Well, it's official, Missouri has joined the SEC, and they are going to be playing in the eastern division. Geogrphically, it doesn't really make sense for them to play in the East, but overall, I don't have too many issues with it.
With them playing in the east, the longstanding, and in place current SEC rivalries won't be effected. Texas A&M, the other new team will be their cross division rivalry. Auburn won't have to go to the eastern division, where Bama would be their cross division rivalry, but the Tennessee-Alabama game being played every year would be in jeopardy.
Your thoughts on Missouri playing in the East?
Last week we saw LSU take on Alabama, and the defenses lived up to the hype, but the offense does leave concerns for LSU. A team with a solid defense and a great offense might give them fits down the road.
And Georgia now controls it's destiny in the SEC East after South Carolina's loss to Arkansas. This is a big deal in Dawg country. Mark Richt has most likely saved his job, and it looks like Georgia is a lock for the Cotton/Peach Bowl.
On to the games.
The One Sided Affairs
Western Kentucky @ LSU- Something tells me a four loss team playing in the Sun Belt Conference won't be much of a challenge for LSU. WKU has a chance to win the Sun Belt, but offensively, they don't pose much of a threat. They have no passing game, and they have a middle of the pack run game. It's just a recipe for LSU to pick them apart defensively. WKU doesn't have a terrible defense, but not close to Bama's level. LSU won't have problems scoring for this game, LSU wins 42-0
Tennessee @ Arkansas- There's a reason Tennessee hasn't won a conference game this season. It's because they're not a good team. Their offense is mediocre at best. Their defense is decent, but nowhere near elite. Arkansas' offense is firing on all cylinders. A couple of dropped passes kept the South Carolina game from being a big time blowout. Tennessee is bad enough on offense for Arkansas to shut them down, and Arkansas is good enough on offense to pick Tennessee's defense apart. Tyler Wilson is in the discussion for best QB in the SEC. Look for him to light up the scoreboard. Arkansas wins 38-10
The Battle to Stay out of the Running for Last Place
Kentucky @ Vanderbilt- Vanderbilt is a better team than their 4-5 record indicates. They held their own and gave real scares to Georgia, Florida and Arkansas. They have a solid running game, and Aaron Rodgers' little brother at quarterback. Honestly, I think Vanderbilt has the advantage across the board in this game. Kentucky can't score. They can't pass, and they can't run, and defensively, they're one of the worst in the SEC. All of that, and the fact this game is in Nashville, I look for Vandy to win big. Vanderbilt wins 28-10
The This Cupcake Game Might Backfire
Louisiana Tech @ Ole Miss- Ole Miss is a terrible team. They have a terrible offense and a bad defesne to match. In my opinion, they are easily the worst team in the SEC. LA tech is on a four game winning streak, and they gave two of the top three BCS busters real scares. Losing by just two to Southern Miss, and by just one to Houston, and they took Mississippi State to overtime. They are a better team than their record indicates. They rank middle of the road down the board. Passing, Rushing and defense, and have shown to be a more competent team than Ole Miss. Louisiana Tech wins, 21-14
The This Would Have Been Interesting if Preseason Polls Held True
Alabama @ Mississippi State- I do think Mississippi State is a better team than they have shown this season, and they have started coming around, but this is a bad time to be trying to salvage a season. They are playing Bama, a team that will be playing angry after their heartbreaking loss to LSU. Don't think Bama won't have fire after their loss. There is still a possibility of LSU slipping, and even a chance at a rematch in the National Title Game. Everyone knows that Mississippi State's offense is almost exclusively running the ball. This doesn't bode well for them in this game. Vick ballard is an excellent back, but Bama has one of the top run defenses in the country. When Bama shuts down the run, Mississippi State doesn't have a passing game to fall back on. While Miss St has shown to be decent defensively, they are no LSU, and don't expect them to keep Trent Richardson in check like LSU did. Richardson will have a big game, and Bama does have somewhat of a passing game to compliment Richardson and Lacy. Bama wins big, 42-7
Florida @ South Carolina- If South Carolina has any chance of regaining control in the SEC East, they are going to have to win this game and hope UGA falls to either Auburn or Kentucky. Basically, this is a must win game for South Carolina. There is a problem here though. South Carolina has proven to not be able to run the ball without Lattimore. Connor Shaw with 24 yards was their leading rusher against Arkansas, and in a game against Florida, they are going to have to move the ball on the ground to have any shot. The lack of running game, along with a bellow average quarterback is a recipe for disaster against Florida. Florida is obviously a much better team than their record indicates. They were missing their quarterback for three games, and Brantley was rusty against UGA. Florida should be able to move the ball through the air against South Carolina, and with a decent passing attack, their run game will have a decent day as well. If South Carolina is going to win, they are going to have to rely on their defense, and it's been inconsistent at best. Florida doesn't have a great defense, but they do have a decent defense, and with no Lattimore, that's really all you need to shut down South Carolina. Home field advantage and Spurrier gives the Gamecocks a fighting chance, but in the end, Florida wins 30-17
Game of the Week
Auburn @ Georgia- The Deep South's Oldest Rivalry. To Georgia fans, this is arguably the biggest regular season game every year. If we beat Auburn, it almost makes up for other loses and makes the season worth while no matter how bad the team is. This is a huge rivalry game, so in most years, you can throw records and talent gaps out the window. This year is no different. Auburn would love nothing more than to put a road block on Georgia's road to the SEC title game and end their secen game winning streak. Georgia would love nothing more than to keep the streak alive and knock Auburn out of the top 25. Even last year, the UGA team that finished 6-7 gave Auburn one of it's toughest games of the season. I think Auburn is an overrated team. They have three losses, yet they somehow manage to have not fallen from the polls after any of them. They have a one dimensional offense, relying heavily on the legs of Dyer and no passing game to speak of. Dyer is a great back, but if they are going to win this game, and play spoiler to UGA's SEC Championship Game hopes, they are going to have to move the ball through the air. Their defense is fairly average as well. UGA doesn't have a high powered offense, but Auburn is gonna have to make stops to win this game.
Georgia comes into this game with a seven game winning streak, and they control their own destiny to reach the SEC title game. They have a lot on the line. I think this matchup plays into the hands of Georgia's strengths. Georgia has been great at stopping the run. If they can stop the run, they will force Auburn to have to throw. When Dyer gets shut down, more times than not, Auburn gets shut down. Georgia gets Isaiah Crowell and Carlton Thomas back for this game after their suspensions. Crowell has been great during his freshman year, and I look for him to have a big game, especially after getting a week to rest against New mexico State. Aaron Murray is in the discussion with Tyler Wilson for best QB in the SEC, and I look for him to have a big game as well. The game is between the hedges, and I look for Georgia to win, 38-24
The Next Best 3
Oregon @ Stanford- The importance of this game speaks for itself. This game likely determines the winner of the Pac 12 North, and has huge national Championship implications. If Stanford wins, their road to an undefeated season gets easier after this week. If they finish undefeated, they have a very good shot at making the NC Game. If oregon wins, it puts them in contol to win the Pac 12 North, and puts them right back in the middle of Championship talks. Living in Georgia, I haven't had many chances to watch either of these teams play, so reading Orac's Pac 12 and the Next Best 3 will give you a much better breakdown. From what I have saw, Oregon has a great offense capable of putting up huge numbers against any team, and the same goes for Stanford. Stanford is the more balanced offense of the two, Luck at QB to go with a solid running game, but I haven't been overly impressed by Stanford's defense. The USC game was a bit sloppy, but they got the win. But, oregon's passing game is middle of the road, and I'm not sure they can beat Stanford solely on the ground. Stanford wins 45-38
Nebraska @ Penn State- Nebraska will be playing angry after they were upset by Northwestern. Penn State has one of the best defenses in the country, so this is a very interesting matchup. Personally, I'm interested to see how Penn State plays with all of the distractions with the sex scandal lingering around. It can be used as a motivation to come out and play angry, or it could be a distraction that costs them the game. I think they will use it as a motivation, and we will have two angry teams playing each other. I'm confident in Penn State's ability to shut down pretty much any offense. Their offense might be a bit weak, but Nebraska's defense isn't anything to brag about either In the end, I like Penn State 17-14
Virginia Tech @ Georgia Tech- Thursday Night Special. I'm not gonna lie. I haven't been impressed with Va Tech. They've played an easy schedule to get to 8-1, and they lost badly to the only ranked team they have played. GA Tech's schedule hasn't been much better, but they did take Clemson down from the ranks of the unbeaten. The triple option Ga Tech runs has the potential to put up big numbers against any team, and I like them in this matchup. Georgia tech wins 32-30