In & around SEC football


Auburn Week 9 Review

With red zone woes continuing to plague the Au-burn offense, the Tigers fell 27-19 to Ole Miss last Saturday (Oct. 31). Quarterback Sean White was hobbled with a knee injury for most of the game, and the inconsistency of the Auburn offense was a major issue once again. The Tigers settled for four field goals and could not convert Ole Miss turnovers into touchdowns. AU dropped to 4-4 overall and 1-4 in conference play. The Tigers travel to College Station to take on Texas A&M this Saturday (Nov. 7). 

SEC Rankings

1. LSU (7-0, 4-0)

2. Alabama (7-1, 4-1)

3. Florida (7-1, 5-1)

4. Ole Miss (7-2, 4-1)

5. Texas A&M (6-2, 3-2)

6. Mississippi State (6-2, 2-2)

7. Tennessee (4-4, 2-3)

8. Arkansas (4-4, 2-2)

9. Georgia (5-3, 3-3)

10. Auburn (4-4, 1-4)

11. Kentucky (4-4, 2-4)

12. South Carolina (3-5, 1-5)

13. Vanderbilt (3-5, 1-3)

14. Missouri (4-4, 1-4)

Week 10 Previews and Predictions 

Week 9: 5-1; season: 60-17

Game of the Week

LSU at Alabama (-6.5). This usually is one of the best games of the season in college football, and this year’s contest between the Tide and the Tigers should not disappoint. In the first College Football Playoff rankings of the season released earlier this week, LSU checked in at No. 2, while Alabama was ranked fourth. While there’s still a month left to go in the regular season, the winner of this game has an excellent chance of making the playoffs. The most interesting dynamic is that both teams have the same strengths in relying on explosive ru-nning games and strong defenses, and neither asks its quarterback to do too much. LSU has the top offensive line in the country and Alabama has the best defensive front seven. The Tigers also have the best running back in the nation in Leonard Fournette, but Alabama’s Derrick Henry has also had a great season. This game likely will come down to quarterback play. Brandon Harris has yet to throw an interception this season, but the Tigers don’t ask him to throw the ball much. Jake Coker has been slightly more inconsistent for Alabama, but he’s shown that he is capable of making big throws in crunch time. LSU has the advantage in special teams, and both teams have equally great secondaries. If the Bama defense can limit LSU’s running game without blitzing, it will force LSU to throw the ball more, and Harris hasn’t seen a defense like this one all season. Since losing to LSU 9-6 in overtime in 2011, Nick Saban has won four straight in this rivalry. Prediction: Alabama 24, LSU 13. 

Mississippi State at Missouri (+7.5). Missouri’s offense has been one of the worst in college football this season, and Gary Pinkel suspended quarterback Maty Mauk indefinitely for a violation of team rules. Dak Prescott has submitted another great season for the Bulldogs, who should knock off the Tigers. Prediction: Mississippi State 24, Missouri 10. 

Kentucky at Georgia (-14.5). After another embarrassing loss, Mark Richt might be in trouble in Athens. The Bulldogs have not lived up to presea-son expectations and are already eliminated from contention in the SEC East Division. If Georgia wins out, Richt might be able to survive one more year, but a loss to Kentucky or Au-burn might seal his fate after 15 seasons in Athens. Prediction: Georgia 20, Kentucky 13. 

Arkansas at Ole Miss (-10.5). Despite having two losses, the Rebels are still alive in the SEC West. If Ole Miss wins its remaining games against Arkansas, LSU, and Mississippi State, it will represent the West Division in Atlanta. The Razorbacks whipped the Rebels 30-0 last season and are capable of winning again on Saturday. Prediction: Ole Miss 27, Arkansas 24. 

Vanderbilt at Florida (-21). The Gators have already won the SEC East and are still in playoff con-tention. Florida should be 10-1 entering its last two games against Florida State and the winner of the SEC West. If they win both games, the Gators will be in the playoffs. Prediction: Florida 28, Vanderbilt 3. 

South Carolina at Tennessee (-17). It’s been a di-sappointing season thus far for the Volunteers, but they still have an opportunity to finish on a strong note. There’s a good chance the Vols win out, and they likely will be the favorites to win the East next season. Prediction: Tennessee 38, South Carolina 14

Auburn at Texas A&M (-7.5). Texas A&M quarterback Kyler Murray was spectacular in his first career start last week against South Carolina. Murray threw for 223 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 156 yards and another score. Auburn has had difficulty stopping mobile quarterbacks this season, so Murray should put up big numbers this week. The Auburn offense should have success moving the ball, but Aggie defensive end Myles Garrett will cause problems for Sean White. Prediction: Texas A&M 37, Auburn 24. 

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