SEC Week 5: Showdown in The Swamp, Future SEC Rivals Clash

By Brett Kaplan

Week five in the SEC features two games in which ranked teams go against each other. One features a pair of undefeateds clashing. There are also a couple of games off the radar that could prove to be big games, and important games in which the direction for the season could be decided. All-in-all, it’s a pretty interesting week in the SEC with two of it’s best teams going head-to-head.

#14 Texas A&M Aggies vs. #18 Arkansas Razorbacks
This game next season will mean a whole lot more when the Aggies join the SEC. But this game has turned into a rivalry over the years with their annual clash at the neutral Cowboys Stadium. Both of these teams are coming off of losses against ranked teams. Arkansas against Alabama and Texas A&M against Oklahoma State. The Razorbacks were completely shut down against the Crimson Tide, while the Aggies were in a barn burner against the Cowboys. Texas A&M held a 20-3 over Oklahoma State at the half, and the Pokes came back to win the game by one, 30-29. The A&M defense hasn’t been very good, while the strength of Arkansas is their offense. Are the Aggies over their second half meltdown against Okie State? I think Tyler Wilson and the Razorbacks make it four in a row against the Aggies, 35-28.

Mississippi State Bulldogs vs. Georgia Bulldogs
Two teams with high preseason expectations are now two teams struggling to have a .500 record. Mississippi State’s two losses were to Auburn in Jordan-Hare on the final second and against the top-ranked LSU Tigers. Georgia meanwhile has lost to Boise State and South Carolina. Both of these teams two losses are nothing to be ashamed of. There’s just something about this Georgia team that I can’t put my finger on that makes me cautious picking them. Mississippi State struggled last week against Louisiana Tech, needing overtime to pull out the victory. Georgia has a crucial stretch starting now and ending with Florida at the end of the month. I think Chris Relf and the Miss St. offense have a good day against the UGA defense. MSU Bulldogs 38, UGA Bulldogs 31.

Kentucky Wildcats vs. #1 Louisiana State Tigers
Kentucky really isn’t a good team. LSU is a really great team. That adds up to a Bayou Bengal blowout. LSU’s defense will be swarming all over Wildcat QB Morgan Newton and smothering the rest of the Kentucky offense. The early kickoff, matched up with a possible hangover of one of the most dominating Septembers ever might keep the game close in the beginning. After all, the Wildcat defense isn’t all that bad. But in the end, Kentucky’s putrid offense against LSU’s dominating defense means the Tigers win over the Wildcats, 49-7.

Buffalo Bulls vs. Tennessee Volunteers
Tennessee took a week off after their loss against Florida and their opponent this week makes it look like they’re taking two weeks off. QB Tyler Bray and WR Da’Rick Rogers are going to have a field day against Buffalo. The Bulls one win was against Stony Brook. Not exactly great competition here. I’m not sure I really need to say much more, Vols win BIG 45-10.

Auburn Tigers vs. #10 South Carolina Gamecocks
This is kind of an intriguing game. South Carolina has struggled this season, but RB Marcus Lattimore has been a beast. Auburn has also struggled this season with their string of luck catching up to them against Clemson two weeks ago. These defenses are both talented, but have been getting shredded. The offenses can put up some points. Gamecocks QB Stephen Garcia struggled last week, throwing four interceptions. Meanwhile, the Auburn offense certainly isn’t humming along like they were last year with Cam Newton at the helm. This is a tough game to pick, but the game’s being played in Columbia and the ‘Cocks have more talented experience playing. I like this game to be pretty close, but high scoring. Gamecocks 49, Tigers 45.

#2 Alabama Crimson Tide vs. #12 Florida Gators
The Showdown in The Swamp. As usual, I go into more detail here.  I give the Gators the edge due to the homefield advantage and the fact the game starts at 8pm. Gators 17, Tide 14.

Mississippi Rebels vs. Fresno State Bulldogs
Fresno State has never been afraid to play any team and they’ve been fortunate to pull out some upsets in the process. This isn’t one of the better Bulldog teams coach Pat Hill has fielded. However, they’ve already played Cal and 10th ranked Nebraska in their respective stadiums. They get to host this game against Ole Miss. And Ole Miss really isn’t good this year. The combination of playing on the west coast and the sheer struggles of this Rebel team is a recipe for a loss. I hate picking against SEC teams in any matchup, much less against a team from the WAC. But I think Fresno State pulls off the upset (I guess it’s an upset because it’s an SEC team?) and beats the Rebels, 28-14.

Like the column? Hate the column? Feel free to comment or hit me up on Twitter @GatorBK.

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