Nov. 3, 2014
Last week’s record: 5-2 (71.4%)
Season record: 64-18 (78.1%)
The outcome of the South Carolina-Tennessee game wasn’t much of a surprise to many people last week, particularly those who had watched the Gamecocks struggle defensively for weeks, but it’s a good bet few people gave Florida even an outside chance of upsetting Georgia, much less wiping out the Bulldogs. The Predictions Dept. certainly didn’t. The SEC continues to be a difficult conference to gauge in 2014, thanks in great part to, quite frankly, a shocking amount of mediocrity present in the middle of the conference standings. And speaking of mediocrity, here’s the SEC slate of games for this week (all but Alabama-LSU, at least).
FLORIDA at VANDERBILT
The Commodores took care of business against Old Dominion last week, but as expected, showed defensive lapses that are going to be difficult to overcome against a stretch run of SEC teams. The real question is what Florida will do this week. The Gators are coming off an emotional high that seems impossible to replicate against Vanderbilt, and even though the score indicated Florida ripped Georgia apart last week, the reality is Florida can’t throw the ball and is still limited in terms of offensive variety. Look for this game to be closer than it should be thanks to a Cocktail Party hangover, but Florida should still win.
ALABAMA at LOUISIANA STATE
GEORGIA at KENTUCKY
Georgia not only lost its rivalry game against Florida on Saturday, it also lost a shot at playing for a national title, as well as control over its own destiny within the SEC East. Missouri now sits in the division’s catbird seat, and the Bulldogs find themselves having to bounce back from the Florida loss against a Kentucky team that is improving. The Wildcats lost to Missouri last week, and must still win a game to get bowl-eligible, but it’s clear to all by now that this Kentucky team is not the same as the one Mark Stoops coached in his first year. Kentucky can pressure Georgia’s defense, which is struggling at the moment, but can the Wildcats stop the Bulldogs’ running game? Kentucky is weak up the middle, and Georgia ought to be able to leverage its advantage there.
TEXAS A&M at AUBURN
It’s not easy to trap Auburn at home, but Texas A&M has a chance to do exactly that this week. The Aggies’ offense took a step back with Kyle Allen replacing Kenny Hill at quarterback last week against Louisiana-Monroe, but the Texas A&M defense looked better than it had all season. Auburn is coming off a big win over Ole Miss and might be looking past Texas A&M to Georgia, especially given the Aggies’ struggles in 2014. But A&M has yet to prove it can stop a top-level rushing attack, and that matters a lot more than a slow start on Auburn’s part would.
Texas A&M 24
PRESBYTERIAN at MISSISSIPPI
Ole Miss, knocked out of title contention by Auburn, is hurting in more ways than one. In addition to the emotional pain of losing a title shot, the Rebels lost several players against Auburn, who joined an already substantial list of Rebels hurting on the bench. No one is going to want to even be at this game against Presbyterian, much less play it.
Ole Miss 30
TENNESSEE-MARTIN at MISSISSIPPI STATE
Mississippi State will tune up for its game against Alabama in two weeks by trouncing overmatched UT-Martin.
Mississippi St. 55
IDLE: Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas
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