Recap of last week- I was 8-2, both losses coming in the NB3 section where I have struggled most of the season. Who knew ND would blow out Oklahoma? But for the SEC games, most games went like I expected. I expected Miss State to give Bama a better fight, and I didn't think Auburn was capable of scoring 21 points, but all in all good week.
I guess the biggest news of last week would have to be Marcus Lattimore going down. It was one of the more brutal injuries that I have seen in a while. My first though when watching it live was his football days are over. Thankfully the doctors have said that there is a possibility of a return some time next season, and could definitely play in 2014. A dislocated knee sounds painful, but it doesn't sound as bad as my first thought, but then again, I'm not close to being considered a doctor. This UGA fan wishes Lattimore the best of luck, and I hope he returns to footabll at some point. Hopefully this won't ruin his chances of playing in the NFL.
On to the games.
South Carolina- They need it
Troy at Tennessee- Tennessee needs a team like this to build some confidence. A season that started so promising has turned into a disaster. They joined Vandy as the only SEC teams to ever start conference play 0-5 for 3 consecutive years. At any rate, I don't see Troy as much of a threat. Tennessee should be able to score more than enough points to win. 35-14 Tennessee
New Mexico State at Auburn- What joy. A 1-7 WAC team playing a 1-7 SEC team. I won't dignify this game with any sort of analysis. 35-7 Auburn
Interesting Non Conference Game
Tulsa at Arkansas- Tulsa been been a pretty quiet 7-1 this season, winning 7 in a row after dropping the opener to Iowa State. While the 7-1 record looks pretty, none of Tulsa's wins have been against anyone to write home about. Tulsa brings in a great running game, a bellow average passing attack and a middle of the pack defense. Arky's defense hasn't been anything special this season, so depite the one dimensional offense, I think Tulsa will put some points on the board. But I think Tuls'a average C-USA defense will be their undoing in this one. Arkansas is very talented at the skill positions, if their offensive line can give Wilson any time at all, Arky should win this game fairly easily. But Arky's o-line has been terrible this season. I think Arkansas will win, but it won't be pretty, and it will be similar to the UL-Monroe game, except Arky comes out on top. 42-38 Arkansas
Eh, At Least They're Conference Games
Vanderbilt at Kentucky- Vandy used poor Umass to make it to .500 on the season, and despite the rough start, Vandy has the schedule to make a bowl game in back to back years. Kentucky is the worst team in the SEC(followed closely by Auburn). They can't run the ball. They can't pass the ball. And they can't play defense. Vandy should run all over this Kentucky defense. Vandy will earn their 5th win. 35-10 Vandy
Missouri at Florida- Missouri finally picked up their first SEC conference win last week against Kentucky. But they still haven't gotten their offense together against an SEC opponent this season. It took 3 fumble recoveries to put up points against the lowly Wildcats. James Franklin was back in limited action last week, which is good for the Mizzou team going forward, but if Franklin is starting this week, it couldn't come at a worse time. Florida will be looking to take out their frustrations of the UGA game on M izzou this weekend, and I wouldn't want to be on Mizzou's offense in this game. I look for some hard hits from Florida's great defense, and a QB coming back from injury isn't good news for Mizzou in this game. While Florida's offense struggle mighely last week, I still have confidence in Driaskel as a QB. I think he rebounds this week. Bad season for Mizzou continues. 28-10 Florida
Interesting Conference Game
Ole Miss at Georgia- Ole miss is a much improved team. They have a lot of young talent on this team, and I think they will be SEC title contenders in the next couple of years. Bo Wallace has been rock solid for a true freshman, and Ole Miss's offense hasn't been better in a long time. They are coming off a big win on the road against Arkansas in Little Rock, needing just 1 more win to become bowl eligible, which is a huge step after last year's dismal season. Freeze seems to be a good fit at head coach for the Rebels, and it'll be at least a few years before you can call Ole Miss laughing stock of the SEC anymore.
Georgia is coming off their biggest win since 2005 when they beat LSU in the SEC CHampionship game. When everyone was counting them out, trashing the team, trashing Mark Richt, Georgia's defense showed their potential against Florida, and Jarvis Jones made an All American caliber day. The win gave UGA first place in the East with the tiebreaker over Florida and a one game lead over South Carolina with just Ole Miss and Auburn remaining in SEC play.
As a UGA fan, this game scares me. UGA coming off a big win, I hope they didn't party too hard, and I hope they come into this game with the same intensity they had against Florida, because Ole Miss has the talent to pull the upset this week. Aaron Murray needs to rebound after his tough game against Florida despite the win. While Ole Miss has a lot of potential for the future, I don't think they're ready to beat the top teams in the SEC just yet. I think they're good enough to keep the game interesting, but they still need some work defensively. Murray rebounds with a big game, and Gurshall gets back on track. Georgia wins 38-24
Co Game of the Week
Texas A&M at Mississippi State- Ok, Miss State was blown out by Bama, but what team hasn't been this season? Mississippi State is still a very good football team. Russell is still a very good QB, and Miss Stae still has a much more balanced offense and a very good defense, and Dan Mullen is still a very good head coach. My biggest question about Mississippi State is how will they react to their first loss of season, and seeing their hopes for playing in Atlanta at season's end take a big hit?
A&M is coming off a blowout against Auburn, which isn't saying much, but I will say that A&M has been impressive in their first year of SEC play. 3-2 in conference play on the year with the only two losses coming against Florida and LSU in close games. Manziel has arguably been the best QB in the SEC this year. In the next year or so, A&M will be a title contender if Manziel stay healthy. He leads the team in both passing yards and rushing yards, and I don't think you can rule him out of the Heisman discussion. A&M's defense is among the best in the conference, but their defense has struggled at times this season, and their only two losses have came aginst two of the top defenses in the SEC, both of which have weak offenses.
As for the game, I think Mississippi State will rebound from the Bama game. They have a good enough defense to slow down A&M, and when A&M's offense gets shutdown, their defense isn't good enough to make up for it. I think Russell and Perkins will have big games, and the cowbells in the crowd will have an effect. Good game, but I think this one goes the same route as the Florida and LSU games for A&M. 24-21 Mississippi State
Game of the Week
Alabama at LSU- I guess this would be the rematch of a rematch. While, LSU does have a loss to Florida, the implications of the game has not changed. It's just as big of a game as it was last year, and the winner is more than likely playing Georgia or Florida for the SEC Championship, and both have their eyes on taking home the National Championship. The regular season game last year was a defensive struggle that saw Alabama's kicker(forget his name) miss multiple field goals that would have given Bama the win and ended all controversy. But, never the less, LSU won the game in Tuscaloosa, and went on to defeat Georgia in the SEC Championship game. Through some luck of other teams losing, Bama also found their way into the National championship game, leading to a bunch of crying from fans who didn't want to see a rematch, even though it was against the two best teams in the country, and is what the BCS is there for, matching the two best teams in the country together in the championship game. But the game was a big showing for Alabama, a dominant 21-0 game silenced all critics who said Bama didn't belong.
Bama has received pretty much unanimous number 1 votes all season long. They are the favorites to win the national championship, and are rightfully favored to win this game. They don't do anything flashy. They wear their opponents down on both sides of the ball. Their defense is ridiculous. In many games, their third string has been just as good as the opponent's starters. On offense, they have a two headed monster at RB in Yeldon and Lacey and a QB who only has 18 TDs to 0 interceptions throwing the ball, along with a dominant o-line. Bama silenced a lot of critics in their blow out of Mississippi State last week.
LSU has been a pretty inconsistent team this season. There was a stretch of games where the team looked mediocre that saw them barely beat Auburn, allow a lot of yards to Towson and lose to Florida. They have since rebounded to beat South Carolina and A&M, and they are currently the highest ranked 1 loss team in the country. Mettenberger has abeen a disappointment at QB, but the running game has been solid, and the defense is still elite.
As for the game, LSU has the defense to keep them in it. I think McCarron will throw his first interception of the season this week, and McCarron will be hit more than he is accustom to. The game is in Death Valley, where LSU has been virtually unbeatable for a long time. It's arguably the best homefield advantage in the country, but for some reason, LSU plays Bama better on the road, and the same goes for Bama playing LSU. I think the game will mostly be a defensive struggle. I don't think either team can blwout the other. But for the game, I will be picking the road team. While both teams are great defensively, Alabama has been much better on the offensive side of the ball. They will win the field position and time of possession battles. LSU is more prone to turnovers, and a turnover in this game will be costly. It's hard to pick against LSU at home, but I think Alabama is the better team all around. Better defensively, offensively and they have a better head coach. 28-14 Alabama
Next Best 3
Oregon at USC- USC, while they haven't been impressive on the road, they have been very good at home, and I think this team is just too talented to lose back to back weeks. They'll be playing angry after the loss to Arizona, and I think they pull the upset. 63-55 USC
Oklahoma State at Kansas State- K State is my pick to face Bama in the national championship game. Okie State is a decent team, but they won't be able to stop Collin Klein. Kansas State wins big, 45-17
Texas at Texas Tech- Texas is the more talented team, but they have been very disappointing this season. Texas Tech has been a very pleasant surprise this season, and Texas's very weak defense will bite them again. 38-32 Texas Tech