By Jess Nicholas, TideFans.com Editor-In-Chief
Oct. 29, 2012
Last week’s record: 4-3 (57.1%)
Season record: 64-13 (83.1%)
A rough 4-3 week makes it all but impossible now for the Predictions Dept. to set a new accuracy record, but the Dept. is undaunted in its task to navigate its dear readers through a Week 10 slate of games highlighted, of course, by Alabama traveling to Baton Rouge to face LSU. Meanwhile, Texas A&M squares off against Mississippi State in a game that could ultimately decide second place in the SEC West.
MISSOURI at FLORIDA
Missouri has played just one SEC road game thus far in 2012, getting a taste of what the conference has to offer visitors in a 31-10 loss to South Carolina on Sept. 22. This week, Missouri takes its first trip to Gainesville, perhaps the toughest road venue in the SEC and certainly the SEC East. The Tigers managed to defeat Kentucky for its first conference win last week, but by now it’s clear Missouri has some work to do to catch up to its East Division rivals. Florida is coming off a disappointing loss to Georgia in which the offense simply didn’t show up, and while the Gators aren’t high-flying by any means, they should at least have a better go of things against Mizzou.
ALABAMA at LOUISIANA STATE
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MISSISSIPPI at GEORGIA
Don’t look now, but Ole Miss is one win away from bowl eligibility, and could be on track to pull the shocker of the week. Georgia lived up to potential last week in its win over Florida, and while the Bulldogs should defeat Ole Miss, this is just the kind of game that has tripped up Mark Richt’s teams over the years. Ole Miss has an offense that causes problems for undisciplined defenses, and Georgia is frequently beset with discipline problems on both sides of the ball. Fans of offense will probably like this game.
Ole Miss 35
VANDERBILT at KENTUCKY
Kentucky appeared to make strides against Georgia two weeks ago, but gave it all back in a listless performance against Missouri last Saturday. Vanderbilt, meanwhile, is 4-4 and needs to win this game if it has any shot at bowl eligibility. In the coming weeks, the Commodores must face a Tennessee offense they can’t keep pace with, a much-improved Ole Miss team and Wake Forest. Only Wake looks plausible as a Vanderbilt win right now, so it’s imperative the Commodores dispatch with the Wildcats. Kentucky is 1-8 and battling Auburn for the title of worst team in the SEC. Kentucky also hasn’t had an off-week yet and appears to be tiring.
TROY at TENNESSEE
Troy might have been looking ahead to this game, because the Trojans got dumped by Florida Atlantic last week. Still, Tennessee had better watch out, as the Trojans were on record as giving Mississippi State its toughest game of the year until Alabama kenneled the Bulldogs. If Tennessee managed to lose this game, Derek Dooley might not make it out of the stadium without someone setting fire to his orange pants.
TULSA at ARKANSAS
Don’t look now, but Tulsa is 7-1 on the year. Fortunately for Arkansas, Tulsa lost its only game against a like-or-better opponent, Iowa State. The rest of the Golden Hurricane schedule has been filled with the dregs of Division-IA (and below). Arkansas would have rolled in this game had it found a way to beat Ole Miss last week; now, the mindset of the Razorbacks is in question again. Arkansas could yet make a bowl game, but it won’t without a win in this game. Cautiously, we’ll pick the Hogs to do just that.
NEW MEXICO STATE at AUBURN
New Mexico State opened its season with a win over Sacramento State … and the good news ended there. This is a bad offensive football team that doesn’t play very good defense, either. However, the same could be said of Auburn. These two teams are a combined 2-14 at the moment, but Auburn should still win this game by three scores. If Auburn doesn’t, it will show just how far the Tiger program has fallen. If the Tigers happen to actually lose this game, it would go down as one of the most embarrassing moments for any SEC program – ever.
New Mexico St. 7
TEXAS A&M at MISSISSIPPI STATE
It will be interesting to see how the Bulldogs bounce back from getting smoked in Tuscaloosa last week, especially given the offensive firepower Texas A&M is bringing to the table. The Bulldogs have the correct team makeup to make life hard for Texas A&M (good secondary, good running game, able quarterback), but when Texas A&M is playing well, the Aggies are almost impossible to stop. Texas A&M destroyed Auburn last week and likely sealed Gene Chizik’s fate for good; a win here would put the Aggies in a position to compete for second place in the SEC West depending on what happens to LSU and Alabama down the stretch.
Texas A&M 35
Mississippi St. 31
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