SEC Round-Up; Any Letdown for Bama?
The most dominant conference in the nation is used to being in the spotlight on a weekly basis and this week will be no different. Top-ranked Alabama, fresh off a last-minute win in Death Valley over LSU, returns home to play a very dangerous Texas A&M team. LSU is looking to bounce back and has to do so against 7-2 Mississippi State at Tiger Stadium and will there be a hangover? Georgia travels to Auburn where the Bulldogs can wrap-up the SEC East division with a win and Arkansas heads to South Carolina to headline the top action in the conference.
Texas A&M (+14) at Alabama – The Crimson Tide host the Aggies and freshman QB Johnny Manziel today and will look to move to 10-0 on the season. A&M enters the game with a 7-2 record. Head Coach Kevin Sumlin has done a great job in College Station in just his first year there but his Aggies are going to be over-matched in this one. Manziel has been super all season but the one game he struggled in was against LSU who has a top-ranked defense. Alabama is incredibly balanced on offense and has a QB in A.J. McCarron who hasn’t thrown an interception since before the leaves turned for fall. I think the Aggies are primed for this one and have confidence but Nick Saban and the Tide can see the light at the end of the tunnel and I look for a shutdown of Manziel and a big win by Alabama.
Georgia (-15 1/2) at Auburn – How quickly things can change…. It was just a couple of seasons ago the Head Coach Gene Chizik was celebrating a national title and now he is facing the termination of his job. Rumors have surrounded the Auburn campus all week that the University president is already in position to make a move as soon as the season ends. With that non-sense going on, Georgia comes in looking to clinch a spot in the SEC Title game. The Bulldogs may have their sights set on bigger fish however because ranked at number five, Georgia cannot rule out the chance for a BCS Title shot. While I think the Tigers will play with great effort Saturday, the Bulldogs have focus and greater tings in mind. Take the Dawgs to cover on the road.
Arkansas (+14) at South Carolina – The Gamecocks come off a thrilling 38-35 win over Tennessee two weeks ago but the win also saw the gruesome injury to star running back Marcus Lattimore. SC has to move on and gets a great chance to against the up and down Razorbacks. South Carolina is an interesting position at number eight in the nation because should LSU and Georgia stumble one more time, the Gamecocks could be in position for the conference’s BCS bid assuming Bama is in the title game. Arkansas will not rollover though as even at 4-5, they still have a shot at a bowl game and Tyler Wilson is more than a capable quarterback. It’s real easy to go with the Gamecocks here and I will, but I think the Hogs make it close.
Mississippi State (+15 1/2) at LSU – The Bulldogs started 7-0 and have lost two straight to Alabama and Texas A&M, not exactly lightweights, but losses nevertheless. The Tigers have to prove they are past the loss to Bama because a BCS game is still very possible and I think they pound the ball and get the win, but the Bulldogs keep it close.
Missouri (+3) at Tennessee – The Vols fought off Troy last week in a high-scoring affair while Missouri gave Florida everything they could before falling in the Swamp. I’m not going to call a winner but I am taking the Tigers and the three points.
UL Lafayette (+27) at Florida – I like the Gators to win, but the Cajuns will cover because Florida just can’t score enough points offensively.
Vanderbilt (+3) at Ole Miss – This game is huge for both teams because at 5-4, a win gets a bowl bid and a loss could spell doom with rivalry games on the horizon.