Auburn vs. South Carolina
Auburn won last week, but failed to cover as Kenny Irons got some rest for the heart of the schedule. The Auburn defense has been excellent so far on the season and this week should prove no different.
South Carolina got on track as expected last week and finally got the breakout game from their offense and wide receiver Sidney Rice that they had been waiting for. The additional reps for on again off again QB Syvelle Newton were an added bonus.
This is a tall task for the Gamecocks, but with three very winnable games remaining on the schedule they should have no problems getting to a bowl. This week is not one of those very winnable games.
Auburn 31 South Carolina 14
Tennessee vs. Memphis
Tommy West's Memphis Tigers will take the field minus the sockless wonder Joe Lee Dunn. Dunn, the well traveled defensive coordinator, was relieved of his duties just before the bye week and after a disappointing showing against East Carolina.
Tennessee got to take out some frustration on Marshall a week ago and got Erik Ainge more confidence. Ainge is having a great year and the Vols will go as far as his talented arm will take them. A Memphis team in a state of disorder on defense won't slow him down much.
Tennessee 28 Memphis 10
Alabama vs. Florida
A lot of people talk a good bit about the LSU, Florida and South Carolina wide receivers, but Alabama has a pair that's pretty dog gone good. Keith Brown is proving that he is a player teams need to game plan for and the steady D.J. Hall may be having his best season to date. The competition is more difficult this week and the Swamp is never an easy place to play.
The Tide has a lot of reasons to be up for this game, but you have to think Florida circled this one on the calendar after last season. The home field advantage as well as Alabama pressing a bit should give the Gators the advantage.
Florida 27 Alabama 14
Central Michigan vs. Kentucky
This could prove to be a much better game than it is billed to be. CMU is 2-2, but their two losses are to Boston College and Michigan. They were overmatched in those ball games, but this one could be a bit more to their liking.
If Kentucky has matured some under Rich Brooks this is a game they should win, but if the Wildcats fall back into some old habits like they did with Ole Miss and Indiana a year ago it could get interesting.
Kentucky 24 CMU 17
Temple vs. Vandy
It's hard to believe Vanderbilt, one year removed from the Jay Cutler era, could be a near five touchdown favorite, but they are. Temple has had it's share of struggles. They have only scored ten points on the season, so this one won't be an offensive shoot out.
Vandy has too much and they are a lot stronger at the skill positions than they are given credit for. A break or two here or there and the Commodores are 3-1. They are playing some good football, but seem to be just one big play away from winning a big one. Such as life in Nashville.
Vanderbilt 31 Temple 0
Georgia vs. Ole Miss
We have a good old fashioned Quarterback controversy in Athens. Joe Cox appears to be atop the depth chart this week which bodes well for Georgia. Cox has a personal winning streak that goes back into middle school.
The well dressed Oxford natives are getting more than a little restless with their team's play. Wake Forest came into Rebel land and just flat out whipped the Rebs last week. The team is searching for answers and they can't seem to shake the injury bug.
Georgia has shaken some things up on offense, but this should be a good week to get reps for a lot of running backs. The front wall of the Rebels' defense continues to thin and the offensive line is not much better. Barring an upset this could be the next in a long line of losses before Ole Miss is favored to win again.
Georgia 35 Ole Miss 14
Mississippi State vs. LSU
I can think of a lot of reasons that this game should be competitive. I can just about spin my way into State keeping it close for a while, but I just can't see a win in Death Valley for the Maroon and White.
LSU is still reeling in some respects after losing to Auburn and with Florida looming large on the horizon. The Bulldogs could catch the Tigers looking ahead. The Tigers cannot afford another loss if they hope to make it back to Atlanta. They may drop another and that certainly would be a reasonable prognostication, but this week ain't the one.
The Bulldogs gutted out a much needed win last week on the road at UAB. Never has a win over a Conference-USA team felt so good. The game could be a rallying point for some improvement this season, but it's a tough week to check and see if the Dogs can close strong.
Mississippi State brings in the conferences' most anemic passing offense to do battle with LSU's pass defense which is the tops in the SEC. LSU also has the top scoring offense and defense in the league. Things are tough all over.
Are the Tiger's invincible? Some would have you believe they are, but there is a big #1 next to the Tiger's 3 in the win column. This is a very good Tiger team, but they have yet to prove they are great. A convincing win this weekend won't change perceptions much, but a win in the Swamp would.
LSU has had problems running the football while the game is on the line. Some of that is play calling, but a lot of that is execution. People expected good season's from Justin Vincent, Alley Broussard and even Keiland Williams. The funny thing is none of those three Tiger ground gainers is the top dog.
Freshman Charles Scott leads the Tigers with 187 yards rushing on the season. Four Tiger backs have carried 23 times or more, but they have been unable to find the true bell cow. Maybe Scott can be that guy. Either way I don't see the Tigers making a living running the ball against MSU. The defensive front LSU will see this week will be their biggest challenge to date, despite what some of the pundits print. Just ask Kenny Irons.
The Bulldog have two big problems, stopping the LSU passing attack, which is one of the better passing games in the country, and scoring points.
The State offense has shown some improvement with Omarr Conner at the helm and #14 played well enough to win the last two games. His last trip to Baton Rouge ended prematurely long after the game had been decided. The injury forced him to miss games against Vanderbilt and UAB back in 2004. Two games the Bulldogs arguably could have won.
The State defense will look to improve on it's passing defense and they should get plenty of reps. Games like these senior leadership is invaluable. Players like Deljuan Robinson, Quinton Culberson and Jeramie Johnson must set the tone. An early turnover and some help from JaMarcus Russell could allow the Dogs to hang around, but the Bullpups have not won in Death Valley since some guy named Sleepy Robinson paid a visit.
LSU 38 MSU 13
Well, that's the week. With a 9-1 week last week, we stand 34-4 on the season. This week we should get to pad the stats a bit, but that Alabama/Florida game should be an interesting one to watch.