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By Jess Nicholas, TideFans.com Editor-In-Chief
Sept. 26, 2012
Last week’s record: 9-1 (90.0%)
Season record: 40-4 (90.9%)
The Predictions Dept. should have listened to its gut feeling regarding Rutgers and Arkansas last week, which proved to be the only blemish on the weekly pick schedule. For Week 5, the premier game figures to be Georgia taking on Tennessee, although the Vols appear to be overmatched. Overall, the slate of games is fairly passe.
TENNESSEE at GEORGIA
The Bulldogs’ defense needs tweaking, but Georgia is still the most dangerous offensive team in the SEC East and perhaps the conference as a whole. Tennessee is, essentially, Georgia Lite. The defense hasn’t looked sharp over the last two weeks, while the offense has big-play ability from QB Tyler Bray but little continuity and even less of a running game. If the Vols don’t win this game, any hope of winning the SEC East likely goes out the window. Tennessee can make things interesting for awhile, but unless the Volunteers find a way to make better halftime adjustments on the fly, Georgia will Dawg-walk Tennessee in this game.
MISSISSIPPI at ALABAMA
See our extended preview!
KENTUCKY at SOUTH CAROLINA
The Wildcats are in the middle of a good ol’ fashioned come-apart at the moment, and South Carolina is coming off a dismantling of Missouri, which might have exposed the Tigers as an also-ran in the SEC for 2012. South Carolina needs to concentrate on keeping QB Connor Shaw healthy more than anything else. Unless the Gamecocks absolutely blow it this week, there’s little chance for Kentucky to break the slide it’s own. The Joker Phillips Termination Countdown continues.
South Carolina 35
MISSOURI at CENTRAL FLORIDA
This may be the most intriguing game on the schedule outside of Tennessee-Georgia; as of Tuesday night, Central Florida was the betting favorite. That’s a curious call on Vegas’ part, given the Golden Knights are 2-1, didn’t really challenge Ohio State and weren’t impressive in beating Florida International. Missouri has been hard to figure in 2012; it played Georgia courageously in its conference opener before being swallowed up by the Bulldogs’ superior depth and size. Against South Carolina, however, the Tigers looked like a team best suited to Conference USA or the Sun Belt. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle – and the middle should be good enough to put away UCF.
Central Florida 21
ARKANSAS at TEXAS A&M
This game was supposed to be a competitive affair, a throwback to the old Southwest Conference rivalry these two teams shared and another step along Arkansas’ SEC title challenge run. Instead, the Razorbacks are the proverbial 20-car pileup, and this game is now interesting simply because people want to see how bad things will get in Hog Town. Texas A&M has played just one conference game so far, and acquitted itself well against Florida. The last two weeks have found the Aggies beating up on lesser teams, so this will be a nice test. Can Texas A&M beat a team with (allegedly) better offensive personnel? Arkansas badly needs to win this game simply to keep the buzzards from circling.
Texas A&M 31
TOWSON at LOUISIANA STATE
Someone has to pay for LSU’s sins in a near-loss at Auburn last week. Towson, you’re somebody.
IDLE: Florida, Vanderbilt, Auburn, Mississippi State
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