Alabama’s off-week brings with it a second consecutive short schedule for the SEC. Picking a second consecutive perfect week, though, will be difficult given the nature of the four games: Of the four, three are tossups, and the fourth could be competitive if Missouri’s defense doesn’t show up.
Last week‘s record: 5-0 (100.0%)
Season record: 58-16 (78.4%)
GEORGIA vs. FLORIDA (at Jacksonville, Fla.)
Don’t let the records fool you. Florida has an excellent chance to pull an upset here for two reasons. One, the Florida offensive style doesn’t always agree with Kirby Smart’s best defensive plans. Second, if Florida’s offense can find a way to get in gear, Georgia’s offense may have trouble keeping up. The Bulldogs rely on their defense every game not just to hold opposing offenses at bay, but instead to create scoring opportunities via heavy, steady pressure for the Bulldog offense, which is boring but still effective. Florida, for its part, has issues, to be sure. The Gator defense is unreliable and there’s a quarterback controversy in full bloom. Dan Mullen’s job is starting to become rather insecure, but a win here would right all the wrongs.
KENTUCKY at MISSISSIPPI STATE
If the Mississippi State of the pre-Bama weeks shows up in this game, Kentucky may have something to worry about. That Bulldog team was playing with increased confidence until Alabama came through and ended any illusions the Bulldogs were cooking up. As for Kentucky, the Cinderella slipper finally broke against Georgia last week, as the Wildcats got their first loss and probably brought an end to their outside shot at an SEC East crown in the process. Mississippi State owns the nation’s worst rushing offense, but the Bulldogs can throw, and they are playing at home. Kentucky has a tendency to get flustered on the road and this is likely a trap game for that very reason. This one is almost a coin flip.
Mississippi St. 30
MISSOURI at VANDERBILT
Missouri’s offense can do a lot of damage, but the Tigers are 0-4 against Power 5 schools on the season and 3-0 against the rest. Vanderbilt is Power 5 in name only, going 2-6 on the year and looking anemic against almost all opponents. In its six losses on the year, the ‘Dores have been shut out twice and failed to score 10 points two other times. Missouri’s defense is in horrible shape, but Vanderbilt probably lacks the talent on offense to do anything about that. Missouri should win easily.
MISSISSIPPI at AUBURN
Ole Miss isn’t healthy on offense; if it was, Auburn might have very little chance of winning this game even though it is being played at the comfy confines of Jordan-Hare Stadium. As it is, Ole Miss is going to have to play above its head, because Auburn’s defense is good enough to get a few stops while the Rebel defense would have trouble slowing down a sloth. The X-factor is undoubtedly Ole Miss QB Matt Corral, who is good enough to win entire games by himself (see: Tennessee), and he might be too much even for the many ghosts of Auburn’s home field.
Ole Miss 45
IDLE: South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, LSU, Texas A&M
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