2010 SEC Fearless Picks - Oct 30, Fla-UGA
Florida WR Omarius Hines
Florida WR Omarius Hines
Posted Oct 28, 2010

Fearless Predictions for every SEC game, Oct. 30, Week 9

2010 SEC Fearless Predictions

Week 9 ... Oct. 30 Games

East | Florida | Georgia | Kentucky | South Carolina | Tennessee | Vanderbilt 
West Alabama | Arkansas | Auburn | LSU | Ole Miss | Miss State

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- Oct. 30, Part 2 (Kentucky-Miss State) 

CFN SEC Predictions: SU: 52-8   ATS: 23-32


Florida (4-3) at Georgia (4-4) Oct. 30, 3:30, CBS

Here's The Deal … South Carolina is still on top of the East pack and controls its own destiny after beating Georgia early in the year, but who out there really and truly believes that the Gamecocks are going to finally play well enough over November to get over the hump? With the Bulldogs winning three straight games, getting through the easy part of the schedule and finding the offense at the same time, they're right back in the race and could be on a fantastic run with a win in the Cocktail Party (yeah, we'll always call this game that) and with Idaho State to follow before facing Auburn. Meanwhile, Florida has gone in the totally opposite direction with three straight losses with the offense fizzling at the same time the Dawgs have found their legs. Losing to Alabama and LSU isn't a crime this year, but dropping a 10-7 home date to Mississippi State is a big, big problem. How bad is the Gator run? The program has lost more games in the last three weeks than it lost in the previous 37 games.

With wins over Georgia in four of the last five years, and with victories by a combined score of 100 to 27 over the last two seasons, Florida has been dominant. But this isn't the Florida of the past several years. However, as bad as things have been and as much as the offense has fizzled, Florida is still in great shape if it can find something that works. With the Vanderbilt layup still to play, and a home date against South Carolina to close out the SEC season, the Gators win the East and will go to a third straight SEC Championship game, and a fourth in five years, by finding a way to get through the next three games.

Call this an elimination game in the SEC East race, and call it a major blow for whichever program comes out on the losing end, but both teams are going to come out with everything they've got. Almost all the key parts for each side are off suspension to be ready for this showdown, both coaching staffs will be ultra-creative, and each team should play at a high level … for this year. Obviously, this is hardly the titanic showdown of past seasons and the last three games have been blowouts, but it's Florida vs. Georgia. It's going to be a story no matter what happens.

Why Florida Might Win: The Georgia offense might be a mirage. Awesome over the last three weeks, it's partly because things are starting to jell a bit, and partly because the Tennessee, Vanderbilt, and Kentucky defenses are no big deal. With two weeks off to prepare and rest up a bit, the Florida defense that's been stunningly inconsistent this year, but is still allowing under 300 yards per game, should be able to take away the Georgia passing game. Aaron Murray has been efficient and effective, but that's partly been a function of a running game that's taking all the pressure off. Florida might be having problems, but the pass defense has been fantastic (although, LSU, shockingly, found a way to make it work) allowing just 167 yards per game while ranking 11th in the nation in pass efficiency defense. The Gators are going to stack the line and force Murray to win the game though the air, and while he'll win a few battles, the consistency isn't going to be there like it's been over the last few weeks. Offensively, the punchless Gator attack should get a little bit of life with suspended star Chris Rainey possibly back in the mix. However …
Why Georgia Might Win: … it's not like the Florida attack was rolling when everyone was available. The running game has been non-existent, the downfield passing game has been a disaster, and nothing the coaching staff is trying appears to be working. The Georgia defense has hardly been a rock, but it's been tremendous against the run, allowing an SEC-low 99 yards per game, and the struggling secondary isn't going to get destroyed by the struggling Gator passing game. Florida has shown no ability whatsoever to come through in the clutch, and it's not going to have any shot of coming back if the Dawgs can get up early. Momentum is a big deal. Murray really is starting to come into his own, Washaun Ealey is emerging as a star back, and the offensive line is coming off its best stretch of the season. Scoring 41, 43, and 44 points over the last three games, this is the Georgia team that was expected to show up from the start. There's a chance that this isn't a mirage, and there's a better chance that this is what Florida really is.
What To Watch Out For: It's Florida vs. Georgia, so there's NFL talent on both sides, even in a down year for both programs. There are several great prospects, lots of great athletes, and lots of potential for everything to come together for both sides to beat anyone in America on the right day. Yet the two stars of the show could be the punters. Drew Butler was the best punter in college football last season, winning the Ray Guy Award, averaging 48 yards per boot, and while he has slipped a bit averaging 45.5 yards per kick, he has still been a major weapon forcing ten fair catches and putting 11 inside the 20. Meanwhile, Florida leads the nation in net punting helped by a phenomenal year from Chas Henry. The senior is averaging a whopping 49.3 yards per boot while forcing six fair catches and putting eight inside the 20. Considering both offenses could likely struggle, field position will be at a premium.
What Will Happen: It's not going to be prettiest party, but it'll be a competitive fight. Georgia is playing far better than Florida, and even with time off to prepare, the ugly truth might be that the Gators just don't have it. This might really be who they are, and even though Urban Meyer will throw a few curveballs at Mark Richt, and there will be a little more to the spread than there's been throughout the year, it's not going to matter. The Georgia offense isn't going to do anything special, but the Florida offense is going to fizzle throughout and won't be able to come back late.
CFN Prediction: Georgia 26 … Florida 20 … Line: Georgia -2.5
Must See Rating: NBA Opening Night – 5 … Teen Mom -1 … 4
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Tennessee (2-5) at South Carolina (5-2) Oct. 30, 12:21, ESPN3

Here's The Deal … Most top SEC teams own South Carolina over the years, and Tennessee, as down as it has been, has been part of the fun winning three of the last four years and won 12 straight from 1993 to 2004, but this is the year the Gamecocks should get their moment in the sun. The Vols are awful losing three straight and five of the six games this year against FBS teams, with the one win a double overtime victory over UAB. Even with the disaster on offense and the lack of a steady defense, allowing 41 points in each of the last two games to Georgia and Alabama, a bowl game is still on the table thanks to a squishy-soft finishing kick facing Memphis, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, and Kentucky. However, if the Vols lose in Columbia, they'll have to run the table. They won't run the table.

South Carolina has cooled off a bit after a great start, and while the memories of the great win over Alabama have faded a bit with a collapse at Kentucky and a good win over Vandy that, considering the stats put up, should've been a blowout, everything is still there to come up with the dream year. Florida stinks, Tennessee is worse, and Georgia is in the rearview mirror tagged by a 17-6 loss to the Gamecocks in early September. Make the layup against Tennessee, beat Arkansas at home, and come up with a win over the Gators, and play for the SEC title. It's that simple.

Why Tennessee Might Win: South Carolina got a special day from Stephen Garcia against Vanderbilt. The senior completed 31-of-39 passes for 355 yards and two touchdowns. The running game was solid with Brian Maddox running for 146 yards and a score, and the defense held the woeful Commodore attack to 260 yards of total offense. The Gamecocks needed a fourth quarter score to pull away. Tennessee might not be all that great, but it puts up a fight and it has the ability to hang around and keep this close late. The Gamecocks aren't above crashing, getting outscored 14-0 in the fourth quarter in losses to Auburn and Kentucky, and they have a bad habit of taking their foot off the gas. Tennessee just has to hang around.
Why South Carolina Might Win: It'll be hard for the Volunteer offense to work when Gamecock defenders are setting up camp in the backfield. Tennessee's biggest problem is the offensive line that's not stopping anyone, allowing an SEC-worst 25 sacks so far, while South Carolina leads the leading, and is fifth in the nation, in sacks coming up with 24 sacks and 49 tackles for loss. The Gamecock defense hasn't been a rock this year and gives up way too many yards through the air, but the Tennessee passing game can't take advantage. The Vols are last in the SEC in rushing and are averaging fewer than 200 passing yards per game. Defensively, UT is last in the SEC in sacks. Give Garcia time and it's over.
What To Watch Out For: It's not a stretch to say that Marcus Lattimore is the key to the South Carolina season. The superstar freshman was held to just 33 yards and a score on 14 carries against Auburn, and the Gamecocks lost. Out in the second half of the Kentucky with an ankle injury, after running for 79 yards and two scores and catching four passes for 133 yards and a score, the team collapsed. While he didn't play against Vandy last week and the team won, it was a bit of a struggle. Expected to be back this week, he might not be in for a 30-touch game, but he'll need to be effective early on to try to put the game away. Make Tennessee try to mount a big comeback, and the results won't be pretty.
What Will Happen: Tennessee will score its customary two touchdowns whether it needs them or not. South Carolina will score more.
CFN Prediction: South Carolina 38 … Tennessee 14 … Line: South Carolina -17.5
Must See Rating: NBA Opening Night – 5 … Teen Mom -1 … 2.5
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Auburn (8-0) at Ole Miss (3-4) Oct. 30, 6:00, ESPN2

Here's The Deal … Auburn has won five of the last six games against the Rebels, but now things are a little bit different. Alabama, Ohio State, and Oklahoma have each been No. 1 over the last three weeks with no luck whatsoever, and now the Tigers have the bull's-eye on their backs with Ole Miss looking to rise up and play better than they have over the last few weeks. Struggling so far, the Rebels' best win is over Kentucky and it wasn't even close over the last two weeks in losses to Alabama and Arkansas on the road. However, a win over the No. 1 BCS team would change the entire season around going into a few off weeks against Louisiana-Lafayette and Tennessee. For Auburn, it's about surviving and moving on with home games against Chattanooga and Georgia up next before dealing with Alabama. Now the spotlight is on more than ever with Cam Newton all but handed the Heisman and the national title right there for the taking. This is a shaky team, though, with an average defense, mediocre special teams, and a lack of consistency in the passing yards, but the running game is breathtaking and the team is playing with supreme confidence going into the finishing kick.
Why Auburn Might Win: Of course Auburn has been phenomenal on the ground, ranking fourth in the nation, but the passing game has also been impressive. With everyone needing to send the safeties, the corners, and the cheerleaders into the backfield to try to stop Newton, everything has been wide open for the passing game. Newton isn't necessarily a precision passer, and the team is only averaging 184 yards per game, but the throws are going for big hits. Auburn is first in the SEC and fourth in the nation in passing efficiency, and Ole Miss is dead-last in the SEC and 97th in the nation in pass efficiency defense allowing 13 touchdown passes and coming up with a mere two picks. Only Vanderbilt has thrown for fewer than 218 yards, and it won with 227 rushing yards. Ole Miss is 2-1 when allowing 100 yards or fewer and 1-3 when allowing more. Auburn might have 100 yards in the first quarter.
Why Ole Miss Might Win: The Ole Miss defensive front really is strong enough to potentially keep Newton and the Tiger ground game from going wild. Yeah, LSU's run defense is great, too, and it got torn to shreds, but Ole Miss has the active defensive front that can get into the backfield to stop Newton and the ground game from getting going. On the other side of the ball, the Auburn secondary can be thrown on. Most teams have to bomb away to try to keep up, and they're successful with only two teams, LSU last week and Mississippi State, two of the worst passing teams in America, throwing for fewer than 220 yards. Arkansas State, South Carolina, and Arkansas all chucked for more than 300 yards, and …
What To Watch Out For: Jeremiah Masoli threw for 327 yards and three touchdowns in last week's loss to Arkansas. Masoli was supposed to be the SEC's star transfer quarterback this season, and while he hasn't been Newton, he hasn't been bad. The senior has rushed for 400 yards and three touchdowns, and while Masoli has been hit or miss, struggling against the Tide completing 18-of-40 passes, he has kept the mistakes to a minimum over the last few weeks with just two picks in his last four games after throwing four in the first three, while throwing nine touchdown passes in the last four games after pitching just one in the first three weeks.
What Will Happen: Ole Miss has enough athletes, enough skill, and enough talent to make it four weeks in a row for the No. 1 team going down. But it's not going to happen. Newton will get held in check, for him, but the other rushing weapons will roll without a problem. Darvin Adams has been kept down over the last few weeks, but he'll have a 100-yard receiving game with two big home runs to end the drama.
CFN Prediction: Auburn 34 … Ole Miss 23 … Line: Auburn -7
Must See Rating: NBA Opening Night – 5 … Teen Mom -1 … 3.5
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- Oct. 30, Part 2 (Kentucky-Miss State)