GEORGIA - The 24.5-point spread against No. 11 Kentucky seems a tad ludicrous on paper, but the Dawgs are playing a brand of football at the moment that’s different from everyone else, so the idea of covering may not be a question of if — but by how much.
ALABAMA - Following the loss at Texas A&M, a former receiver under Nick Saban ripped the legendary coach’s current squad, surmising that the rise in recruiting hoopla has allowed complacency to seep into the hearts of the Tide’s stockpile of 5-star recruits. I know about 120 other programs across the country that would love to have this so-called problem.
KENTUCKY - The Wildcats have lost more than 81 percent of their games in the series against Georgia. That woeful percentage figures to get worse without the services of three starters against the Bulldogs, including sixth-year senior receiver Josh Ali, whose status has been severely questionable thus far in the week.
FLORIDA - The Gators last week took advantage of the gift that keeps giving (Vandy), but now they get LSU, with whom they’ve had such a harmonious relationship over time that only a site like Winsipedia can do justice.
OLE MISS - The final two minutes last week against Arkansas were well, well, well worth the price of admission of what may have already nailed down the prize for SEC game of the year. But hey, here comes the trap game from hell, courtesy of a Tennessee team that’s currently executing as well on offense as anyone in the conference.
TEXAS A&M - The Aggies’ win last Saturday stirred echoes of 2012, their last win in the series, when Johnny Manziel was nearly solely responsible for knocking off top-ranked Alabama. This time around, it was more of a joint effort, but A&M fans hope the trajectory following the historic win is the same it was nearly a decade ago, when the team rode momentum to a season-ending No. 5 ranking.
ARKANSAS - The Hogs have found out in 14 short days how fickle life can be for a program that exceeds expectations when no one’s looking. When those eyeballs focus on you in acknowledgement of the early success, they can turn away just as quickly once hardship strikes.
TENNESSEE - It hasn’t taken John Heupel long to put his stamp on the Tennessee offense. The Vols are 7th nationally in scoring offense (41.5 points/game) and 126th out of 130 teams in time of possession, a combo not certainly not foreign to Mizzou fans. Tennessee will need the points Saturday against Ole Miss, the only program in country that can match or exceed its level of offensive efficiency (4th in points/game; 123rd in TOP).
AUBURN - Winners of five straight in the series, the Tigers welcome an Arkansas team desperate to stop the bleeding. They’ll need every bit of a rush defense that ranks third in the league (104 yards/game) to stymie Hogs QB KJ Jefferson, who teams with running backs Trelon Smith and Raheim Sanders to form one of the country’s best ground games.
MISSISSIPPI STATE - Fresh off a bye, the Bulldogs got a little extra time to prepare for Alabama. This time last week, I’m sure they didn’t foresee having to prepare for a pissed-off Alabama that will have been seven days removed from losing a game it loses once every seven or eight years. Best of luck…
LSU - Something has been amiss in Baton Rouge going on nearly two years now, but it’s coming to a head. One line can’t block; the other can’t help but get blocked by everyone. Ed Orgeron admitted after last week’s loss that Kentucky “out-physicaled” his team.
That did not sit well with many. And a loss over long-time cross-division rival this Saturday will add more chum to the waters.
SOUTH CAROLINA - The Gamecocks will get their first conference win of the season this week. [I LITERALLY HAVE NOTHING ELSE FOR THIS ONE.]
MISSOURI - Professor Connelly gives the Tigers a 23 percent chance to upset the Aggies. That could easily creep upward as the game wares on or plummet to single digits by halftime, depending upon whether both sides of the ball agree to join forces for the team’s first complete effort of the season.
VANDERBILT - On the wrong end of what may be the league’s most lopsided series, the ‘Dores have beaten South Carolina only four times in 30 tries, with the last win coming in 2008. That season, Vanderbilt raced out to its first 5-0 start since 1943 and secured its first bowl berth in 26 years despite losing six of seven down the stretch.