The Robertson Report

The SEC races have taken shape with Georgia and Auburn notching dominant wins over division contenders LSU and Tennessee. The Dogs from Athens could all but eliminate the Volunteers this week from the Eastern race, and LSU may find themselves in the also ran category after this week's contest in the Swamp.<P> Last week (4-3) Season's record (32-8)

UAB vs. Mississippi State

It is now the fourth season of our discontent and just when things seemed to have bottomed out we find a new level to fall to. The Bullies dropped one to Vandy who was considered a heavy favorite by most odds makers.

The Bulldogs find themselves as the underdogs again this week as Conference USA favorite UAB visits Starkville with hopes of raining on the Bulldogs' Homecoming Parade.

The Blazers are led by Junior QB Darell Hackney, who may be the most explosive QB the Bulldogs have faced on the season. Hackney has the Blazers in prime position to earn a berth in the C-USA championship game thanks in large part to a big win over Memphis already under their belts.

UAB's lone loss on the season came at the hands of national power Florida State. Hackney and the Blazers are for real. Many Bulldog fans identified this game as the toughest of the non-conference slate and it now appears those predictions were on the money.

MSU will again be without the services of QB Omarr Connor. Kyle York and Mike Henig will split time behind center. The Bulldogs have been plagued with turnovers throughout the season and last week was no different. This trend must change if the Bulldogs have hopes of winning another game on the 2004 schedule.

This week the Bulldogs will be in for another long one. Hopefully the home crowd and more reps in practice for Henig and York will translate into a little more cohesiveness on the offense.

UAB 31 MSU 17

LSU vs. Florida

You'll have to go all the way back to 1996 to find an SEC road contest that saw LSU give up more points than they did last week in Athens. In '96, the Tigers traveled to Gainesville to face Darth Visor and the Gators for their annual beating. The game ended in a 53-13 thrashing that could have been far, far worse.

The Tigers will again travel to Gainesville, but a 40-point throttling is probably not in the cards this time out.

What's happened to Corey Webster? The All-American is getting beat with more and more regularity. The entire defensive team has played well in spots, but last week they looked completely out of sync.

Look for the Tigers to improve their play this week, but with their National Championship hopes on the rocks and their SEC championship chances fleeting, Florida will prove to be too much.

Florida 31 LSU 20

Mississippi vs. South Carolina

David Cutcliffe is 2-0 all-time versus South Carolina, but never has he taken a team with so many question marks to battle with the Gamecocks.

South Carolina will sit QB Dondrial Pinkins and rest his bruised shoulder in favor of Syvelle Newton. Newton appears to be everything Michael Spurlock was hyped to be, so Reb fans take notice.

With Demetrius Summers and Newton pressuring the Rebel defense, that has proved more porous as the season progresses, this one should tilt heavily to the Gamecocks in the second half.

South Carolina 28 Mississippi 14

Louisiana Tech vs. Auburn

Louisiana Tech has never defeated Auburn and this won't be the year the Bulldogs get off the slide. Tech has looked awful in losses to Miami and Tennessee. Auburn is steadily rising as a player in the national scene, which spells even more trouble for the gridiron techsters.

Former Taylorsville standout Jason Campbell has been impressive and has benefited greatly from the play of WR Anthony Mix. Mix has been a big target and has proven to be a quite a load to bring down.

The ground game alone should be enough, but Campbell should have another efficient game as well as another impressive win.

Auburn 38 La. Tech 13

Rutgers vs. Vanderbilt

Vandy finds themselves as favorites for the second straight week, but this weekend may prove to be a tad more difficult than last.

Rutgers surprised Michigan State in week one, but slipped up the very next week to New Hampshire. The Scarlet Knights have been inconsistent, but have been successful throwing the football. This one should be interesting, but the Vandy option game should be enough to win as long as Vandy doesn't turn the ball over.

Vanderbilt 27 Rutgers 21

Alabama vs. Kentucky

UK lost in a bit of a shocker to Ohio last week. Not may folks saw that one coming. Despite keeping it close in the second half, the Bobcats caused UK to turn the ball over at some very inopportune times, which the Bobcats capitalized on to put the game away.

Alabama needs a win in the worst way if they hope to go bowling. The SEC may struggle to fill the bowl tie-ins this season if Alabama can't get it together. The Tide running game should prove to be enough to win this one behind Ray Hudson who should be a star before he is done. The Cat offense is dreadful. They won't get any better against Bama.

Alabama 24 Kentucky 10

Tennessee vs. Georgia

If Georgia can avoid the let down they should have no problem shutting down the Vols. UT will look to bounce back from last week's humiliating loss to Auburn. The young All-Star QB express ran decidedly off against the Tigers. The Bulldog defense is as good if not better than Auburn's, so some more growing pains appear to be on the horizon for Erik Ainge and Brent Schaeffer.

The Vols will look to avoid David Pollack and run the football to keep David Greene off the field. Tennessee can't afford to let Georgia get off to a fast start, but despite some trouble in the early going Georgia seems to be much more formidable against the run.

Look for Greene and company to keep Tennessee in it early, but come on late and put the Vols away.

Georgia 27 Tennessee 17

Well that's the week and the Auburn/Georgia showdown the second week in November looms large on the SEC landscape. There is a lot of football to be played between now and then, but Auburn appears to have a near stranglehold on the West.

Until next week,

Steve Robertson
Revelation 2:10


Steve Robertson writes The Robertson Report for the Dawgs' Bite, Powered by GenesPage.com website. Steve's email address is therobertsonreport@hotmail.com.

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