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SEC Fearless Predictions , Week 7

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Oct 11, 2006


Preview and predictions for the week seven SEC games


SEC
East  Florida | Georgia | Kentucky | South Carolina | Tennessee | Vanderbilt 
West Alabama | Arkansas | Auburn | LSU | Ole Miss | Miss State
- Part SEC Predictions: Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5
Week 6

How are the picks so far? SU: 44-9 ... ATS: 25-22-1

SEC Fearless Predictions, Week 7, Part 2
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SEC Game of the Week

Florida (6-0) at Auburn (5-1)  7:45 PM EST ESPN Saturday October 14th
Why to Watch: While Arkansas controls its own destiny in the South, this might be a preview of the SEC title game if Auburn comes up with the win, or it could be yet another springboard for Florida in the national title chase. The Gators already beat Tennessee in Knoxville and were impressive in a 23-10 win over LSU last week, but the nation's toughest four-game stretch continues with the trip to Jordan-Hare followed up by the showdown with Georgia coming up in two weeks. Getting more and more national respect, Urban Meyer's crew has been rock-solid on both sides of the ball led by a stifling defense that's number two in the nation in points allowed despite playing all six games against likely bowl-bound teams. Meanwhile, the Auburn train was derailed last week by Arkansas and its running game in a 27-10 beatdown. The Tigers have no margin for error with Georgia and Alabama still to play, and with Arkansas already a game up in the SEC standings. The national title game is still a possibility if Tommy Tuberville's team can quickly right the ship and thump the Gators in impressive fashion. The two haven't played since 2002 with the Gators owning the recent series winning eight of the last nine since the classic 1994 36-33 Tiger win in Gainesville.
Why Florida Might Win: Defense. Auburn's offense, for having a Heisman-caliber back in Kenny Irons and a veteran quarterback in Brandon Cox, hasn't exactly set the world on fire. Struggling against LSU is one thing, but the offense couldn't get going against an average Arkansas defense last week and had a bit too many problems against South Carolina the week before. The passing attack isn't opening things up for the run like it should be with the efficient Cox not doing enough to scare anyone deep. Unless Cox can bomb away on the suspect Gator secondary, Auburn won't be able to hang more than 20 on the board.
Why Auburn Might Win: Florida is a far better matchup for the Tigers than Arkansas. Auburn will have problems against pounding teams with great running games, and outside of backup QB Tim Tebow, and with RB DeShawn Wynn gimpy, at best, that's not Florida. Despite a few struggles against South Carolina, the Tiger defense is usually at its best against speed, finesse (with that term being used loosely for the Gators) teams that like to survive on the short to midrange timing plays. Auburn's defense will pressure Chris Leak and the secondary will be tight as a drum on the deep balls, so if the Gator offensive line isn't able to provide some balance for the running game, the offense likely won't move the ball.
Who to Watch: Even though Florida gets some more pop back in the lineup with WR Percy Harvin expected to play on a bad ankle and Wynn supposed to be ready despite suffering a knee injury, all eyes will be on freshman sparkplug Tim Tebow. The backup quarterback has gained such a reputation as a runner that the safeties instantly cheat up whenever he's in the game. LSU got burned for a long touchdown by doing that, so Auburn's linebackers have to make the stops at the line so the secondary can play the pass honestly. Safety-turned-linebacker Will Herring will be the key here with the quickness to be used as a spy on Tebow, and the experience to sniff out the pass plays.
What Will Happen: Auburn's defense will redeem itself after last week with a nearly flawless performance from the secondary and just enough pressure on Leak and Tebow to force a few key mistakes. Don't expect fireworks.
CFN Prediction
: Auburn 14 ... Florida 10 ... Line: Auburn -2
Must See Rating: (5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 The Class) ... 5

Vanderbilt (2-4) at Georgia (5-1)  12:30 PM EST Saturday October 14th
Why to Watch: Georgia went from being a shaky contender in the SEC race to having to go back to the drawing board after getting its doors blown off by Tennessee in the 51-33 loss in Athens. With little offensive production, the Dawgs have to use the next two weeks against Vanderbilt and Mississippi State to rune up for Florida to get back in the hunt, but Vanderbilt might not be a total pushover. The Commodores aren't as strong as last year, and are coming off a rough 17-10 loss at Ole Miss, but they have a decent enough defense to keep this close.
Why Vanderbilt Might Win: The Georgia offense can't seem to find a groove. Even though the return of Joe Tereshinski helped the passing game last week against Tennessee, the offense only scored two touchdowns and couldn't do anything to stop the momentum once the game started to slip away. The Vandy defense has allowed more than 20 points twice this year, giving up 27 to Michigan and 21 against Arkansas, and should be able to keep this from being the week the Bulldog passing game finally gets moving. However ...
Why Georgia Might Win: ... Vandy might not score. The Tennessee game was an aberration; Georgia's defense is one of the best in the country and has stonewalled bad offenses all year long. If the Dawgs keep the turnovers to a minimum, capitalize on every opportunity, and don't suffer any major special teams breakdowns, they'll win in a walk.
Who to Watch: With starting PIK Brandon Coutu out for the year, and with the Georgia offense sputtering, the pressure has been turned up a notch on Andy Bailey, who wasn't bad in Coutu's place last week hitting all three of his extra points and going two for two on field goals. He's going to play a key role as the season goes on, so the more work he can get, the better. The big mystery continues to be the offense with a rotating running back situation to try to find the right fit. Kregg Lumpkin is the team's best runner, but he can't block worth a lick meaning Thomas Brown, who had his most effective game of the year last week against the Vols, will get the starting nod again. At quarterback, the starting gig is Tereshinski's, but Matthew Stafford will be worked in throughout the first half to get him more experience.
What Will Happen: Once again, Georgia's offense won't do anything special, but the defense will be a brick wall for the mediocre Vandy attack.
CFN Prediction
: Georgia 20 ... Vanderbilt 10 ... Line: Georgia -13
Must See Rating: (5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 The Class) ... 2

SE Missouri State (3-2) at Arkansas (4-1)  2:00 PM EST Saturday October 14th
Why to Watch: Oh how things sure have changed in the course of one week. Arkansas went from being an interesting sleeper that was getting its feet wet for next year when the team could mature, to the head of the SEC West class shocking Auburn 27-10 to go 2-0 in conference play. Tennessee and LSU don't come up on the schedule until mid-November, and both of those games are home dates. SE Missouri State, led by former New Mexico State head man Tony Samuel, isn't a bad D-IAA team, but it's certainly not an elite one coming off a 21-0 blanking by Eastern Illinois. This will be nothing more than a scrimmage for the Hogs before hosting Ole Miss next week, but for a young team that needs all the work it can get, this is still an important game.
Why SE Missouri State Might Win: Young teams, even good ones like Arkansas, make mistakes. The Hogs are dead last in turnover margin giving it away ten times so far with one long fumble recovery as the only takeaway. No one in the nation has forced fewer than four turnovers so far. The Redhawks, who are number two in D-IAA in turnover margin, are fantastic at taking care of the ball committing only three turnovers so far to go along with 13 takeaways.
Why Arkansas Might Win: SE Missouri State is average against the run. Uh oh. The Redhawks got pounded on for 303 yards and five touchdowns by Jacksonville State and 190 yards last week by Eastern Illinois. Arkansas will pound and pound and pound some more with it's physical offensive line and should have few problems opening some big holes for Darren McFadden and Felix Jones. The secondary isn't anything to write home about, so look for Hog QB Mitch Mustain to take a few shots deep to try to turn up the passing attack.
Who to Watch: While the Redhawks aren't purely a running team, they need to be until one of the quarterbacks does more with the passing game. Rotating quarterbacks to try to find the right fit, they use senior Kevin Ballatore and sophomore Markus Mosley, who can both throw, but don't make nearly enough plays on the run. The main player Arkansas fans will notice is Southeast punter David Simonhoff, who's one of the best in D-IAA averaging over 45 yards per boot over the last two years. He'll get plenty of chances.
What Will Happen: With these two running teams, the game will take about two hours.
CFN Prediction
: Arkansas 45 ... SE Missouri State 7 ... Line: No Line
Must See Rating: (5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 The Class) ... 1


SEC Fearless Predictions, Week 7, Part 2
| Get Tickets for These Games