What can you say about Tommy T.? The War Eagles have just simply beaten everybody the experts said they couldn't. He is by far the SEC coach of the year and maybe the national coach of the year. He has completely rebuilt his offense and defended his SEC West crown well. Everyone including me, picked them last in the SEC West. My hat is off to him.
Tennessee @ Kentucky
UK looked the offense many expected all season last week in a trouncing of Vanderbilt. A repeat performance will be a tall order this week. UT is basically in the midst of a two game tune up before the blood feud with Florida. UK has nothing to lose and will come out gunning, but UT is too deep, too strong, and too talented. If UT can win out including the SECCG they have an outside chance at a national championship. They need some help, but a win over Florida and SEC Western champ Auburn should improve their strength of schedule and overall rankings in the polls. This week's win won't help BCS numbers much, but they sure make the stat sheet pretty at season's end.
UT 38 UK 21
Clemson @ South Carolina
This game used to sell out when these teams were horrible. They're both undergoing a resurgence these days, though many Clemson faithful are a little disappointed with the wins and losses after all the preseason hype. USC has become a middle of the pack team in the SEC. They do not have the athletes at this point to challenge for the conference title, but they have the talent to beat any team in the conference under the right circumstances. Clemson still suffers from FSU envy and they thought with FSU down they would just stroll right in to the ACC #1 spot. Things didn't work out as planned, hey cry me a river Bowden. This is a huge rivalry and means more than the bowl games. Look for a spirited game with USC pulling away late.
USC 24 Clemson 20
Mississippi State @ Arkansas
These Bulldogs will attempt to do what no other Bulldog team has been able to do....win at Arkansas. I am impressed with Kevin Fant and he makes most of us feel great about next year. It's good to see some of the younger players getting some work. I expect to see several young players this week and more of the seniors in the Egg Bowl. Arkansas is the hottest team in the SEC. The haven't lost since the Georgia game and have improved every week since. Their offense seems to have gotten it going. Cedric Cobbs still has underachieved, but Fred Talley has come on late. If the Bulldogs can make Arkansas throw the football and stay out of an overtime contest then we can win. That's a tall order. MSU must win the battle of field position in what will be a low scoring game, but I just don't think we're ready to win in PigVille.
Arkansas 17 MSU 13
Georgia @ Ole Miss
The UM pass defense continues to impress and that keeps offenses from stretching the field. If UM can keep UGA in 3rd and long they have an excellent chance to pull out an important win. UM has had two weeks to get over the epic game with Arkansas. It will be interesting to see how they respond, but they are at home and they have the ability to put up a lot of points. The problem is that UGA is very balanced and has a tremendous play action package. Musa Smith is tough between the tackles, but like everybody else this time of year he is a little nicked up. David Greene vs. Eli Manning, what a match-up. I just wonder who called that running play last week vs. Auburn with 16 seconds left. Greene should have had three shots at the end zone, instead time expired. The Rebs will look to avenge that poor play call by Coach Richt. That one play may have cost Ole Miss the SEC West and ushered the Auburn Tigers straight in to Atlanta.
Ole Miss 31 Georgia 24
Florida State @ Florida
This game has lost a little of its luster since it doesn't involve both teams having a chance at big things. FSU has looked like a team on the mend most of the season. Chris Rix has been very inconsistent and Florida is still looking for a little payback, because it's still FSU. The Gators will get to rest up for the Vols after this one, so don't expect to see anyone looking ahead from Gainesville. They get to wait until Dec 1st for the Vols. The last two games don't get any bigger for the Gators. They do need some help, but winning out would certainly throw the Gators into the national title hunt. A lot has to happen, but you could still see an SEC team in the Rose Bowl. Look for the Gators to come out of the locker room throwing it. The FSU WRs and DBs aren't what they usually are. Look for a tough game with Florida poring it on late.
Florida 42 FSU 28
Alabama @ Auburn
With Auburn scooping up all the great instate recruits, life is good at Auburn. BAMA will soon be on probation, the Tide season has been a major bust; you see it wasn't all Dubose. And Auburn is about to wrap up back-to-back SEC West titles. This game would be the icing on the cake and would make for some pretty interesting holiday feuds in the state of Alabama. How could life be worse for the Tide fans? I expect BAMA to come out ready to play. It took a late field goal last year to put away the pesky Tide for TT. Auburn is the better team and they are at home. Bragging rights and influence with instate recruits are at stake and an Alabama loss will be huge for the program. The nightmare continues....
Auburn 27 Alabama 17
Folks the season is rapidly coming to a merciful end for some of us. Good luck the rest of the way to everyone and please travel with care during the next few days. We Dog fans still have the chance to make the Rebs eat a little crow for Thanksgiving, so here's hoping.
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.