In & around the SEC - Week 9

By Cole FrederickBy Cole Frederick

Alabama Week 8 recap

On a Saturday full of upsets throughout the Southeastern Conference, the top-ranked Crimson Tide easily took care of business against the overmatched Arkansas Razorbacks. For the second straight season, Alabama defeated Arkansas, 52-0. Nick Saban’s team played mistake-free football for the entire game, not committing a penalty or a turning over the ball. The Crimson Tide improved to 7-0 overall, and 4-0 in SEC play. Alabama welcomes rival Tennessee to Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday (Oct. 26).

Auburn Week 8 recap

The Tigers upset Texas A&M, 45-41, in dramatic fashion in College Station last Saturday. Trailing 41-38 late in the fourth quarter, Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall engineered his second game-winning drive of the season, while running back Tre Mason capped off the 13-play drive with a 5-yard touchdown. The Aggies threatened to score with less than a minute to play, but AU defensive end Dee Ford sacked Johnny Manziel to force a turnover on downs. Auburn improved to 6-1 overall and 3-1 in league play. The Tigers face Florida Atlantic this Saturday in Jordan-Hare Stadium.

SEC Rankings
    1. Alabama (7-0, 4-0)
    2. Missouri (7-0, 3-0)
    3. Auburn (6-1, 3-1)
    4. LSU (6-2, 3-2)
    5. South Carolina (5-2, 3-2)
    6. Texas A&M (5-2, 2-2)
    7. Ole Miss (4-3, 2-3)
    8. Georgia (4-3, 3-2)
    9. Florida (4-3, 3-2)
    10. Tennessee (4-3, 1-2)
    11. Vanderbilt (4-3, 1-3)
    12. Mississippi State (3-3, 0-2)
    13. Arkansas (3-5, 0-4)
    14. Kentucky (1-5, 0-3)

Week 9 Previews and Predictions
(Week 8: 1-5; Season: 58-12)

Game of the Week

South Carolina at Missouri (-3). Missouri controls its own destiny in the SEC East. After knocking off Florida last week, the Tigers now have a two-game lead on every other team in the eastern division. If the Gamecocks knock off the Tigers, they would still have a chance to make it to Atlanta. No Connor Shaw for South Carolina, but backup Dylan Thompson has proven to be a more than capable replacement. Prediction: South Carolina 27, Missouri 23.

Kentucky at Mississippi State (-10.5). This is a must-win game if the Bulldogs want a chance to play in the postseason. Mississippi State is 3-3 on the year and have yet to play Alabama, Texas A&M or South Carolina. Kentucky is still looking for its first conference win under head coach Mark Stoops, and this might be the Wildcats’ best opportunity of the season. Prediction: Mississippi State 34, Kentucky 23.

Vanderbilt at Texas A&M (-17). Although Texas A&M has scored at least 41 points in every game this season, the Aggie defense has been one of the worst in college football. In its two losses, the Texas A&M defense has allowed 94 points. Vanderbilt defeated Georgia last week, and the Commodores inched closer to become bowl eligible for the third consecutive season. Vandy will have to score at least 40 points to beat the Aggies and must do so without injured starting quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels. Prediction: Texas A&M 45, Vanderbilt 30.

Tennessee at Alabama (-28). Since giving up 42 points to Texas A&M, Alabama has only given up 16 points to opposing teams. Tennessee is the best team Alabama has faced this month, but the Volunteers are still in rebuilding mode. After knocking off South Carolina last week, however, the Vols finally have some momentum. Tennessee has struggled away from home this year, though, and Alabama is the better team in every phase of the game. Prediction: Alabama 41, Tennessee 10.

Furman at LSU (-47). Ole Miss upset the Tigers last weekend in Oxford but luckily has a game to regroup before facing Alabama on Nov. 9. LSU struggled both offensively and defensively against the Rebels, and the Baton Rogue squad’s national title hopes slipped away in the process. Prediction: LSU 55, Furman 6.

Idaho at Ole Miss (-41.5). Hugh Freeze finally picked up his signature victory as the Ole Miss head coach. After losing several one-possession games the last two seasons, the Rebels finally closed out LSU by way of a last-second field goal by kicker Andrew Ritter. The Rebels are 4-3 and already have played the toughest part of their schedule. Look for Ole Miss to go on a run over the next few weeks.  Prediction: Ole Miss 52, Idaho 3.

Florida Atlantic at Auburn (-24). Auburn defeated Texas A&M last weekend, and the Tigers now control their own destiny in the SEC West. At this point a season ago, Auburn was 1-6. The Tigers now are 6-1 and head coach Gus Malzahn is a candidate for Coach of the Year. The Tigers should ea-sily defeat the Owls, and then face a tough November schedule consisting of games against Arkansas, Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama. Prediction: Auburn 48, Florida Atlantic 13.

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