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Sep 15

SEC Spotlight

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After another week of SEC action, Alabama is still the best team in the league and it’s still not really close.  But what else did we learn from last week’s games?  I personally believe we learned a lot as the puzzle continues to unfold.  Kentucky is clearly the worst team in the league while the East looks to still be wide open.

As mentioned, Alabama is still the dominant team and the Saban outburst late in the game aimed at Kiffin demonstrates why ‘Bama will be the team to beat in the foreseeable future.  Coaching is so much more than x’s and o’s.  Nick Saban understands that the small details matter and he leads by example.  He was pissed about ‘Bama’s performance Saturday and he used that opportunity to make a point to Kiffin and the entire team.  This week Alabama is favored by 11 points and the total is 55 as they go to Oxford, Mississippi to face Ole Miss.  The Rebels are coming off of a bounce back performance vs. Wofford after losing their opener to FSU.  Ole Miss has defeated Alabama in each of the past two seasons.  Their offense gives the Crimson Tide’s defense fits.  Will Nick get revenge against his friend, Hugh Freeze?  Or, will Freeze and Ole Miss continue their success against Alabama.  Lean:  Over 55

Tennessee defeated Va. Tech, 45-24, in front of a record crowd at Bristol Motor Speedway.  After starting slow with the same vanilla offensive game plan that they used against Appalachian State, the Vols opened it up and pulled away from the Hokies.  I’m sure Tennessee fans were wondering if their high powered offense would ever be unleashed.  It finally was.  This week they face Ohio out of the Mac conference.  The Vols are favored by 27 points with a total of 55.  Lean:  Tennessee

Georgia struggled mightily with Nicholls State.  Yes, you read that correctly.  The Dawgs had a big letdown after their opening win vs. UNC.  New head coach Kirby Smart looked a bit like Mark Richt on the sidelines and that is the last thing Dawg fans wanted to see.  His fire wasn’t the same as it was in game 1 and the Dawg players followed suit.  Georgia travels to Missouri this week to face the Tigers.  UGA is currently a 6-point favorite with a total of 55.5.  The Dawgs certainly have more talent than the Tigers but the key will be how they respond after a lackluster performance vs. Nicholls State.  Lean:  UGA

Florida dismantled Kentucky 45-7 in the swamp.  It was an impressive performance and McElwain is picking up right where he left off last season.  North Texas comes to town this week and the Gators are favored by 37 points with a total of 50.5.  Florida will probably have a bit of a letdown and they could be looking ahead to next week’s matchup against Tennessee.  However, UNT is horrible and the Gators should still win easily.  Lean:  North Texas

Arkansas won a thriller in double OT 41-38 over TCU last week.  They battled back after being down early in that ball game.  Fortunately, they face Texas State this week and the Hogs are 31-point favorites with a total of 61.5.  They could also get caught looking ahead to next week’s matchup with Texas A&M but they should still win this one easily.  Lean:  Texas State

Nothing else really stood out from last week’s games other than Mississippi State bouncing back in a big way with an easy win over South Carolina.  Vanderbilt found some offense against MTSU while LSU, Auburn, Texas A&M, and Missouri beat up on teams they should beat up on.

The Gamecocks have a tough game against East Carolina this week and South Carolina is a 3-point favorite with a total of 50.5.  Lean:  South Carolina

Vanderbilt is a 6.5-point underdog to Georgia Tech with a posted total of 42.  This is an intriguing matchup as Vandy has a very good run defense and Tech will obviously run the football.  I look for Paul Johnson to have his guys ready to play and I see him winning this game with coaching.  Lean:  Ga Tech

The second biggest matchup of this week is Texas A&M at Auburn.  Auburn is a 3.5-point favorite with a total of 54.  Is the Auburn defense as good as they looked against Clemson?  They certainly have the talent to be that good but can they do it week in and week out.  Is Trevor Knight the answer for A&M at quarterback?  These are very interesting and key questions heading into this ball game.  I really like the Tigers when they play at home and I look for Malzahn and company to pull one off.  A&M has some NFL caliber players on defense but the gimmicky Auburn offense should keep them off balance.  Lean:  Auburn

Mississippi State in the third biggest matchup of the week.  The Tigers are 14-point favorites at home with a posted total of 44.  It’s early in the season but this is a must win game for both of these programs.  The loser of this game will already have two losses and will be all but eliminated from the National Championship game.  That’s nothing new for State but LSU had high hopes coming into this season.  Will the change at QB spark the Tigers or will State show that they can really make some noise in the SEC this year?  Lean:  Miss State

Kentucky is a 19-point favorite over New Mexico State with a posted total of 64.5.  Stoops better do something in a hurry if he wants to be the coach of the Wildcats in the future.  His team looks pathetic and uninterested.  This one is cupcake city.  Lean:  Kentucky

There are three really good matchups this week that everyone will be watching.  It’s the SEC and it’s getting good.  Next week’s slate is really good as well:  UF at Tennessee, UGA at Ole Miss, LSU at Auburn, and Arkansas at A&M.

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