No SEC teams have a bye this week, although sarcastic fans might argue to the contrary for Ole Miss and Tennessee. While Georgia Southern might be one of the better teams in the Sun Belt, Ole Miss is hardly facing a major challenge this week.

Here are this week’s 10 burning questions:

  1. Speaking of Tennessee, the big question for the team has less to do with the outcome against Tennessee Tech and more to do with: How will the team look, and will a win inspire more team confidence? With star running back Jalen Hurd’s decision to transfer following a shocking loss to South Carolina, it has been a difficult week for the program.
  2. CBS will be broadcasting the two big SEC games this week, the primetime Alabama-LSU matchup getting most of the attention. The biggest question concerns Alabama’s freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts and how he will handle adversity. He handled it well on the road against Ole Miss and last week in a tough game against Texas A&M. However, Death Valley is unlike any other atmosphere, and the LSU defense is probably the toughest Hurts has faced this season.
  3. The more hyped matchup is: How will Leonard Fournette fare against Alabama’s defense? On the one hand, Fournette looked better than ever two weeks ago against Ole Miss, but then again, Alabama’s run defense looks better than ever, too.
  4. The other CBS game has a central question of: How will Florida’s defense and Arkansas’ offense fare against one another? Specifically, how will Florida handle Arkansas’ receivers? Auburn showed how to shut the Arkansas offense down, but the Hogs still possess a dangerous receiving corps that found success against Alabama and Ole Miss.
  5. Another major question is: How bad are the injuries for Arkansas? Allen left the Auburn game in the second quarter and didn’t look the same after returning. The team had a slew of other injuries on the offensive line and on defense. Unless the team is relatively healthy at key positions, it’s hard to envision the Razorbacks beating the Gators.
John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

  1. Can Georgia figure it out on offense? Georgia has plenty of offensive weapons, but the team is 12th in the SEC in points per game at 23.3. Kentucky is just ahead of the Bulldogs at 11th in the league. For UGA, 21 rushing yards — like it had last week against Florida — simply won’t cut it against Kentucky.
  2. On the other side of the ball, Georgia’s defense has done reasonably well at stopping the run game. Florida rushed for just 100 yards total last week. Will “Boom” Williams have any success? As crazy as it seems, this game is worth watching because Kentucky is actually in the hunt for the SEC East. Florida is the clear favorite, although Georgia and Tennessee is an easier slate than road games against Arkansas, LSU and a home contest against resurgent South Carolina.
  3. The marquee matchup in Columbia, S.C. should be Missouri quarterback Drew Lock and the South Carolina defense, but the significant struggles of the Missouri defense and the early success of freshman quarterback Jake Bentley makes for a more interesting storyline. Will Bentley be able to keep the ball rolling for South Carolina?
  4. Fred Ross etched his way into the Mississippi State record books two weeks ago, becoming the school’s all-time leader in catches. Last week, Ross set the school record for 100-yard games (nine). With a catch, he’ll set the Bulldogs’ record for most consecutive games with a catch (31). However, will he be completely overshadowed by Texas A&M’s Christian Kirk and Josh Reynolds?
  5. Vandy’s offense is one of the worst in the SEC. So some view the Commodores as not having a fighting chance against Auburn. However, the defense has looked strong. Can Vanderbilt’s defense slow down the Auburn offense that has looked virtually unstoppable in recent weeks?