The Robertson Report

Mississippi State gets a much-needed weekend off this Saturday before battling Florida. A couple of non-conference tilts are on tap this weekend as well as some mismatches. Last week was a tough week, but this week we can make some hay with only one real toss-up, Arkansas @ Auburn.<P> Last week (3-4) Season Record (35-12)

MTSU vs. Florida

The Gators got a running start last week against LSU courtesy of two JaMarcus Russell interceptions. LSU looked to be on the verge of total collapse when Marcus Randall was thrust into the game after Russell was shaken up on a quarterback keeper. Randall turned the game around and solidified himself as the starting QB for the Tigers.

Florida will get some pretty good tonic for what ails them this week when Middle Tennessee visits. This game was originally scheduled for September 4th, but was rescheduled due to the onslaught of hurricanes.

The Gators should have no problem in this one, but it may take them a quarter or two to get rolling.

Florida 38 MTSU 7

Vanderbilt vs. Georgia

The Georgia Bulldogs missed a golden opportunity to take the driver's seat in the SEC East as well as position themselves for a possible national championship. Those chances seem remote now, but stranger things have happened.

Vanderbilt blew yet another game last week, this time against Rutgers. A few breaks here or there and the Commodores are sitting pretty with wins over Navy, Rutgers, and Mississippi. Instead, they just have to settle for winning the battle for the cellar over Mississippi State.

Although Georgia should have little problem notching their tenth straight over the Commodores, they better get their chins up quick. The schedule gets pretty tough the rest of the way.

Georgia 31 Vandy 13

Arkansas vs. Auburn

Arkansas has put some pretty big as well as unexpected thumpings on the Tigers in the past few years. This is a dangerous game for SEC leader Auburn. The Hogs have had plenty of time to prepare and Houston Nutt's team has been formidable all season despite this being a rebuilding year.

Auburn seems to be very focused and should win this game, but it will be a tussle. Auburn will probably go up early, but let Arkansas hang around. This one could be the best game of the weekend.

Auburn 24 Arkansas 20

South Carolina vs. Kentucky

South Carolina has been on the winning side of this series more times than not. Kentucky is not a very good team and despite last week's misstep, South Carolina is a pretty good team. The Gamecocks will stick with Newton, but hope to avoid the turnovers that were the difference in the game last week against Mississippi.

This one will probably be ugly, but I like the Gamecocks ability to run the ball against UK. The Wildcat offense is horrible, so the Cocks should pull to 3-2 in the conference with Florida and Tennessee lurking on the horizon.

South Carolina 27 Kentucky 7

Tennessee vs. Mississippi

Don't look now, but the Rebels are second in the SEC West and control their own destiny. The Rebs are a game back of Auburn and play host to the Tigers in two weeks after an open date. Despite all that has gone on, the Rebels are still in position to accomplish their goals. The task should be made a little easier with the return of tailback Jamal Pittman, who has completed his suspension for an off-the-field incident.

The Vols pulled another shocker last week and now own victories over Florida and Georgia. There is not another conference game the Vols should not be favored in. The only real test will be the visit to South Carolina. If the Vols don't make it back to Atlanta it will be one of the bigger collapses in recent memory.

The Vols will win again this week and should pull away late despite Fulmer and Cutcliffe being such good friends. This is the first time the two have squared off as head coaches. Fulmer seems to have his kids on task and this weekend is just another W.

Tennessee 28 Mississippi 17

USM vs. Alabama

The undefeated Golden Eagles visit Tuscaloosa where they have not won since Reggie Collier upset the #17 Tide in 1982. The Eagles chances got a lot longer when it was announced that QB Dustin Almond would be out with a hamstring injury. Almond's back-up D. Carter will make his second straight start versus Alabama.

Alabama got some bad news of their own this week, when it was discovered that tailback Ray Hudson was lost for the season due to a knee injury. The running duties now fall to Kenny Darby who can more than handle the job.

Alabama should not lose this game despite the loss of Hudson. Had USM come in full strength it would be a more entertaining ball game, but the Tide's defense should frustrate the Eagles and force some mistakes. With a win this week, the Tide is only one win away from becoming bowl eligible.

Alabama 20 USM 10

Well, that's the week. It looks to be a pretty vanilla week, but the Arkansas/Auburn game should be worth watching. Next week will be a great one highlighted by the Tennessee and Bama game. The media circus will be intense.

Until next week,

Steve Robertson
Galatians 6:17

Steve Robertson writes The Robertson Report for the Dawgs' Bite, Powered by website. Steve's email address is

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