection. Their QB nearly always hits his spots and they can afford to take chances because no one can move the ball on their defense. Auburn lacks offense and cannot drive the ball consistently. They depend on the big play and don't have enough play makers to make a living doing that. This one will be over about as quick as they rest of the games this year. I look for Florida to send another message.

Florida 52 Auburn 3

Georgia @ Vanderbilt

David Greene is awesome. This kid has nerves of steel. He continues to impress and if Richt can keep this kid on the field for 4 years they will win the East before he leaves for the NFL. The running game continues to improve with Musa Smith. And Terrance Edwards is starting to display the promise all scouts knew he had. Vandy is still mired in being the smart kid in the class that never gets a date. No winning season or bowl games again this year. Vandy seems to have taken a step back from where they were two years ago. They were one win a way from a bowl game and last year they were riddled with injuries. Woody will not be back next season, but if he could pull an upset or two? Nah, who am I kidding. There is a better change of us playing Vandy in the Sympathy bowl than Vandy beating UGA. I do expect a pretty tight game for a while though. If UGA lets Vandy hang around, who knows. There has to be a let down after UT.

UGA 28 Vandy 17


LSU has now dropped to 114th of 117 schools in pass defense. If I was Guy Moriss I'd play Lorenzen and throw it every down. LSU cannot cover anybody. This is their only chance. LSU is smarting after seeing their media over-hyped BCS chances go down the purple and gold tubes. This is a key point in the LSU season. If they don't come out strong, they could be in a world of hurt by halftime. I know Guy is looking to build a ball control offense, but with Davey banged up, ToeField will be carrying the load. This will be a short game if UK tires to run with it. They cannot score throwing the ball only 20 times a game. IF UK comes out blazing, they will win this game going away, but if they are determined to run the football, LSU will win. I think LSU is in for some trouble, but they should pull it out late. They cannot win coming from behind, but UK couldn't stop me and my kids from playing catch.

LSU 27 UK 14


Troy State @ MSU

Can we win? Who knows anymore. The spread is 26 points. Can we cover? I doubt it. We need an offensive explosion heading into the grudge match with LSU. Will we get it? Hmmmmm? No! I just can't see it. Our season may be over soon if the offense doesn't get it together this week. Our inability to convert on 3rd cost us a much needed road win last week. We need Zo! It is painfully obvious we cannot win without him. He needs to be 100% and if he isn't, he doesn't need to play this week. We need him down the stretch. I look for the defense to improve again. The quality of competition helps, but look for the defense to score and set up a couple more scores for the struggling offense. We should be able to run at will. We need some confidence heading into LSU. We'll get that.

MSU 31 Troy St. 7

Guys, I don't know what to think, but I know we have a world of talent. If these kids play their hearts out the rest of the way and we get some help, anything is possible. On the other hand, if we play as if all is lost it certainly will be. We still have something to prove and an 8-3 season is still respectable as is 7-4. We cannot bury the Dogs just yet, stranger things have happened. Look at it this way the pressure to win the West and live up to the pre-season hype is now gone. Maybe we can relax and play some football now. Madkin has to start making plays and Jenkins and company have to start catching the football. Our line has to finish their blocks. We need a dominating performance from our line this week. We need to go into LSU healthy and with a chip on our shoulders. If we lose to LSU I'll have to close up shop down here in Baton Rouge. I'm not giving up on us making some noise down the stretch, but it's got to start with the offense...right now!

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

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