The Robertson Report - October 14

What a wild week it was. After two fairly predictable weeks, the SEC had a bit of a shake-up with No. 2 Auburn falling to upstart Arkansas. The Hogs are now the lone SEC Western Division team undefeated in conference play. Whudda thunk it?

With wins over Alabama and Auburn, the Hogs are sitting pretty. Coach Houston Nutt and squad have at least a two-game lead over every other divisional school, but Auburn and the Hogs hold the tiebreaker there.

The Razorbacks will not leave home the rest of the month and when they finally board the plane for South Carolina the Hogs should be 7-1.

Southeast Missouri State vs. Arkansas

The Hogs are running wild on opponents. With over two hundred rushing yards per game, young quarterback Mitch Mustain is not under pressure to make a lot of plays. But he is making his share and each week he looks a little better.

Mustain and crew should have little trouble this week with SEMO. The main objective is to win and stay healthy. The winning part should be easy, but the healthy part you just never know.

Arkansas 35 SEMO 3

Vanderbilt vs. Georgia

Georgia has not played well the past three weeks and last week it finally caught up with them. Tennessee hung half a hundred plus on Mark Richt's dogs a week a ago which I think came as a surprise to most observers.

Vanderbilt has played well, but last week was a step backwards. Six turnovers including one on the game's final play spelled the difference in a 17-10 loss to Ole Miss.

Georgia has some regrouping to do, but they are really having problems throwing the football with any regular success. This week Georgia should survive, but the Dawgs are about to hit the defining stretch of the season and they appear to have more questions that answers.

Georgia 24 Vanderbilt 10

Ole Miss vs. Alabama

The Rebels have certainly been more competitive the past two weeks. The offense is still struggling, but the defense has been very opportunistic. Ole Miss is last in the SEC and 113th in the nation in passing offense. That is a stat that has to start trending in the Rebs' favor if they hope to close well.

Alabama fans were expecting a bit of a breather last week, but ended up in a pretty good tussle with Duke. The Tide has done an excellent job of keeping the ball and controlling the clock this season. A short, physical game favors Alabama, but they need to be sure to make adjustments in the punting game. In the past two weeks Ole Miss has blocked a punt and sacked the punter, both setting up scores.

If you added the total number of sacks together for Alabama and Ole Miss the total would make them 8th in the SEC which would still be eight sacks behind SEC leader LSU. This week rushing the passer will be huge, especially for Alabama.

Alabama 24 Ole Miss 10

Florida vs. Auburn

Ok, I'll admit it. I didn't think Urban Meyer's offense could consistently win in the SEC, especially against the tougher defenses in the conference. I was wrong. Granted LSU did everything to lose the game and Florida took advantage. The Swamp is a very tough place to play and Coach Meyer has made it even tougher.

Ok, I'll admit it. I thought Auburn had what it took to be dominant in the SEC West this season and possibly play for a national championship. I was wrong. Now the Tigers need some help to get to Atlanta for the SEC Championship Game. They will still have a great year, but they have some work to do to get back in the hunt.

I expect Auburn will come out charging this week, but it will be interesting to see how they handle the hangover. This should be a great game that goes down to the wire. With two defenses who play pretty well, it probably won't be an offensive showcase.

Florida 17 Auburn 14

Kentucky vs. LSU

LSU is in trouble. A season that appeared to be set up for a run at a BCS bowl now stands to be one of disappointment. Let's be honest. LSU's four wins have not exactly come against the highest quality of competition, but the Tigers did what they were supposed to do. With a tough closing stretch, could the Tigers lose four games? Or more?

Kentucky is still hanging in there trying to fight and compete. They are 3-3 at the halfway mark which is about where they expected to be. With the same mark in the second half Kentucky can go bowling. The passing offense has improved each week and Andre Woodson looks more comfortable in the new Randy Sanders scheme.

JaMarcus Russell and company will be facing the leagues' worst pass defense. They will open up early and try to hit some long ones. The running game still needs work, but at this point in the season you just need to win.

LSU 38 Kentucky 10

Jacksonville State vs. Mississippi State

It's time to begin again with Mike Henig. Mike took over down the stretch in 2005 and showed some promise. Last week in a loss to West Virginia, Mike came in and moved the football, but saw a sure touchdown pass deflected and intercepted. The play proved to be the turning point in the game. West Virginia wrestled away the momentum and eventually won by a rather lopsided margin.

Henig will certainly continue looking for rising receiving star Tony Burks. Burks has amassed over 100 yards in three of his last four outings and is beginning to realize his potential.

The Bulldog defense will be challenged by Jacksonville State's running back Clay Green. Green has been nominated for the Walter Payton award. As Green goes so go the Gamecocks. Getting him untracked early will be key for the Bulldogs.

Bulldog quarterbacks have been sacked an SEC worst twenty-two times. As the offensive line gels and the young running backs become more comfortable in their blocking assignments that stat should improve. With two scholarship quarterbacks on the shelf, it has to.

I expect the Bulldogs will be able to move the ball with success this weekend. I also believe that Bulldog fans will see Henig's best play to date in the next few weeks.

Mississippi State 31 Jacksonville State 14

Well that's the week. We took it on the chin last week with a 4-3 mark in our picks. The mediocre week brings the season record to 45-7. That's what makes this conference so wild. You just never know when something crazy is about to happen.

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