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SEC Fearless Predictions , Week 9, Part 2

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Oct 26, 2006


Preview and predictions for the week nine SEC games, Part 2


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 | Week 7 | Week 8

How are the picks so far? SU: 55-10 ... ATS: 32-25-1

SEC Fearless Predictions, Week 9
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FIU (0-7) at Alabama (5-3)  3:00 PM EST Saturday October 28th
Why to Watch: Will Florida International even be able to field a team? In their first game after the debacle against Miami, the Golden Panthers are still winless, despite several close call, and will be without 18 suspended players. That's just win with Alabama, who needs a break after a rocky five games losing to Arkansas, Florida and Tennessee, just getting past a bad Ole Miss team in overtime, and beating Duke 30-14 in a game not as close as the final score. Mississippi State is next week, but with LSU and Auburn coming up in a hurry, the Tide needs more tuning up.
Why FIU Might Win: Youth. Talk about a team with nothing to lose, several young FIU players who normally wouldn't see the playing field this year suddenly become feature performers. How can Alabama properly scout the team? Yeah, FIU will run the same offense and isn't going to change the schemes, but there's no way the Tide will be able to take this game seriously. One player not suspended is QB Josh Padrick, who should have all day to throw considering Alabama's D hasn't generated any pass rush all season.
Why Alabama Might Win: Even if things get tight, Bama should win the war of attrition. FIU doesn't have any starters, much less any depth. Even with a full squad, the offense way lousy at best, non-existent at worst. 14 points should get the job done with change to spare.
Who to Watch: FIU true freshman Chance Attaway goes from being worked into the mix slowly as an undersized fullback, to getting to carry the running game with A'Mod Ned hurt and Julian Reams suspended. He's more of a power back than a speed runner, but he'll need to do a little of everything with the Tide defense focusing on stopping Padrick and the passing game first, and the ground attack second.
What Will Happen: It'll be up to Alabama to decide how ugly this will get, but don't look for the score to go into the stratosphere. Tide head coach Mike Shula won't embarrass FIU head coach and former Miami Dolphin quarterback, Don Strock.
CFN Prediction
: Alabama 38 ... FIU 3 ... Line: Alabama -36
Must See Rating: (5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Flicka) ... 1.5

UL Monroe (1-6) at Arkansas (6-1)  7 PM EST ESPNU Saturday October 28th
Why to Watch: Ho hum, Arkansas gets a light scrimmage before getting back in the chase for the SEC West title, right? Well, right. UL Monroe pushed Kansas earlier this year in a 21-19 loss, but it has yet to beat a D-I team and has lost six straight after dropping one to Middle Tennessee. The Warhawks have been competitive; they just haven't been able to win the close games. For the Hogs, this is a nice opportunity to get some key work in before the finishing kick. Even this late in the year, this is still a young team that needs all the seasoning it can get with South Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi State and LSU to close. Win three of those four, and its off to the SEC championship game.
Why UL Monroe Might Win: The team's close. Eventually, it'll get the right break, the right bounce, and the key stop to finally get a decent win. Granted, ULM could get all three in bucketloads and it still might not matter this week, but Arkansas isn't shy about giving up the rock losing it 17 times this year. ULM is one of the nation's leaders in takeaways and is seventh in turnover margin.
Why Arkansas Might Win: Can ULM field a defense? It got beaten up badly against Middle Tennessee with CB Quintez Secka hurting his hamstring, LB Jeremy Moll suffering a severe, and very scary concussion, and star safety Kevin Payne spraining an ankle. Payne is supposed to play this week, but the overall defensive depth is starting to get extremely thin. ULM's run defense, even when fully healthy, doesn't have the rocks to slow down a running game as good as UA's.
Who to Watch: Arkansas has the SEC West title there for the taking, but to get through the final four weeks, freshman QB Mitch Mustain has to be more dangerous. He was magnificent last week against Ole Miss completing 12 of 15 passes for 157 yards and two touchdowns. ULM will throw everything including its old nickname at the Hog running game, so Mustain, and the Arkansas coaching staff, has to use this chance to air it out a bit more. Even if things don't go swimmingly, there's no real threat of losing; the running game will still be there.
What Will Happen: Arkansas, if it takes this game remotely seriously, should be able to call its shot. The D is playing too well, and the ULM offense is way too average.
CFN Prediction
: Arkansas 42 ... UL Monroe 10 ... Line: Arkansas -37
Must See Rating: (5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Flicka) ... 1.5

Tennessee (6-1) at South Carolina (5-2)  7:45 PM EST Saturday October 28th
Why to Watch: Steve Spurrier has owned plenty of SEC coaches and teams over the years with the most ballyhooed domination coming over Tennessee head man Phil Fulmer. Spurrier, when at Florida, always had Georgia's number, but it was his team's wins over the Vols, particularly when they had Peyton Manning, that helped turn the Ball Coach from a legend into a legendary head coach. Last year, Tennessee's struggling season took a painful turn downward when Spurrier beat Fulmer for the eighth time in 11 tries with a 16-15 win. This year, the Vols are far better and far more complete with a four-game winning streak coming off the loss to Florida. This starts an interesting three-game stretch with Spurrier this week, LSU next week, and Arkansas to follow. The Gamecocks disposed of the SEC East lightweights, Kentucky and Vanderbilt, and now gets a brutal run over the final five games playing Tennessee, Arkansas, Florida and Clemson (along with Middle Tennessee and its pesky defense).
Why Tennessee Might Win: Tennessee's defense is taking things to another level after a rocky start holding Alabama's running game to just 53 yards, forcing four Georgia turnovers in the win in Athens, and holding Marshall and Memphis to 14 points combined. The Vols have the speed at linebacker to pressure QB Syvelle Newton, and the secondary to put the clamps on WR Sidney Rice. On offense, Tennessee should be able to move the ball consistently. Don't let the stats fool you; USC has only faced on decent offense, Auburn's. UT is far more explosive. Even so ...
Why South Carolina Might Win: ... the D really has been decent. If you're into stats and rankings, Tennessee butters its bread with the nation's eighth ranked passing game, while the USC secondary is eighth in the nation in pass defense. It starts with an active defensive front that's always finding ways to get into the backfield. Tennessee, for all its speed and big defensive playmakers, isn't much for getting to the quarterback. It's great at stopping running games behind the line, but it's not coming up with sacks on a consistent basis.
Who to Watch: The NFL scouts will keep a close eye on two of the best linebackers you've probably never heard of (unless you're an SEC fan) in South Carolina's Jasper Brinkley and Tennessee's Jerod Mayo. Mayo has been dinged up all season long with an ankle problem, but he finally appeared healthy last week getting all over the field to stuff Ken Darby and the Alabama running game with 12 tackles and two tackles for loss. The sophomore has a next-level combination of skills with speed, size, and sure-tackling ability, but he has to prove he can stay on the field with a knee injury giving him problems last year. Brinkley has been the real deal, and then some, as the main man in the middle with 51 tackles on the year. He's been the steady force for a linebacking corps that desperately needed it from the start of the season.
What Will Happen: South Carolina will keep this close for three quarters, but the Spurrier curse will slow down after the Vol passing game connects on two key plays in the fourth quarter to break away in a tight battle.
CFN Prediction
: Tennessee 24 ... South Carolina 16 ... Line: Tennessee -5
Must See Rating: (5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Flicka) ... 4


SEC Fearless Predictions, Week 9
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