One win from a perfect Week 6 record, and it was the worst-case scenario on the board, as Alabama fell to Texas A&M. This week there are several interesting games, all difficult to pick. Unfortunately, that might again include a game in which Alabama is involved.
Last week’s record: 6-1 (85.7%)
Season record: 48-14 (77.4%)
FLORIDA at LOUISIANA STATE
LSU is flailing again, and is also losing key players for the season at a steady rate. The loss to Kentucky last week more or less finished off any designs the Tigers may have had on being a 2021 contender, and now Florida comes to town eager to make a move in the SEC East knowing that one of the two teams above it in the rankings this week is guaranteed to lose. Were the game in Gainesville, we’d probably call for a near-blowout. Any game in Baton Rouge gives LSU the potential to use some voodoo, but Florida is playing a lot better than the Tigers are at this point and the Gators are much healthier.
KENTUCKY at GEORGIA
It’s time to see whether Kentucky is ready to take the next step. This game all but decides the SEC East, because Kentucky’s remaining SEC schedule is Mississippi State, Tennessee and Vanderbilt, and it’s difficult to find two losses among that bunch if the Wildcats are truly good enough to upset Georgia. Kentucky, though, is still learning how to play at this level. The Wildcats nearly didn’t beat a bad South Carolina team, holding on for a 16-10 win. They followed that up, however, with a solid effort against Florida and took a 20-13 victory in that game. But the most impressive feat may very well have been the 42-21 trouncing of LSU last week, because while the Tigers have a myriad of issues, they are still among the most talented of SEC squads and Kentucky dispatched them with ease. So can the Wildcats keep the string going? In a word, unlikely. Georgia’s defense is stronger by a significant margin over Florida’s and South Carolina’s, while the Bulldog rushing attack is capable of controlling the pace of the game. This may turn out to be a tougher game than the Georgia fans think it should be, but Kentucky isn’t quite ready for this challenge.
TEXAS A&M at MISSOURI
This game comes at the right time for the Aggies, who are probably still drunk with excitement from the Alabama game and needed a break this weekend. Missouri’s offense has enough firepower to cause some indigestion on the Aggie sideline, but the Tigers don’t play defense well enough to keep the Aggies’ offense at bay. LSU and Missouri have probably fallen shortest of expectations in the SEC this year, to the point that Mizzou head coach Eliah Drinkwitz is already two weeks dowstream of calling for the Tigers to conduct a critical self-evaluation of their own want-to. We’re not sure Drinkwitz ever got the results he was looking for, and now here come the resurgent Aggies.
Texas A&M 40
VANDERBILT at SOUTH CAROLINA
Hey, someone has to win this one. It’s Vanderbilt’s best remaining chance at avoiding a 10-loss season, while the Gamecocks need this one, a win over Missouri and an upset somewhere else along the way to avoid a losing record. The difference here will likely be South Carolina’s defense, which has proven to be better than preseason analyses feared, and more consistent than Vanderbilt’s. This one might set new records on the Boredom Meter.
South Carolina 20
MISSISSIPPI at TENNESSEE
All of a sudden this game is interesting for more than just the fact it’s Lane Kiffin’s return to Knoxville in the capacity of a head coach. Tennessee’s offense is awake, and the Volunteers can likely match Ole Miss’ production while at the same time having an incrementally better defense. Ole Miss hung on by the skin of its teeth against Arkansas last week, stopping a two-point conversion attempt at the end to win by a point. This will likely be another shootout, and Rebel QB Matt Corral better be on his A-game because he’s going to have to carry a defense that is again one of the worst ever at a so-called SEC contender. The game being on the road doesn’t help matters, and Ole Miss’ lone road game so far was disastrous.
Ole Miss 45
AUBURN at ARKANSAS
The big question here is can Arkansas bounce back emotionally after coming so desperately close to beating Ole Miss last week before falling by 1 point on an unsuccessful two-point conversion try. The Razorback defense has begun to show holes, although the offense is starting to put together better performances, especially through the air. Auburn has plenty of problems of its own, mostly related to offensive production. This is one time in which Arkansas is probably OK with a game going into shootout mode, as just about everyone has more available bullets than Auburn. If Arkansas lets Auburn hang around in this game beyond halftime, anything could happen.
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