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SEC Previews and Predictions: Week 11

Oct 19, 2013; College Station, TX, USA; A general view of the SEC logo before the game between theTexas A&M Aggies and the Auburn Tigers at Kyle Field. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 19, 2013; College Station, TX, USA; A general view of the SEC logo before the game between theTexas A&M Aggies and the Auburn at Kyle Field. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im- Sports

By Jess Nicholas Editor-In-Chief
Nov. 9,

Last week’s record: 6-2 (75.0%)
Season record: 68-16 (81.0%)

1 might be the first time ever – and the only time for the foreseeable future – where both the South Carolina-Florida and -Tennessee games could produce decisive results for the division-winning candidacy of all four teams. Such is the case in the wacky SEC East, which ought to draft a circus clown car as its official logo for 2016.

The Gamecocks have a path to the SEC East crown but it’s a path with so many twists and turns that one needs traction control to follow it. Whatever else must happen, though, South Carolina must first beat Florida. and Tennessee are also watching this game with high interest, as a Gator loss helps their own candidacy. Florida will probably be without its starting quarterback in this game, but that may not be much of a hindrance given how overmatched Luke Del Rio has looked lately. South Carolina, meanwhile, seems to have found a quarterback, and its scrap-metal defense continues to keep the team in games. Florida still has more talent than South Carolina by a long shot, but the Gamecocks are playing better at the moment. This one will be interesting.
Florida 24
South Carolina 21

See our extended preview!  Bama Depth Chart

The suddenly have uncertainty on offense with an injury to RB Kamryn Pettway and whatever it is that is really going on with QB Sean White. But will that be enough to swing this one to Georgia? The Bulldogs are floundering a bit in ’s first year, just getting by worse teams and consistently coming up short against better teams – and Auburn, make no mistake, is the better team here. This game has, in recent years, turned completely unpredictable, with wild endings and frequent blowouts. All options are on the table this time around, especially if Auburn’s offense turns into a M*A*S*H ward. But it’s just so hard to believe in Georgia at this point.
Auburn 34
Georgia 24

again got right up to the doorstep of relevancy but just couldn’t seal the deal against Georgia last week. Tennessee, thanks to Arkansas’ win over Florida, suddenly finds itself back in the SEC East hunt, but is continuing to bleed players off its roster. The are undoubtedly the more talented team, but Kentucky is probably in a better place, mentally and emotionally. Too bad the game is in Neyland Stadium, which is still a difficult venue for visiting teams, because that plus a more athletic wide receiver corps and more experienced quarterback should be enough to put the Volunteers over and rekindle hopes for a rematch with in Atlanta.
Tennessee 30

Missouri is well and truly in the tank, while Vanderbilt is having to (once again) brush of a close-but-no-cigar loss to Auburn last week. This is actually a significant game for the Commodores, because Missouri represents a realistic shot for an upset win, an opportunity for Vandy to successfully punch above its weight. Neither team has much of an offense, but Vanderbilt’s defense has been more consistent. And Missouri’s home-field advantage right now is barely an advantage at all.
Vanderbilt 24
Missouri 16

This is the most intriguing game on the schedule simply because the better team – LSU – is coming off a loss to Alabama, and teams playing after a Bama loss tend to play at suboptimal levels. unexpectedly knocked off Florida last week, which given how poorly the Razorbacks had shown in the weeks immediately preceding the game against Florida, may be evidence as to just how sorry the entire SEC East really is. So what we’re left with is the matchup of two big, physical teams, both of which have failed to live up to expectations so far in 2016, that are mirrors of one another on the field. Arkansas has more balance to its offense, but relative weakness along both lines of scrimmage to LSU might just give the enough of an opening to sneak through. Les Miles frequently had trouble with this game, so if Ed Orgeron can figure it out, it might be a feather in his cap as he continues to stump for the full-time job.
LSU 27

The Rebels could have caused real problems for the Aggies – and it’s still not out of the question – but the loss of QB Chad Kelly on top of five losses already means Ole Miss might be ready to fold the tent. There is perhaps no bigger disappointment within a conference than Ole Miss this year, relative to expectations. Texas A&M, meanwhile, has probably exceeded expectations, but a loss to State last week left an extremely sour taste in fans’ mouths. The Aggies need to prove the loss to the Bulldogs was just an unforeseen bump in the road, while Ole Miss is in almost a must-win situation if it wants to qualify for the postseason. Given that both teams are down to backup quarterbacks, anything can happen.
Ole Miss 27

Follow Jess Nicholas on Twitter at @TideFansJessN

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