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2010 SEC Fearless Picks - Nov 27 LSU-Arkansas
Arkansas RB Knile Davis
Arkansas RB Knile Davis
Posted Nov 24, 2010

Fearless Predictions for every SEC Game, November 27

2010 SEC Fearless Predictions

Week 13 ... Nov. 27 Games

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

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SEC Fearless Predictions
- Nov. 20 | Nov. 13 | Nov. 6 | Oct. 30 | Oct. 23 | Oct. 16
- Oct. 9 | Oct. 2 | Sept. 25 | Sept. 18 | Sept. 11 | Sept. 4

- Nov. 26 (Auburn-Alabama) | Nov. 27, Part 2 (Ole Miss-Miss St)

CFN SEC Predictions: SU: 72-13   ATS: 32-43

Kentucky (6-5) vs. Tennessee (5-6) Nov. 27, 12:21

Here’s The Deal … In rain and shine, good times and bad, and through several coaching changes, five Presidents, and spanning several decades, there’s one constant that Tennessee can always count on: beating Kentucky. With 25 straight wins in the series, and the last loss coming in 1984, the Vols have owned the Wildcats, and if the streak can continue for another year, it’ll complete one of the better turnarounds of the 2010 season. Tennessee barely survived the hard part of the schedule, almost choking against UAB, to get through the 2-6 start before fattening up on the dregs. Memphis, Ole Miss, and Vanderbilt might be awful, but the Vols have done what they’ve needed to do to get into a position to go bowling. However, they have yet to beat anyone who’ll go bowling, and Kentucky will get a 13th game no matter what happens in Knoxville. The Wildcats have had two weeks off since facing Vanderbilt, and while there’s a wild fourth quarter comeback against South Carolina on the résumé, beating teams like Akron, Western Kentucky, and Charleston Southern is hardly impressive. A 7-5 regular season, and a slump-busting win by Joker Phillips in his first year at the helm would suddenly make this year special.
Why Kentucky Might Win: It’s not like Tennessee has done much against team that can throw. The Vols haven’t had to face many top-shelf passers, but South Carolina’s Stephen Garcia didn’t have any problems and Alabama’s Greg McElroy took target practice. Kentucky’s Mike Hartline might not be considered an elite passer, but he’s having a whale of a season throwing for more than 200 yards in every game with 22 touchdown passes and eight interceptions. He’ll get time to throw behind a Wildcat O line that’s been great in pass protection all year, and it should be bombs away. Tennessee has the ability and the potential to keep up if Tyler Bray gets hot, but Hartline is more experienced and will make fewer mistakes.
Why Tennessee Might Win: Kentucky doesn’t have the pass rush to bother Bray for a full game. The Vol pass protection is porous, but Bray should be able to be a bit more patient than normal against a UK front that can get into the backfield once in a while, but not on a regular basis. The Wildcat run D has allowed 200 yards or more in two of the last three games, and while the Vols might not be consistent on the ground, if they commit to it and don’t panic, they should have some success. Junior Tauren Poole is one of the SEC’s hottest runners, tearing off 100 yards in two of the last three games, and 99 against Vanderbilt, and he should be able to break free for a few long dashes to hit the century mark to take the heat off Bray.
What To Watch Out For: If it’s possible to quietly have a huge year in the SEC, linebacker Danny Trevathan is doing it. The Kentucky junior is ninth in the nation in tackles, seventh in solo stops, 21st in the nation in tackles for loss, and is tenth in the nation in forced fumbles. He made 15 tackles against Ole Miss, 17 against Auburn, and 16 against Mississippi State with eight games this season with double-digit stops. While he’s a bit undersized for the next level, he’s fast, tough as nails, and hits like a ton of bricks. The NFL will find a spot for him when he’s ready.
What Will Happen: Kentucky is the better team. It has the better defense, the more explosive offense, and the stronger special teams. But you never mess with a streak. With bowl eligibility on the line, the Vols will come with a balanced, effective game as Bray and Poole carry the offense, while the defense will come up with two key takeaways to turn the tide late.
CFN Prediction: Tennessee 24 … Kentucky 20 … Line: Tennessee -3
Must See Rating: True Grit – 5 … Dennis Miller: The Big Speech -1 … 3
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LSU (10-1) at Arkansas (9-2) Nov. 27, 3:30, CBS

Here’s The Deal … Depending on what happens on Friday in the Iron Bowl, a BCS spot might be on the line here. There’s nothing official, but most likely, if Auburn beats Alabama, then the winner of this game will probably end up getting an at-large bid, possibly the Sugar Bowl. If Alabama wins, then LSU still would be all but assured a BCS spot with a win, while Arkansas would be out. In any event, these two will be going to great bowl games and each will be pushing for high spot in the final rankings.

For LSU, whether it’s fair or not considering Auburn won the West, there’s still an outside chance at the national title. If Auburn loses twice and if a slew of other big things happen, Glendale is still on the table, but most likely, the Tigers are trying to finish strong in a resurgent season under Les Miles. Consistency hasn’t exactly been a staple, and every game seems to have its own form of drama, but 10-1 is 10-1, and with the lone loss to Auburn on the road, it’s all about the results. The Tigers struggled way too much against Ole Miss, and they tend to play up or down to their competition, but they have built up a nice résumé with wins over Alabama, North Carolina, West Virginia, and Florida. However, this week should provide a whole other challenge.

Can LSU keep up with the Arkansas firepower? The Hogs survived a few key late mistakes to get by Mississippi State in double overtime, and since their loss to Auburn, they’re on a five game winning streak with the nation’s third-ranked passing offense to go along one of college football’s most aggressive defenses. A win would take the Bobby Petrino era to another level with the school’s second ten-win season since 1989, while keeping alive a shot at the first 11-win season since Lou Holtz led the Hogs to an 11-1 campaign in 1977.

It could be argued that these two have the best series going in the SEC over the last five years. Since LSU whacked Arkansas 43-14 in 2004, the two teams have played five straight games decided by five points or fewer. This should be another close battle that goes down to the wire. It’s LSU. Something kooky is going to happen.

Why LSU Might Win: It’s strength vs. strength. Arkansas has the best passing game in the SEC, but LSU has the league’s best pass defense ranking fourth in the nation allowing just 152 yards per game. The only breakdown was in the opener when North Carolina’s T.J. Yates bombed the Tar Heels back into the game, but that was it. Alabama’s Greg McElroy threw for 223 yards and two scores, but the Tigers have only allowed nine touchdown passes on the year. Since the Tar Heel win, LSU has allowed just six touchdown passes and have managed to keep everyone under wraps. The D hasn’t faced a passing game this prolific, but Patrick Peterson and the secondary are good enough to hold their own. Offensively, LSU should be able to pound away for 200 yards against the Arkansas run defense that’s aggressive and getting into the backfield, but can be shoved around a bit too easily.
Why Arkansas Might Win: It’s LSU. Will the passing game work this week? Will there be a consistent running game? Will the run defense go bye-bye? There’s always one phase to LSU’s game that doesn’t work, but most importantly, the firepower isn’t there. The offense is only averaging 336 yards per game and while the offense find ways to score and takes advantage of opportunities, this isn’t a team equipped to be in a track meet. The Tigers simply aren’t tight. While 10-1 is 10-1, this is a rocky team that could just as easily be 6-5 if all the breaks didn’t go the right way. If Arkansas can be mistake-free, and it usually is, it should be able to get up early and make this a shootout.
What To Watch Out For: 6-0, 216-pound Arkansas running back Knile Davis was solid as a true freshman with 163 yards and four touchdowns, but he wasn’t used much to start the year. And then he started to make things happen every time he touched the ball averaging 8.2 yards per carry against Texas A&M and running for 91 yards on 14 carries against Auburn. Now he’s a workhorse who’s helping Ryan Mallett carry the attack with 176 yards against Ole Miss, 182 yards against UTEP, and 187 yards against Mississippi State with 11 touchdown runs in the last five games. He lost two fumbles against Mississippi State, including a costly one when the Hogs were trying to run out the clock, but he caught the game winning touchdown pass in the second overtime. While not a speed back and not exceptionally quick, he’s a physical inside runner who’s a great punisher adding good balance to the attack.
What Will Happen: LSU will be able to control the game for stretches with the ground game, but the secondary is about to have a bad day. Forget about any semblance of an LSU passing game as the Arkansas pass rush will keep Jordan Jefferson from ever getting comfortable. Ryan Mallett will do a good job of getting the ball out of his hands in a hurry to offset the Tiger pass rush, and while it’ll be a battle that’ll go down to the end, this time, LSU won’t come through.
CFN Prediction: Arkansas 30 … LSU 24 … Line: Arkansas -3.5
Must See Rating: True Grit – 5 … Dennis Miller: The Big Speech -1 … X
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Florida (7-4) at Florida State (8-3) Nov. 27, 3:30 ET, ABC

Here’s The Deal … Toss out the records when Florida and Florida State get together. Regardless of what’s happened leading up to this point, it’s always a big deal when these two get together at the end of the season. This marks the 55th meeting between the schools, the last six won by the Gators. Urban Meyer has yet to lose to the Seminoles, winning the last five games with relative ease. It’s been an unusually rough year at Florida, which lost its bid for the SEC East two weeks ago and has uncharacteristically dropped three games in the Swamp. Florida State, on the other hand, is still in the running for the ACC Atlantic. Naturally, this game will have no bearing on who plays Virginia Tech in a week, but there will be a fair amount of scoreboard watching, with first place NC State kicking off at the same time.
Why Florida Might Win: The Gators will hold the upper hand on the Seminole offense, which hasn’t been right all season. Christian Ponder and the passing game have not impressed and the line has done a poor job of protecting him. It won’t get any easier against a secondary that’s picked off 17 passes and is led by hard-hitting S Ahmad Black and lockdown CB Janoris Jenkins. The key for Florida will be to generate more outside pressure, primarily from senior ends Justin Trattou and Duke Lemmens. With the Seminole pass defense vulnerable for a second straight year, there could be openings for John Brantley to find WR Deonte Thompson downfield.
Why Florida State Might Win: The Gator offense has been a huge disappointment, especially against defenses with a pulse. It’s been inconsistent all year, but especially on third downs. The Seminoles present another stiff challenge, featuring a rugged front seven and the nation’s second-ranked sack unit. Ends Brandon Jenkins and Markus White will lead the brigade against a Florida O-line that’s had a big hand in the futility. At linebacker, Nigel Bradham and Kendall Smith possess the range and instincts to string out plays and keep the Gator speedsters from busting through the second line of defense and into the secondary.
What To Watch Out For: Brantley is the starting quarterback, but Florida is going to need production from other sources in order to solve and beat the Seminole defense. Chris Rainey, for instance, showed a burst in last week’s rout of Appalachian State, and it’d certainly help to get RB Jeff Demps and WR Andre Debose back from ankle injuries. Oh, and don’t discount the impact of Brantley’s backups, Jordan Reed and Trey Burton, who’ve both shown flashes of excellence running the ball from behind center this fall.
What Will Happen: Somehow, Meyer is going to find a way to beat Florida State. He always does. Although it’s been a bad year by Gator standards, the program views this as a chance to retain its Sunshine State swagger. While the defense will keep Ponder & Co. in check, the offense will mix and match its personnel throughout the game, finding the right combination late in a close game. Brantley won’t be the focal point, ceding the spotlight to Reed and Burton when it matters most.
CFN Prediction: Florida 27 … Florida State 23 … Line: Florida State -2.5
Must See Rating: True Grit – 5 … Dennis Miller: The Big Speech -1 … 4
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- Nov. 26 (Auburn-Alabama) | Nov. 27, Part 2 (Ole Miss-Miss St)