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SEC Fearless Predictions, Nov. 11

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Nov 8, 2006


Arkansas and Darren McFadden are slowly getting more and more respect, and they can make a big splash this week against Tennessee in the biggest game in a wild week for the SEC with Georgia playing Auburn, Alabama going to LSU, and a certain Ball Coach returning home to Florida.


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, Part 2
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SEC Game of the Week

Tennessee (7-2) at Arkansas (8-1)  7 PM EST ESPN2 Saturday November 11th
Why to Watch: Arkansas started to get a little more national attention with a tough 26-20 win over South Carolina, and now the real work begins with home games against Tennessee and LSU wrapped around a trip to Mississippi State. The Hogs control their own destiny in the SEC race, and can even start to enter the national title discussion if there's an impressive victory over the Tigers and/or the Volunteers. This has been a tough week for Phil Fulmer's club with a loss to LSU followed up by the arrests of RB Arian Foster, FB David Holbert and FS Antonio Wardlow. Foster will be suspended for the first half of the game, while Holbert and Wardlow are out. How much will this be a distraction for the team? Can the Hogs, who've lost the last three to the Vols, finally get the second really, really big win that will prove to everyone they're for real? This might be the most important game of the weekend.
Why Tennessee Might Win: Has Arkansas played anyone who can throw the ball? Yup. USC. This might be a very different Hog team than it was at the beginning of the year when it got pasted 50-14 by the Trojans, but it's still relatively untested against the pass with the last eight games played against teams that mostly liked to run the ball. South Carolina was able to make things interesting last week when Blake Mitchell, who's a better passer than Syvelle Newton, came in the game. If the Gamecocks can do that, Tennessee should be able to come up with huge plays through the air no matter who's at quarterback.
Why Arkansas Might Win: To beat Arkansas, it's all about slowing down the running game, and the Vols don't have the defense to do it. The linebackers are fast and active, and the secondary is solid against the pass, but LSU's average running game was able to rumble for 231 yards last week and South Carolina's mediocre ground attack was able to move a bit (mostly due to Newton's mobility). Arkansas can run on anyone. Give Darren McFadden and Felix Jones just a sliver of daylight, and they'll crank out yards in huge chunks. They'll get that room.
Who to Watch: South Carolina's Sidney Rice was able to come up with seven catches for 126 yards and a touchdown last week against the Hogs; Tennessee's Robert Meachem has to be drooling. The junior All-American keeps getting better and better averaging a whopping 19.8 yards per catch on the season with ten grabs for 227 yards and two scores in the last two games. So who's going to throw to him? Erik Ainge has two bum ankles and is questionable at best, and most likely out, meaning redshirt freshman Jonathan Crompton, who completed 11 of 24 passes fro 183 yards and two touchdowns with an interception in the loss to LSU, will have to go a full sixty minutes. While he's not nearly as polished at the moment as Ainge, he's a tough competitor and with the upside to eventually be a star.
What Will Happen: Tennessee is too banged up and too scattered. The injuries at quarterback and linebacker will be too much to overcome. This is where Arkansas makes a big statement.
CFN Prediction
: Arkansas 27 ... Tennessee 20  ...  Line: Arkansas -5.5
Must See Rating: (5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause) ... 5

Georgia (6-4) at Auburn (9-1)  12:30 PM EST GamePlan Saturday November 11th
Why to Watch: Here's the 2005 SEC Championship game many wanted to see, but things have changed in a big way over the last year with Auburn scratching and clawing its way into the national title race and Georgia, the defending SEC champion, trying to fight its way out of mediocrity. The Dawgs have lost two straight and four of its last five with only a close shave a few weeks ago against Mississippi State breaking up the gloom. A win over the Tigers would quickly change around the season before going into the rivalry showdown against Georgia Tech. Auburn needs to beat Georgia and Alabama and hope Arkansas can lose two of its last three games to play for the SEC title.
Why Georgia Might Win: Can the Tigers turn it on all of a sudden after taking three weeks off? After beating Florida, they went through the motions in wins over Tulane, Ole Miss (which was more of a battle than it should've been), and Arkansas State, but they were hardly impressive. Georgia's best chance to take the crowd out of the game and control the tempo will be to use its huge offensive line, and big back Kregg Lumpkin, to pound the ball, pound the ball and pound the ball. The Tiger D got shoved around a little bit by Arkansas and Florida, and this is the strongest line it's faced in weeks.
Why Auburn Might Win: Georgia is finding ways to blow it late. Kentucky won in the final minutes, and then sealed it with an interception of the Dawgs final drive. The offense couldn't get over the hump in the fourth quarter in the loss to Florida, needed a turnover to save the day against Mississippi State, lost on a last-second field goal against Vanderbilt, and got its doors blown off in the second half against Tennessee. Auburn's defense should be able to completely shut down the Georgia passing game, so as long as the run defense holds up, there shouldn't be a problem keeping the score low.
Who to Watch: Is Kenny Irons finally ready to roll? A preseason All-American, the Auburn senior has been in and out over the last few weeks resting in relatively easy games, getting healthy after suffering ankle, leg and toe problems, and rushing for 106 yards against Ole Miss. He's not healthy, but he's raring to get out on the field to end his career on a high note and get a buzz going about him again as a pro prospect.
What Will Happen: Auburn's not going to blow it on Senior Day. Don't expect a polished, national title caliber performance, but the Tigers aren't going to be threatened.
CFN Prediction
: Auburn 27 ... Georgia 17   ...  Line: Auburn -13
Must See Rating: (5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause) ... 3.5

Vanderbilt (4-6) at Kentucky (5-4)  1 PM EST Saturday November 11th
Why to Watch: Kentucky just needs one win and it's in its first bowl game since 1999. While the UL Monroe game next week should take care of that, head coach Rich Brooks and his team wants to get it down this week and stay hot after beating Georgia and Mississippi State. Vanderbilt has to win its final two games to become bowl eligible with the tougher test coming in next week against Tennessee, but it has to get by UK first. If nothing else, these two are no longer the bottom of the basement dregs they've been over the past several years, even though the Commodores will likely finish on the bottom of the East.
Why Vanderbilt Might Win: You and a few friends could throw for 250 yards on the Kentucky secondary. The corners give up short yards, long plays, and everything in between, and while VU QB Chris Nickson is hardly consistent, he has been stronger over the last two weeks throwing for 250 yards against Duke and bombing away for 298 yards against Florida with four touchdowns against the two. If he gets a little bit of time, he should be able to crank out his first 300-yard game of the season. However ...
Why Kentucky Might Win: ... it's not like Vandy is stopping any passing game with a pulse. Oh sure, the secondary held tough against Duke and Ole Miss, but it struggled against Florida, Georgia, and even Arkansas. Junior QB Andre Woodson has been terrific over the last several weeks growing into one of the unnoticed new stars of the SEC. He picked apart the Georgia secondary last week holding tough in tight situations and bombed away on Mississippi State. Yeah, UK's defense will give up yards, but Woodson will get them right back.
Who to Watch: Kentucky still has to be having nightmares about Vanderbilt WR Earl Bennett. The sophomore ripped apart the Wildcats last year with 13 catches for 99 yards and five touchdowns in a 48-43 UK win, and he's coming off brilliant performances against Duke and Florida with 21 catches for 341 yards and two touchdowns as he gains more and more familiarity with Nickson. Oddly enough, the Commodores have only gone 2-4 in games when he's caught double-digit passes.
What Will Happen: It'll fly under the radar, but this game could be one of the most entertaining of the weekend. Expect lots of passing yards, lots of points and lots of big shots. The Vanderbilt defense will be a little better than Kentucky's.
CFN Prediction
: Vanderbilt 38 ... Kentucky 34  ...  Line: Kentucky -2.5
Must See Rating: (5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause) ... 3

SEC Fearless Predictions, Week 11, Part 2
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