Published October 2, 2012 - 10:00am
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This weekend, a sexy lineup of games features star power, defense and teams vying to make a push for six wins. This is the first week that only SEC teams are playing each other – inter-conference warfare, if you will.
Saturday’s slate will keep you glued to the TV all day:
Arkansas at Auburn, 12:00 PM ET
Both programs are on life support at this phase of the season, and both desperately need a win in the worst way. If Arkansas wins this football game, it further tells us that Auburn will not make a bowl game and could be on the course for four or five wins, maximum. Arkansas likely won’t make a bowl game at all this season, as evidenced by their stellar defensive play. Whoever wins separates themselves as “not the worst team” in the SEC…if that’s good for anything. Don’t worry, I’ll still be watching this football game.
#20 Mississippi State at Kentucky, 12:21 PM ET
“Just don’t do what South Carolina almost did” is what Dan Mullen is saying right about now. After a week off, the Bulldogs are fresh and ready for a trip to Lexington against the beaten-down Wildcats. Jalen Whitlow will start at quarterback again, and Mississippi State will try and take care of business in a convincible fashion. MSU’s defense hasn’t exactly been great in the last two games against Troy and South Alabama, and they get a chance to make a statement against the Wildcats.
#4 LSU at #10 Florida, 3:30 PM ET
We’re going to find out if LSU is as good as what we all thought before the season started, because they haven’t been tested by a team like Florida yet. Florida coach Will Muschamp hired his strength coach Jeff Dillman for games like this one, and it will test the physical and mental soul of the Gators on offense and defense. LSU is suspect in the passing game and will look to lean heavily on the running game to keep the stick moving, hoping to make a big play or two through the air with Zach Mettenberger. Florida, on the other hand, will have to find creative ways to win the running game. Seeing that Towson was successful last week on quarterback draws and zone read plays, I fully expect Florida to run multiples of each with Jeff Driskel and Trey Burton at quarterback. This will tell us much about both teams Saturday.
Vanderbilt at Missouri, 7:00 PM ET
Neither team has a win in conference play (0-2), and this is the best chance for each to get their first SEC win. Both teams have struggled in two SEC games against better teams. It will be an accurate measure to see where each program currently sits within the division after a dismal start. Obviously, this is not for last place in the East, yet, because Kentucky will likely finish in that position. However, it’s going to take a good game from the Commodores to win on the road. Missouri has more talent and are playing at home.
Texas A&M at Ole Miss, 7:00 PM ET
This games screams boring to you casual SEC football fans. However, this will be a must-watch game. Two up and coming programs will be battling it out in one of the best venues in college football in Oxford. The Rebels welcome Johnny Football and will try and limit his playmaking ability. I’ve been really impressed so far by Ole Miss and what Hugh Freeze is building. He’s taken a 2-10 roster and surpassed that mark in four games this season, and they looked very physical, giving Alabama’s ball carriers and offense some shots last Saturday. On the flip, TAMU could be one of the biggest surprise teams in the SEC, along with Mississippi State. Here are two high-powered offenses doing battle in an underrated matchup. Yeah, I’ll be watching this one, too.
#5 Georgia at #6 South Carolina, 7:00 PM ET
This is no doubt the game of the week, and the loser has only made it to Atlanta one time in its history, and that was just last year when the Bulldogs made it to Atlanta after the Gamecocks took care of business on the road in a shootout. This Saturday could be another shootout, as Georgia’s defense looked missing against Tennessee except for the last five minutes of the game, and the Bulldogs can score some points. South Carolina is one of those teams that don’t jump out at you on offense, but they can score in a hurry, led by veteran Connor Shaw and Marcus Lattimore. Star power will be on full display from Aaron Murray, Todd Gurley and Jarvis Jones to Marcus Lattimore and Jadeveon Clowney. The winner should be the favorite in the SEC East, as both teams will have Florida left on the schedule.