By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent
Auburn Week 9 Recap
The Tigers capped off a strong October with a 31-20 home win over Ole Miss, so AU still controls its destiny in the SEC West. Tank Bigsby rushed for 140 yards and a touchdown in his best performance of the season, while Bo Nix threw for 276 yards and score along with 30 yards on the ground with two rushing touchdowns. Auburn allowed only three points in the second half to the best offense in the conference, and the win keeps Bryan Harsin’s team on pace with Alabama in the division. The Tigers travel to College Station this Saturday (Nov. 6) for a pivotal showdown with Texas A&M.
Week 10 SEC Rankings
1. Georgia (8-0, 6-0)
2. Alabama (7-1, 4-1)
3. Texas A&M (6-2, 3-2)
4. Auburn (6-2, 3-1)
5. Ole Miss (6-2, 3-2)
6. Miss. State (5-3, 3-2)
7. Arkansas (5-3, 1-3)
8. Kentucky (6-2, 4-2)
9. LSU (4-4, 2-3)
10. Florida (4-3, 2-4)
11. Tennessee (4-4, 2-3)
12. Missouri (4-4, 1-3)
13. South Car. (4-4, 1-4)
14. Vanderbilt (2-7, 0-5)
Week 10 Previews and Predictions
Last week: 4-0; season: 67-11
Saturday, Nov. 6
Game of the Week: Auburn at Texas A&M (-4.5). Both of these SEC West foes are in contention in the division, but the path for Auburn is much clearer. If the Tigers win out, they’ll represent the West in Atlanta. If Texas A&M wins out, they’ll need some help since they already have two conference losses. Alabama must lose again for the Aggies to have a chance. An Auburn loss does not knock them out of the equation if they win out after this game, but the stakes are incredibly high for each team as they square off Saturday afternoon. Prediction: Texas A&M 31, Auburn 24.
Missouri at Georgia (-38.5). The Bulldogs already have clinched the SEC East, and they’re a clear No. 1 in the initial playoff rankings. If Georgia finishes the season at 12-0 – and they’re heavily favored to do so – they’ll almost certainly be in the playoffs, regardless of what happens in the SEC title game. Missouri won’t be able to stop the Bulldogs on Saturday, so this should be another rout for Kirby Smart’s squad. Prediction: Georgia 45, Missouri 10.
Liberty at Ole Miss (-9.5). Hugh Freeze makes his return to Oxford after an unceremonious conclusion to his tenure with the Rebels, and Saturday’s matchup features two of the best quarterbacks in the country. Matt Corral is among the Heisman Trophy favorites, while Liberty quarterback Malik Willis has the potential to be a first-round pick in the NFL draft. After Willis transferred from Auburn to Liberty, he flourished in Freeze’s offense, and Saturday’s game could be a shootout in Oxford. Prediction: Ole Miss 48, Liberty 34.
Mississippi State at Arkansas (-5). One of the most surprising results of the initial College Football Playoff Rankings was Mississippi State appearing in the top 20 despite three losses. The Bulldogs have quality wins over Kentucky and Texas A&M and have an opportunity to bolster their resume with a road win in Fayetteville. Arkansas had a week off to prepare for the Mike Leach air raid offense, and this is a favorable matchup for Sam Pittman’s crew. Prediction: Arkansas 27, Mississippi State 17.
LSU at Alabama (-28.5). The last time Ed Orgeron brought his LSU team into Bryant-Denny Stadium, his Tigers emerged victorious en route to a 15-0 national title season. Orgeron’s Tigers are currently 4-4, and he will not be returning to the LSU sideline next season. Much has changed in Baton Rouge over the past two years, but the song remains the same in Tuscaloosa. Alabama is No. 2 in the playoff rankings despite a loss to Texas A&M, and it’s hard to argue that anyone outside of Georgia is better than the Crimson Tide. Coach O’s last trip to Tuscaloosa as LSU’s head coach won’t be a pleasant one. Prediction: Alabama 59, LSU 24.
Tennessee at Kentucky (-1). Despite the loss to Mississippi State, Kentucky still has an opportunity to win 10 games in the regular season. However, this Saturday’s matchup against the Volunteers will not be an easy one, especially considering how dynamic Tennessee’s offense has been for much of this season. If the Vols can go into Lexington and win, it would give Josh Heupel’s team a confidence boost entering the last few weeks of the regular season. Prediction: Kentucky 33, Tennessee 31.
Florida at South Carolina (+18). Dan Mullen is not on the hot seat, but the Gators’ 4-4 record has certainly raised a few eyebrows in Gainesville. Florida should still finish 8-4 in the regular season, but it has not been pretty the last few weeks for the Gators. Shane Beamer is 4-4 in his first season in Columbia, and a win over Florida would be a massive one for the Gamecocks moving forward. Prediction: Florida 31, South Carolina 20.