By Jess Nicholas, TideFans.com Editor-In-Chief
Oct. 5, 2011
Last week’s record: 6-1 (85.7%)
Season record: 40-5 (88.9%)
Once again, inscrutable Auburn proved to be the Predictions Dept.’s downfall in Week 5, as the Tigers baffled the Gamecocks and made the only black mark on our scoresheet. This week, Georgia and Tennessee, LSU and Florida and Auburn and Arkansas headline the SEC’s offerings in a critical week for division title races.
FLORIDA at LOUISIANA STATE
Losing QB Jeff Brantley against Alabama doesn’t help Florida one bit heading into this game with LSU. The Tigers welcomed QB Jordan Jefferson back last week, but the question remains whether Jefferson will be a help to LSU or a distraction. One thing is for sure: Florida has no chance if Jeff Driskel plays quarterback in this game the way he played in relief of Brantley against Alabama last week. Florida will give LSU a good game, but expect the Tigers to pull away late as the Gators start making mistakes.
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GEORGIA at TENNESSEE
The Volunteers are still very much in the SEC East race, but lose this game and the bath gets a lot more difficult. The same advice goes for Georgia, as well. The Bulldogs have no room for error and Mark Richt’s job might depend on this game and others like it on the 2011 schedule. This game has produced some memorable moments in recent years, but this year all it’s likely to do is provide a study in two collapsed former conference superpowers.
KENTUCKY at SOUTH CAROLINA
Kentucky comes into this game in shambles thanks to a 2-3 start fueled by a quarterback position that simply isn’t working out. South Carolina fell at home to Auburn last week, likely ending any chance the Gamecocks thought they might have had for the national championship. Connor Shaw will start at quarterback for South Carolina; as for Kentucky, it doesn’t seem to matter. The Wildcats are playing with all the boundless enthusiasm of a narcoleptic.
South Carolina 27
AUBURN at ARKANSAS
Given that the Predictions Dept. has been wrong about almost every game Auburn has played this year, we’ll go out on a limb again and predict a Tiger loss. Arkansas has plenty of weapons to get downfield on an Auburn secondary that is, quite frankly, only good when the opposing quarterback makes it look that way. The real question is whether the Razorback front can stop RB Michael Dyer and co. If they can’t, Auburn could very well win this matchup.
MISSISSIPPI STATE at ALABAMA-BIRMINGHAM
Things have officially gone south for the Bulldogs, thanks in large part to an offense that can’t seem to function properly. UAB, though, is still looking for its first win, and the Blazers rank at or below just about every major statistical category. If the Bulldogs somehow find a way to lose this one – don’t laugh; MSU almost lost to Louisiana Tech earlier in the year – things could get ugly in Starkville.
Mississippi St. 27
IDLE: Ole Miss
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