By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent
Alabama Week 5 Recap
Despite star quarterback Bryce Young missing the second half, a dominant fourth quarter propelled Alabama to a 49-26 victory over Arkansas last week. Young injured his shoulder in the first half, and the Crimson Tide’s 28-0 lead evaporated in the third quarter. The Hogs drew within 28-23 before backup quarterback Jalen Milroe and running back Jahmyr Gibbs made sure the upset bid ended early in the fourth quarter. Gibbs rushed for 206 yards and two touchdowns, while Milroe added 91 yards on the ground and 65 through the air. Alabama hosts Texas A&M this Saturday (Oct. 8).
Auburn Week 5 Recap
Auburn jumped out to a 17-0 lead in the second quarter against LSU last week but did not score another point the rest of the game in a 21-17 loss at home. It marked the second straight week Auburn failed to score in the second half, and the Tigers now head to Athens to take on the defending national champions. Robby Ashford threw for 337 yards and two touchdowns but also committed a pair of costly turnovers. Auburn outgained LSU 438 to 270 but still managed to lose. The schedule only toughens from here as AU dropped to 3-2 overall and 1-1 in the SEC.
Week 6 SEC Rankings
1. Alabama (5-0, 2-0)
2. Georgia (5-0, 2-0)
3. Tennessee (4-0, 1-0)
4. Ole Miss (5-0, 1-0)
5. Kentucky (4-1, 1-1)
6. LSU (4-1, 2-0)
7. Mississippi State (4-1, 1-1)
8. Texas A&M (3-2, 1-1)
9. Arkansas (3-2, 0-2)
10. Florida (3-2, 0-2)
11. South Carolina (3-2, 0-2)
12. Vanderbilt (3-2, 0-1)
13. Auburn (3-2, 1-1)
14. Missouri (2-3, 0-2)
Week 6 Previews and Predictions
Week 5: 7-0; season: 36-5
Game of the Week: Texas A&M at Alabama (-24). A year ago, Jimbo Fisher became the first former assistant to defeat Nick Saban. Since then, Saban and Fisher have started an off-the-field rivalry over the issue of Name Image and Likeness. Fisher’s program is trending in the wrong direction. Texas A&M has lost twice already, including an upset loss to Appalachian State, and even though UA quarterback Bryce Young is not guaranteed to play, the Aggies enter Bryant-Denny Stadium this Saturday as underdogs of over three touchdowns. It is possible Young will play, but backup Jalen Milroe could see his first career start if Young’s shoulder is not good to go. Regardless of which QB is at the helm, Alabama will remain be a massive favorite and is still the favorite to win the national title. Meanwhile, Texas A&M will likely leave Tuscaloosa with a .500 record halfway through the season. Prediction: Alabama 41, Texas A&M 10.
Auburn at Georgia (-30). Bryan Harsin remains Auburn’s head coach, but it’s looking less and less likely that he will survive the Tigers’ open week in two weeks. Auburn plays Georgia and Ole Miss on the road over the next two weeks before the open date, and Harsin must win at least one of those games to keep his job. If the Georgia game gets ugly, Harsin’s tenure could be over when he returns to The Plains late Saturday or early Sunday. Prediction: Georgia 48, Auburn 10.
Tennessee at LSU (+3). Is Tennessee back? The Volunteers are ranked in the top 10, but the next month will determine if Josh Heupel’s team is here to stay. UT hosts Alabama in a highly anticipated showdown next week, the Vols first must first go into Baton Rouge and knock off LSU. This is not a dominant LSU team, which could easily be 2-3 right now, but the Tigers possess a talented roster and could easily pull off a minor upset if Tennessee is looking ahead to Alabama. Prediction: LSU 34, Tennessee 31.
Arkansas at Mississippi State (-9.5). A few weeks ago, Arkansas was ranked in the top 10 entering its showdown with Texas A&M. The Hogs are now 3-2 with another difficult road game against perhaps the third-best team in the SEC. Mississippi State has been under the radar since its early loss to LSU, but the Bulldogs dismantled Texas A&M last week and are favored to do the same to the Razorbacks on Saturday. Do not be surprised if MSU is 6-1 heading into Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 22. Prediction: Mississippi State 38, Arkansas 31.
Missouri at Florida (-11). Missouri responded to its gut-wrenching loss at Auburn two weeks ago with a near upset over top-ranked Georgia last Saturday. It was an impressive effort from the Tigers, but now Eli Drinkwitz must prepare his team for another road trip, this time to The Swamp to take on Florida. The Gators certainly are not a juggernaut, but this is a very difficult spot for Missouri. Prediction: Florida 38, Missouri 17.
Ole Miss at Vanderbilt (+17). Lane Kiffin has the Rebels at 5-0 for the first time since 2014, and the Rebels are arguably the se-cond-best program in the SEC West Division right now. Of course, the schedule has been light thus far, even with the win over Kentucky. Vanderbilt is improved, and it ‘s certainly possible the Rebels look sluggish in a win on Saturday, but Ole Miss should be 7-0 when the Rebels visit Baton Rouge on Oct. 22. Prediction: Ole Miss 34, Vanderbilt 20.
South Carolina at Kentucky (-6). Kentucky let one slip away last week in a 22-19 loss to Ole Miss, and now they Wildcats face South Carolina, possibly without star quarterback Will Levis. UK has won seven of the last eight games in this series, but the absence of Levis, a potential NFL first-round pick, would be a massive loss. South Carolina has struggled against SEC foes this season, but this is an opportunity to pull off an up-set if Levis is either out or playing injured. Prediction: Kentucky 20, South Carolina 16.