By Jess Nicholas, TideFans.com Editor-In-Chief
Sept. 27, 2011
Last week’s record: 7-0 (100.0%)
Season record: 34-4 (89.5%)
Week 4 got the Predictions Dept. closer to the 90-percent mark for the year, thanks to a flawless week of picks. This week, Alabama and Florida headline the schedule, but Arkansas-Texas A&M and Auburn-South Carolina are both huge tests and difficult to pick.
MISSISSIPPI STATE at GEORGIA
Mississippi State has not gotten off to the season most thought they would have. The Bulldogs lost to what now looks to be a mediocre Auburn team, then struggled to beat Louisiana Tech in overtime. Georgia’s Bulldogs began the season 0-2 against Boise State and South Carolina, but are beginning to turn their season around. Georgia’s Mark Richt has no room for error the rest of the way in; Georgia needs to win every game left on the schedule in order to ensure Richt has a job for next year. Losing to Mississippi State would be a big nail in his career’s coffin.
Mississippi St. 24
ALABAMA at FLORIDA
See our extended preview!
KENTUCKY at LOUISIANA STATE
If Kentucky’s first few games are any indication, LSU will flat kill the Wildcats this weekend. Unbelievable, Kentucky’s Joker Phillips might have leapfrogged Houston Nutt and Mark Richt to become the first SEC coach in line to be fired. Kentucky looks poorly coached, poorly prepared and unmotivated. LSU is coming off a huge win over West Virginia and is angling for the No. 1 ranking in the country. Unless Miles decided to play with five players per side, this one shouldn’t be close.
AUBURN at SOUTH CAROLINA
The Tigers followed up a blistering loss at Clemson with a thoroughly lackadaisical performance against Florida Atlantic last week. South Carolina has played two so-so games in a row, against Navy and Vanderbilt, but the Gamecocks have a score to settle over last year’s loss on the plains. Auburn’s defense is too porous to contain Gamecock RB Marcus Lattimore, but South Carolina always seems to find a way to make these games close. Auburn, meanwhile, is trying to figure out how to avoid starting an “O for October” tour given what its schedule looks like.
South Carolina 31
BUFFALO at TENNESSEE
This is exactly the kind of game Tennessee needs before launching into a run of Georgia, LSU, Alabama and South Carolina. Buffalo hasn’t beaten a Division-IA team yet this year, with its only win coming over Stony Brook. Tennessee will be trying to find a replacement at wideout for Justin Hunter, and the Bison are the perfect foils for that activity.
ARKANSAS vs. TEXAS A&M (at Arlington, Texas)
Talk about your convenient scheduling. The world gets a sneak peak at the Arkansas-Texas A&M rivalry, soon to fire up on an annual basis now that the Aggies have joined the SEC. Arkansas is smarting following its loss at the hands of Alabama, while Texas A&M lost late by one point to Oklahoma State. Both teams have something to prove as they try to worm their way back into the national title picture. This will be the story of two teams with wide-open offenses who can’t stop anyone. Give the edge to Arkansas thanks to superior athletes at more positions.
Texas A&M 31
MISSISSIPPI at FRESNO STATE
Ole Miss inexplicably finds itself an underdog to a WAC team. This is how far the Rebel program has fallen. After yet another loss last week, this one to Georgia, Houston Nutt has to be getting chummy with the various Oxford-area moving companies. If Ole Miss were to lose to Fresno State, the fallout would be immense for Nutt, and perhaps swift as well. But Fresno has looked as inconsistent as Ole Miss, and despite the distance traveled, it’s hard to imagine the Rebels falling to a foe that is clearly less talented.
Ole Miss 23
Fresno State 17
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