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SEC Fearless Predictions , Nov. 11, Part 2

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Nov 8, 2006


Preview and predictions for the week Eleven 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 | Week 9 | Week 10

How are the picks so far? SU: 68-11 ... ATS: 41-29-1

SEC Fearless Predictions, Week 11
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South Carolina (5-4) at Florida (8-1)  3:30 PM EST CBS Saturday November 11th
Why to Watch: If only this game had a storyline. Florida's favorite son, Steve Spurrier, makes his return to Gainesville with a South Carolina team on a two-game losing streak and with it's best win of the season over an average Kentucky team. Spurrier has done his best to downplay the homecoming, and while it'll be played up until game time, the importance of the game for Florida will quickly take center stage. The Gators have clinched the SEC East title and now are looking for bigger things battling to get into the covered number two BCS slot. After unimpressive wins over Georgia and Vanderbilt teams, Urban Meyer doesn't just need to beat the Ball Coach after losing 30-22 last year in Columbia, he has to do it impressively to get pollsters excited about thinking of Florida as a national title contender.
Why South Carolina Might Win: It's a long way from the fun 'n' gun days in Gainesville. In case you haven't noticed, Florida has become a completely mediocre offensive team with little consistency and not nearly enough pop. The yards are there and the balance is fine, but this isn't the type of offense that'll throw 45 points up on the board as it relies on not making mistakes and letting its defense come up with the wins. The same is true for South Carolina, with a defense that's doing a great job of keeping the team in games when the offense is struggling to find its own groove. The Gamecock defense is strong enough to keep this close.
Why Florida Might Win: Everyone wants to focus on Florida's offense and why it's not explosive enough, while the defense has taken a back seat. The defensive front seven has been a rock against the run all season long and isn't likely to get rumbled on by a South Carolina running game that's been its best when QB Syvelle Newton was on the move. Florida will quickly make USC one dimensional, and if the passing game isn't effective, it's not going to take much to put the game away.
Who to Watch: As Vanderbilt's Chris Nickson showed last week, throwing on the the Gator secondary isn't all that tough. If USC can come up with pass production it found last week against Arkansas, it should be able to hit on some big strikes if Blake Mitchell plays well. With the offense needing a shot in the arm against Arkansas, Spurrier pulled Newton and put in Mitchell, more of a pure passer, who completed 15 of 21 passes for 213 yards and two touchdowns with one late interception. He'll get the start and has to bomb away if the Gamecocks are going to have any shot, but more importantly, he has to keep his mistakes to a minimum. 
What Will Happen: You'd better believe that Meyer really, really, really wants this one. He'll say the win will be for the team, but he'll hold this as a personal trophy and one he'll privately savor.
CFN Prediction
: Florida 23 ... South Carolina 13  ...  Line: Florida -13
Must See Rating: (5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause) ... 4

Alabama (6-4) at LSU (7-2)  7:45 PM EST ESPN Saturday November 11th
Why to Watch: LSU has won five of the last six in the series and is coming off its first really good win of the year in a 28-24 battle at Tennessee. While the SEC title is almost out of the question no matter what the Tigers do, they can earn the title of being the league's "hot" team by beating the Tide this week, Ole Miss next week, and finishing off with a showdown win at Arkansas. The Tide is going bowling, but it's in big trouble coming off a brutal 24-16 loss to Mississippi State and win the Auburn rivalry next week. Still looking for a decent win (it's best victory of the season came in the opener against Hawaii), Bama could use a shocker to move up in the bowl pecking order and get some momentum going into the Iron Bowl.
Why Alabama Might Win: While it's nowhere near the killer it was last season, the defense has been solid all season long only allowing 277 yards per game. The real key has been turnovers forcing 24 on the year bailing out the average offense time and again providing decent field position and plenty of momentum. LSU isn't above giving it away with four turnovers last week against Tennessee and five in the loss to Florida a month ago. If Alabama can be +2 or more in turnover margin, it has a shot to keep this close.
Why LSU Might Win: LSU at home this year ... forget about it. Alabama might be the best team the Tigers have faced in Death Valley, but in six games so far, they've won by a combined score of 274 to 36. The closest anyone has come was Mississippi State (who, remember, just beat Alabama) in a 48-17 LSU win, and 14 of those points came in the second half when the outcome had already been well decided. The Tide offense has hardly been explosive and its rarely been consistent. Against the three really good teams it's faced, Bama ran for 118 yards against Arkansas, 83 against Florida and 53 against Tennessee. LSU's defense is number one in America and is only allowing 71 rushing yards a game.
Who to Watch: LSU's running game has been struggling to find its stride all season long, and it finally got going against the Vols last week thanked to a few good runs from a variety of options and a surprising day from QB JaMarcus Russell. The junior is hardly known for being a runner, but he tore off a key 34-yard dash on the way to a 71-yard performance. The Tennessee win finally gave him his first big win of the season and started to quiet rumblings that he couldn't win the big game. LSU's unbelievable performances at home have mainly due to Russell, who has completed 91 of 117 passes (78%) for 1,413 yards and 14 touchdowns with just one interception.
What Will Happen: Alabama's offense isn't going to explode all of a sudden in a night game against this LSU defense. The Tigers will win impressively.
CFN Prediction
: LSU 28  ... Alabama 10 ... Line: LSU -16.5
Must See Rating: (5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause) ... 4

SEC Fearless Predictions, Week 11
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