Thursday, November 4, 2010
SEC predictions: Week 10
By Chris Low
I was an overtime field goal away from back-to-back undefeated weeks.
Chas Henry ruined my quest for perfection last Saturday when he calmly drilled a 37-yard field goal, lifting Florida to its 18th win over Georgia in the past 21 meetings.
And, no, I wasn’t making choke signs at the television set in the Vaught-Hemingway Stadium press box as Henry lined up to kick the game-winner.
The Florida-Georgia game was my only miss last week, which leaves me 53-14 (.791) for the season.
This is a big week if I’m going to climb back above .800 for the season. It’s always nice to have Charleston Southern, Idaho State, Chattanooga and Louisiana-Lafayette on the schedule.
Of course, I had similar thoughts about Jacksonville State the first week of the season -- and so did Ole Miss.
We all know how that turned out.
Here you go with my picks for Week 10 in the SEC:
Alabama 20, LSU 13: Neither team has scored more than 24 points each of the past two years in this game. Julio Jones’ 73-yard touchdown catch was the difference a year ago. Rashad Johnson had three interceptions two years ago. This year, it will come down to Alabama making enough big plays on offense and forcing LSU to throw the ball, something the Tigers haven’t been able to do all season.
Arkansas 35, South Carolina 31: Even though Arkansas isn’t playing for a divisional title, this game probably means more to the Hogs than the Gamecocks. You can’t help but wonder if South Carolina will be thinking ahead to that Florida game. It’s also a bad matchup for the Gamecocks, who haven’t been able to stop the pass. What makes anybody think they’re going to stop Ryan Mallett and Co.? The Hogs get that signature victory they’ve been looking for this season, and they get it on the road.
Florida 28, Vanderbilt 10: The Gators lived to see another day last week against Georgia in overtime. They shouldn’t need any extra periods Saturday against the reeling Commodores, who’ve been outscored 113-21 in their past three games. A win over Vanderbilt would mean Florida could win its third straight Eastern Division title next Saturday at home by defeating South Carolina.
Tennessee 37, Memphis 14: Derek Dooley said it best earlier this week. It’s been a long time since the Vols last won a football game. They’re going with freshman quarterback Tyler Bray as the starter in this game, which makes Tennessee even younger. But Memphis has been unspeakably bad this season. If ever there was a game to give your freshman quarterback a shot, this is it. The Vols taste victory for the first time since September.
Auburn 49, Chattanooga 17: For those on the Plains wondering about Chattanooga, the Mocs gave up 49 points in their last game … to Elon. They did, however, only lose by four points earlier this season to Jacksonville State, which upset Ole Miss the week before. What’s all this mean? Nothing. Auburn should be able to name its score and probably will. Cam Newton may even get the whole second half off.
Ole Miss 40, Louisiana-Lafayette 14: There’s no way Ole Miss could get caught napping in this game, not after what happened against Jacksonville State to open the season. How many times do you think the Rebels’ players have been reminded of that game this week? Ole Miss can score points. It’s the defense that has struggled. The Rebels will end their three-game losing streak, though, in impressive fashion.
Georgia 42, Idaho State 7: Where does Georgia’s season go from here? This is a team that could really be fragile after last week’s bitter overtime loss to Florida, but not fragile enough to lose to Idaho State. This is also a team that could use a bye. The Bulldogs don’t get an off week until after they play at Auburn on Nov. 13. At least, they should get a breather on the field Saturday.
Kentucky 45, Charleston Southern 10: This season hasn’t turned out like the Wildcats had hoped. Too many close losses and too many turnovers in those close losses. They can still get back to a bowl game for a fifth straight year. Charleston Southern is that built-in fifth win. Then it comes down to being able to beat either Vanderbilt or Tennessee.