2010 SEC Fearless Picks - Nov. 6, Bama-LSU
Alabama WR Julio Jones
Alabama WR Julio Jones
Posted Nov 3, 2010

Alabama is considered the best of the one-loss teams in the current BCS rankings. LSU would like that honor. There's still a fight going on in the fantastic SEC West, and the loser in Death Valley will be out. Can Julio Jones and the Tide pass another big test? Check out the SEC Fearless Predictions.

2010 SEC Fearless Predictions

Week 10 ... Nov. 6 Games

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

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- Oct. 30 | Oct. 23 | Oct. 16 | Oct. 9 | Oct. 2
- Sept. 25 | Sept. 18 | Sept. 11 | Sept. 4

- Nov. 6, Part 2 (Arkansas-South Carolina) 

CFN SEC Predictions: SU: 56-9   ATS: 25-35


Alabama (7-1) at LSU (7-1) Nov. 6, 3:30, CBS

Here's The Deal … This is the second-biggest SEC game left on the slate, with the Iron Bowl the bigger deal, but no game this weekend, TCU-Utah included, will likely have a bigger overall impact on the season. This is LSU's chance to show that it's the real deal, while Alabama needs this win to show that the national title swagger is back.

Alabama has been christened as the top of the one-loss teams in the BCS rankings, but that's based more on the brand name and what the team might do, rather than what it has done. The Tide has one nice win (Arkansas), two wins over great names, but not great teams (Penn State and Florida), and hasn't done much else worthy of being given the high honor of the No. 6 BCS ranking. The running game has been disappointing (relatively speaking), the defense has been great, but not national-title level, and there are enough holes to suggest that the South Carolina loss isn't going to be the only blemish this year. However, if the Tide beats LSU in Death Valley, beats Mississippi State, and beats Auburn on the way to winning the SEC title, then there will almost certainly be a spot waiting in Glendale on January 10th.

LSU would also like that spot.

After losing to Auburn 24-17 two weeks ago, LSU needs some help. Auburn needs to lose twice, and LSU has to win out against Bama, ULM, Ole Miss, and at Arkansas to be in Alabama's current position as the top one-loss team in the national title chase. If Auburn doesn't lose twice and ends up going to the SEC title, LSU would probably have to settle for a BCS at-large spot if it goes 11-1. That's nothing to sneeze at. The Tigers have lost two straight to the Tide in good battles, and after a year of turmoil, disrespect, and several close calls against mediocre teams, a win this week would bring instant credibility to the 2010 campaign and would put the national title spotlight on.

Why Alabama Might Win: The Alabama defensive front might not get into the backfield, but the run defense should be able to lock down on Stevan Ridley. Forget about LSU throwing the ball against the nation's No. 3 team in pass efficiency defense. The secondary should be able to swarm all over the LSU receivers, and if Ridley isn't working well early on, the Tiger offense simply won't work. It's the SEC, it's a road game, and it's going to be tight, so the Tide needs all the breaks to go its way. Considering LSU has turned the ball over a whopping 18 times this year, and Alabama has only lost it eight times with just two turnovers in the last four games, a +2 turnover margin could be a given. The offense will have to take advantage of every opportunity, and if LSU has to scramble or play from behind, the Bama defense will feast. Even if the LSU offense puts up decent offensive numbers, it has to close. Good luck. The Tigers are 80th in the nation in red zone offense, failing to generate points 21% of the time. There can't be any empty trips in a game like this, and Bama's red zone defense has been fantastic ranking fifth in the nation allowing points just 65% of the time.
Why LSU Might Win: 440 Auburn rushing yards aside, the LSU defense really is that good. The Tigers have been playing extremely well on anyone (but Auburn) who has been trying to run inside, with great penetration from the front and the ability to keep short plays from turning into big ones (again, throw out the Auburn performance). Alabama can't find a way to get the rushing machine working, and while Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson have certainly been very good, they haven't quite been as good as advertised for a full sixty minutes. Two long runs against Tennessee made the numbers look strong, the ground game only tallied 100 yards on Ole Miss, and South Carolina stoned the Tide runners cold. LSU's defense is better than Tennessee's, Mississippi's, and South Carolina's. And then there's Alabama's eternal problem with the lack of pass rush. The LSU passing game needs all the time it can get to work, and it should be able to get comfy with no threat of pressure on the quarterback. The LSU offensive line should control the Tide defensive front.
What To Watch Out For: With the running game not rolling as expected, the Bama passing game has picked up the slack and has been fantastic at times. Julio Jones has been known mostly for being more talent than production so far, but that's starting to change. Injuries have been a problem, but he was more than fine against Tennessee catching 12 passes for 221 yards, and he rolled against South Carolina with eight grabs for 118 yards and a score. He only has seven 100-yard games in his 35 outings so far, but two of them came against LSU. His best game of last year came against the Tigers catching four passes for 102 yards and a score, and his biggest yardage day of 2008 was in Death Valley catching seven passes for 128 yards. This is the NFL scout's day whenever LSU's Patrick Peterson lines up on Jones. Even if Peterson has a great game, the rest of the LSU defensive backs could have problems with the strong Bama receivers.
What Will Happen: Six teams get two weeks off before facing the Tide, but in this case, Alabama gets two weeks off to rest, too. Eventually, the Tide will get the running game going, and while it won't pull and Auburn, it'll be effective with Ingram and Richardson combining for a solid 150 yards. LSU will have the chance to win late, but the Tide defense will come up with a big final stop in a thrilling win.
CFN Prediction: Alabama 20 … LSU 16 … Line: Alabama -6.5
Must See Rating: In Treatment: Adele – 5 … In Treatment: Frances - 1 … 5
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Florida (5-3) at Vanderbilt (2-6) Nov. 6, 12:21, ESPN3

Here's The Deal … 19 in a row. A 24-9 shocker in 1988 was the last time Florida lost to Vanderbilt, and if the string is going to stop, this might be the year it happens. It's not that Vanderbilt is any good, ranking last in the league in several offensive categories, last in total defense, and with just two wins, upsetting Ole Miss and blowing away Eastern Michigan, it's that Florida is so flaky. The Gators beat Georgia last week in overtime and it suddenly became Urban Meyer's self-proclaimed biggest win ever, but that was coming off three straight losses including a 10-7 home disaster against Mississippi State. For all the problems Florida has gone through, if it wins this week and beats South Carolina next week, it'll have three weeks to prepare for the SEC title and the season could suddenly become a success. For Vandy, there isn't any margin for error needing to win the final four games to be bowl eligible, but after getting blown out in the last three games, just coming up with a good performance would be a plus.
Why Florida Might Win: The Vanderbilt offense has been a problem all season long, and it has gotten worse over the last three weeks. The passing game has thrown for under 100 yards four times so far and came up with a mere 36 last week against Arkansas on 6-of-17 throws with two interceptions. The air attack isn't going to suddenly find itself against a Gator secondary that had a few problems with Aaron Murray last week, and inexplicably struggled a bit against LSU, but should be a rock against Larry Smith. It shouldn't take too many points for Florida to take control, and with all the parts back on offense, and with the spread starting to work in the quarterback shuffle, it's possible the Gators score two early touchdowns and then coast from there.
Why Vanderbilt Might Win: Even with everyone back, Florida is just as likely to spin its wheels offensively as it is to come up with a big number. The offense has only worked when it has gotten quirky and creative, but the Commodores do just enough to get into the backfield to potentially stop the spread from working before it can get started. Florida's passing game has been hit-or-miss, and the O has become too reliant on waiting for the home run to come. If Vandy can hang around into the third quarter, and hope for the special teams and the defense to come up with a big play, this might stay close. However, the offense isn't going to do much of anything because …
What To Watch Out For: … it just lost a huge piece of the puzzle. The Commodores can ill-afford to lose key players, and leading rusher Warren Norman is now out for the year after suffering a wrist injury. While he wasn't having a huge year, he was still the team's top playmaker on the ground with 459 yards and four touchdowns, and his loss puts more pressure on Zac Stacy, a good-looking sophomore who has been a nice complementary player, but he hasn't come up with more than nine carries so far this year. The 5-10, 210-pounder will have to be more of a workhorse. For Florida, the offense has found its spark with Trey Burton, the do-it-all freshman who has breathed life into the spread. He ran for 110 yards and two scores against Georgia, and he ran for five touchdowns on five carries against Kentucky, and he'll be more and more involved in a rotation with John Brantley under center.
What Will Happen: Florida isn't exactly going to blow up, but the defense will keep Vanderbilt's offense under wraps and the easy chances will come. The Gators will open up the scoring after a few key takeaways, while the Commodores will sputter all game long and won't find anything that works, even though it'll try to bomb away.
CFN Prediction: Florida 34 … Vanderbilt 10 … Line: Florida -14
Must See Rating: In Treatment: Adele – 5 … In Treatment: Frances - 1 … 2
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Idaho State (1-7) at Georgia (4-5) Nov. 6, 12:30, ESPN3

Here's The Deal … There are layups, there are cupcakes, and there are light scrimmages. Wrap those all up in one and that's what Georgia gets this week against an Idaho State team that beat Montana Western to start the season, and lost seven in a row since including a 38-17 drubbing from Utah State. Coming off a crippling loss to Florida, ending hopes for an SEC East title, the Bulldogs need to use this game to tune up the passing game a bit more, rest the stars a bit, and work on whatever needs working on before going to Auburn next week. A bowl game isn't assured needing to beat either the Tigers or Georgia Tech to get a bowl bid, but for this week, the program gets to take a deep breath.
Why Idaho State Might Win: Brendon Garcia is a mediocre field goal kicker, but the rest of the ISU special teams are fantastic. David Harrington leads the FCS in net punting, averaging 45.1 yards per boot, and Tavoy Moore is the type of dangerous return man who could hit a home run or two if the Dawg coverage teams aren't tight. Moore is a decent running back and a No. 2 option, but he rocks when he gets to come up with returns ranking second in the nation averaging 20.15 yards per punt return and 27.54 yards per kickoff return. The question will be whether or not the Bengal defense can come up with a stop or three to force a punt to give Moore a shot at doing what he does best.
Why Georgia Might Win: Idaho State doesn't have any semblance of an offense. The offensive line has been a disaster throughout, failing to generate any sort of a push for the ground game and getting the quarterbacks beaten up way too much. Aaron Murray and the Georgia passing game should take target practice with ten days to throw against a lousy ISU secondary. The Dawgs should be able to come up with a few early drives to put the game away, and Murray might have a crisp 9-of-10 performance to get up 21-0 in the first quarter. Idaho State doesn't have the line to hold up on defense, and the offensive front will get ripped through by the Georgia pass rush.
What To Watch Out For: Murray needs to use this game to rebound. Lost on the rough season has been that Murray is just a redshirt freshman and he's still trying to figure out what he's doing. While he wasn't bad when A.J. Green was out, he has had his moments over the last month. He didn't throw an interception for a four-game stretch, but he threw three key picks against Florida to offset his career-high 313 yards and three touchdowns. He's growing into a good leader and he's making the job his, but he's still growing and this is a game to give him some live reps.
What Will Happen: Georgia will be able to do whatever it wants to, and it'll get up early and then give the starters the rest of the week off with the showdown at Auburn to focus on.
CFN Prediction: Georgia 45 … Idaho State 0 … Line: No Line
Must See Rating: In Treatment: Adele – 5 … In Treatment: Frances - 1 … 1
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Charleston Southern (2-6) at Kentucky (4-5) Nov. 6, 12:30, ESPN3

Here's The Deal … Kentucky has lost five of its last six games, and while several games were close there were still several losses. Now the team gets a week off against a Charleston Southern team with a fun passing game, but no defense losing five straight games including a 66-7 squeaker to Hawaii. At the bottom of the Big South, the Buccaneers haven't done anything defensively over the last five games and have allowed 31 points or more in seven of the last eight games. UK is trying to overcome the problems of the last several weeks and can be a step away from bowl eligibility with a win, and with Vanderbilt and Tennessee to close, there's a chance to end on a high note. The Wildcats haven't been bad with an offense that's putting up big passing numbers and haven't been bad throughout. However, the defense hasn't been clutch, allowing lots of points even though the yards haven't been piling up. This is the game when the defense should finally come up with enough stops to let the offense shine through, but it's also a key game to give most of the reserves some reps.
Why Charleston Southern Might Win: The Buccaneers might have a slew of problems, but at least they can chuck it. It doesn't matter who's been under center whether it's A.J. Toscano or Andrew Trudnowski, and while that's partly because the defense gives up yards and points so far that the passing game has to throw to try to keep up, it is an effective attack at times. Kentucky is hardly going to be focused, and while it'll take a major choke to blow this game, there's a chance the Bucs could throw just enough early on to make it a bit of a fight for at least a half.
Why Kentucky Might Win: CSU can't do anything to slow down any FCS offense with a pulse, much less the UK attack. Mike Hartline and the passing game should take target practice on the Buccaneer secondary with no worry about any pass rush from a defensive front that has come up with eight sacks so far and isn't likely to lay a finger on the Wildcat passer. On the other side, the CSU offense can throw, but it also gives away a ton of turnovers throwing 11 interceptions along with ten fumbles. As long as UK isn't careless, it should come up with a few easy scores and should be at least +2 in turnover margin.
What To Watch Out For: With Derrick Locke out the last few games with a stinger, and with him not likely to come back this week for a game like this, true freshman Raymond Sanders should continue to play a big role even though he got banged up with a stomach issue against Mississippi State. A lightning-quick 5-8, 170-pound back who can dart in and out of traffic, and is durable for his size. He ran for 79 yards against Georgia and 71 against Mississippi State, and he should be used even more as a receiver.
What Will Happen: The Wildcats won't have any problems. The Bucs should come up with some late passing yards, but they'll also throw at least three picks making a blowout truly ugly.
CFN Prediction: Kentucky 40 … Charleston Southern 7 … Line: No Line
Must See Rating: In Treatment: Adele – 5 … In Treatment: Frances - 1 … 1
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- Nov. 6, Part 2 (Arkansas-South Carolina)