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Sorry about missing last week.  There was a combination of being busy, being lazy and talking myself out of suicide after the UGA loss.  I needed a week to recover.

 

We're 7 weeks into the season, and just when I thought the picture was clearing up, South Carolina lost to LSU, which now gives Florida the inside track to winning the East, and gives UGA a chance to get back in the mix with some help from Florida this weekend.

 

Out west, things are a bit more clear.  It looks like Alabama is the class of the west, though none of the big matchups out west have happened yet, so it's far too early to count out LSU, Mississippi State or even Texas A&M.

 

Really, I don't have a lot to talk about other than the games this week, so please forgive me.

 

On to the games.

 

The Byes

Arkansas- It's a little too late<flips quarter to Tanya Tucker>

Ole Miss- Surprisingly competitive this year, they might sneak in a bowl appearence

Missouri- They need it

 

Eh, At Least They're Conference Games

 

Georgia at Kentucky- Georgia is coming off a bye week, a bye week that was apparently a week too late.  As a Georgia fan, the South Carolina game has been blocked from memory, and I'm choosing not to discuss it further.  Kentucky is the best possible conference game Georgia coming off a bye and a tough loss.  They need something to build their confidence back up and build some momentum for the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party next week in jacksonville.  I don't think Kentucky could beat many top high school teams, much less another SEC team this season.  Murray and Gurshel take out their anger on the poor Wildcats.  45-7 Georgia

 

Auburn at Vanderbilt- I still think Vandy is a better team than their record indicates.  Their defense is solid, and they have talent in the running game, there's just not enough of a passing attack for opposing defenses to respect the pass.  Vandy got their first SEC win of the season a couple weeks ago against Missouri, and Auburn is still winless in the conference.  Auburn has been pretty lackluster in all facets of the game.  They're weak offensively and mediocre at best defensively.  Vandy is the better team, they have home field advantage, and they already got the monkey of the first conference win off their back.  Vandy wins 31-17

 

Mildly Interesting non Conference Game

 

Middle Tennessee at Mississippi State- Middle Tennessee has surprised some folks this season.  Lost to an FCS team to start the season, their only blimish since was a very close loss to ULM, they team that beat Arky and gave Auburn and Okie State all they could handle.  Mississippi State comes in undefeated with hopes of winning the SEC this year.  Mississippi State hasn't played a full game all season.  They've jumped out to big leads, but haven't been able to build on them.  I think they're still safe against Mississippi State, but when they get into the meat of their schedule at the end, they will need to play a complete games to have a chance.  A more balanced offense and a solid defense has really helped MSU.  I think they remain undefeated.  31-21 MSU

 

Well, It's Still a Rivalry Game

 

Alabama at Tennessee- Tennessee, while still improved has disappointed this season.  They are heading in the right direction, but losing to Florida, Georgia and Mississippi State has killed their chances of playing in Atlanta at the end of the season.  They have shown to be strong offensively with an experienced O-line and Tyler Brey throwing to Patterson and Hunter, but it's been a struggle defensively.  Alabama on  the other hand seems to be on a different level than the rest of the conference.  It's a major accomplishment to put up double digit points against this defense, and Alabama's offense has been solid this season.

As for the game, Tennessee doesn't have much of a running game, so Bama's defense will be in Bray's face all game.  A fairly one dimensional offense against Bama is a recipe for disaster, especially when you're defense isn't very strong and you have to contend with Lacy and Yeldon.  McCarron has the Alabama record for most passes thrown without an interception, and while he might not be talked about as a top QB in the SEC, he has done what Bama has asked him to do and then some.  I really don't see this as being a close game.  42-14- Bama

 

Co game of the Week

 

LSU at Texas A&M- LSU has a long winning streak working at home.  This week, however, they're on the road in one of the most hostile environments in college football.  Both teams' only stumble this season has been at the hands of Florida, and both have rebounded nicely.  A&M hasn't lost since their first game of the season, though the Ole Miss and Louisiana Tech games were a bit closer than they would have liked.  LSU played 3 consecutive poor games in a row.  Barely beat a struggling Auburn, allowed a lot more yards and points than they would have liked against Towson and traveled to the swamp and lost to the Gators.  But beating South Carolina at home last week was a big jump to getting back on track, and they still control their own destiny in the west.

As for the game, Manziel for A&M has impressed me a good deal this season.  It's a long shot, but pretty soon people are gonna have to start talking about this kid as a Heisman candidate.  A&M's offense has been clicking on all cylinders, and while their is still a bit of a problem with letting teams back into the game in the second half, they have held on and won this season except for the Florida game.  I think A&M's offense is good enough to make things interesting against any team, but their defense has been questionable this season.  Ole Miss and LA Tech both put up points against A&M, lucky for A&M neither of them had a defense.  I think walking on a razor blade will catch up to A&M this week.  LSU can put up points when they are clicking, and they have a strong defense.  Close game, but LSU wins 35-28

 

Game of the Week

 

South Carolina at Florida- Could South Carolina get two tougher road games in back to back weeks?  They travel to the bayou to face an angry LSU team last week, and they travel to the Swamp to face Florida, the team that made LSU angry in the first place.  It's never fun traveling to Florida.  It's especially not very fun traveling to Florida coming off a tough loss.  And it's definitely not very fun traveling to Florida when Florida is undefeated and has dreams of another National Championship trophy to put in their shelf.

I don't think I have to tell you the importance of this game.  Winner has the inside track of winning the East.  If Florida wins, and they hold the tiebreaker against SC, things will be dim for SC's hopes of playing in Atlanta. Not only that, it gives Georgia the chance to control their own destiny as well. Florida would have to stumble twice before SC could get back in the mix.  If South Carolina wins, they hold the tiebreaker against both Florida and Georgia with the worst part of their schedule behind them. 

As for the game, Florida's defense has been spectacular this season.  They can stop the run with the best of them, and their pass defense hasn't been too shbby either.  Their offense hasn't been otherworldly, but Driskel and Gillislee have done more than enough to keep Florida in the win column.  On paper this game is too tough to call.  South Carolina has been strong defensively as well, and they have been better offensively.  But I do have to pick a winner, and their might be some bias in this pick, because I'll be doing the Gator chomp hoping Georgia can get back in the mix, but I have to pick the team coming in with more momentum, and the team that is playing at home is a very tough road environment.  Florida wins 24-14

 

Next Best 3

 

Kansas State at West Virginia- A couple weeks ago, I would have said this is impossible to call, and it's still a tough one.  But after WVU's very poor performance both offensively and defensively last week against texas tech, I have to give my [pick to win the Big 12 the edge in this game.  K State wins 52-35

 

Texas Tech at TCU- To my knowledge, TCU is still without a QB, and Texas tech has to feel like World beaters after that butt whooping they handed WVU last week.  42-21 TT

 

Oregon at Arizona State Thursday Night Special- Arizona State's only blimish has been against Missouri, and they've shown to be a solid team, but I have my doubts that any Pac 12 team can beat Oregon this season.  55-35 Oregon

 

October 16, 2012  02:39 PM ET

Nice blog as always.

October 16, 2012  02:53 PM ET

Glad you're back, the need for a week off after a pounding is understandable. Good analysis as always, but I will say TCU appears to have found at least a decent stand-in QB, tossed for 250+ and beat Baylor. Not that I am saying your pick is wrong on that one, but the info behind it could be debated.

Comment #3 has been removed
October 17, 2012  02:32 PM ET

Oregon ain't giving up 35 points unless the scout team D is playing in the 4th

 
October 17, 2012  09:29 PM ET
QUOTE(#4):

Oregon ain't giving up 35 points unless the scout team D is playing in the 4th

Crappy Washington State scored 26 points against Oregon and Arizona State is averaging over 40 points a game while Oregon is giving up an average of 20 points per game so while it might seem kinda high, 35 points for the Sun Devils is not much of a stretch.

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