The Arkansas Razorbacks are the hottest team in the SEC. With wins over USC, Auburn, and Ole Miss the past few weeks it appears the Hogs may make a late run. It is now official, Alabama fans have begun jumping off the coach Fran bandwagon in droves. It is unfortunate, because he can only work with what he has. This Bama program may drop farther than anyone ever suspected. Woody ball is coming to an end at Vanderbilt. The struggling coach turned in his resignation yesterday after another bad year. Here's wishing good luck to all parties involved.
Middle Tennessee @ LSU
I have tried to tell anyone that'll listen that this game will be a barnburner. MTSU is completing passes at a 72% clip and LSU has the nation's worst pass defense. Anyone not giving MTSU a chance its not paying attention. LSU looked impressive last week against Alabama. This game could prove to be one of the more entertaining games of the week. Josh Reed is amazing! Where would LSU be without him. He is the key. Ole Miss found a way to contain him and because of that stole a victory in Tiger stadium. Alabama couldn't even slow him down and they got hammered. Look for a high scoring affair on both sides with the LSU running game settling the matter in the 4th quarter. IF MTSU scores more than 30 who knows?
LSU 38 MTSU 30
Kentucky @ Vanderbilt
This is one of the most evenly matched games of the week. UK continues to struggle, but Vandy hasn't set the woods on fire as of late either. The loser of course will finish last in the SEC East and probably last in the SEC period. I expect Vandy to come out fired up and ready to play inspired football for Coach Woody. This may be the best game that Vandy plays all year. UK is still searching for answers and had it not been for a couple of key plays last week they would have been beaten by three possessions by MSU. Look for Vandy to keep the UK offense on it's heels most of the game. Zolman and Stricker should be able to hook up often against the Wildcat D, so this one may get rough.
Vanderbilt 28 UK 17
Memphis @ Tennessee
Here we go with another big fish game. I understand in some strange way that UT plays Memphis to help Memphis. The Tigers need the money and it certainly helps recruiting when they pull the occasional upset. UT is ranked 4th in the BCS and a win this week won't help that ranking much, but a loss and their national title hopes are definitely over. It took a late field goal a year ago for the Vols to put away a bad Memphis team. This team has a little more spunk and a little more pop on offense. If Memphis can slow down Travis Stephens they have a chance. I don't think it's a good chance, but it's still a chance. If UT looks ahead a little bit this one may get too close for comfort.
Tennessee 27 Memphis 14
Auburn @ Georgia
This one could easily be the game of the week. Auburn has had a week off to let the misery of the Razorback ambush sink in. The Razorbacks helped the War Eagles out last week, by knocking off the Rebs. If Auburn wins 2 of the next 3 they will win the West. The problem is that this is their toughest stretch. They have UGA on the road, the Iron Bowl, and @ LSU. If they come through that unscathed for the most part they deserve the West. They would have earned it the hard way. Georgia's offense has proved to be pretty potent and will have a tough test this week. If UGA can control the line of scrimmage and give David Green some time they should win. I am still not sold on Auburn's offense and I think UGA's defense won't make the big mistake. Auburn has had trouble as of late putting big points on the board. They'll need big points to win at Athens.
UGA 31 Auburn 27
Florida @ South Carolina
This one should be a good one. Florida must win this one to set up the SEC Eastern championship game against UT on Dec. 1st. Lou always has some new wrinkles in big games and this may be the biggest of the year. This may be the biggest home game in decades for the Gamecocks. Last year USC saw something in the Gator punting game that allowed USC to steal away the momentum in the early going, but UF eventually pulled it out. Florida must put points on the board quickly to get the crowd out of it and Florida has not looked impressive in big games this season. They struggled to a win over Georgia and they lost to Auburn. The Gamecocks will have to score at least 30 to win and I don't think they can unless the defense or special teams scores. Look for Spurrier to explode in clips of multiple possessions. If they can score and get a quick turnover and punch it in, the Gators will know what to do with a wounded opponent. The 'Cocks don't have the offensive fire power to compete with the likes of Florida, but Lou may have a trick play or two up his sleeve.
Florida 38 USC 24
MSU @ Alabama
Early in the season I told someone that if Alabama ran that weak option game against us we would pound them like a drum. I still believe our defense will give them considerable problems. They have no true deep passing game and I haven't been impressed with their O-line most of the season. The game will be won or loss with their ability to stop us. Fant looked good last week especially in the 3rd quarter. If Fant plays 4 quarters, I say we handle BAMA pretty soundly. I'm not slamming Wayne, but Kevin has the hot hand and Zo is running well. Justin Jenkins made some big plays last week as well. There are signs of life on offense, but they only seem to surface when Kevin is in the game. Alabama looks horrid in the secondary, so we definitely have a chance to hurt them deep. If Fant plays the whole game we should feel pretty good about our chances late.
MSU 30 BAMA 21
The season is winding down and the beloved Dogs still have a chance at a winning season. It's not the season we all expected to have, but a winning season would mean 5 winning seasons in a row. If we are to have a winning season it will have to be won the hard way, which is on the road. We'll have to beat ole nemesis Bama at their place, the SEC's hottest team at Arkansas, the egg bowl, and the best team west of the Mississippi in BYU. We get the last two at home, but a tough task awaits this weekend. This team still has the same talent that beat Florida a year ago. A sleeping giant could awaken, but he can't hit the snooze alarm anymore. It's now or never. Go get 'em Dawgs!
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 email@example.com.