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SEC Fearless Predictions
Kentucky QB Andre Woodson
Kentucky QB Andre Woodson
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Oct 3, 2007


Kentucky and Andre Woodson have been fantastic so far, but with South Carolina, Florida, and LSU to deal with, the real work begins tonight against the Gamecocks. Check out all the previews and predictions for the Week 6 SEC Games.


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

SEC Fearless Predictions Sept. 1Sept. 8 | Sept. 15Sept. 22 | Sept. 29 
Oct. 13 | Oct. 20Oct. 27 | Nov. 3Nov. 10 | Nov. 17Nov. 24Dec. 1 

How are the picks so far? SU: 36-7 ... ATS: 23-12-1

SEC Fearless Predictions, Week 6, Part 2

SEC Game of the Week

Florida (4-1) at LSU (5-0)  8:00 PM ET CBS
Why to Watch:
 This was supposed to be the showdown for an inside track to the BCS Championship game. This was supposed to be round one, with the rematch to come in the SEC championship game. This was supposed to be when LSU announced it had arrived as a true favorite for the national title, or it was supposed to be when Florida made a statement that it wasn't about to just give up its national champion status so easily. This can still be all of those things, even after the Gators lost at home to Auburn 20-17 last week. A Florida win in Death Valley would be strong enough to put the Gators smack dab into the national title chase again, while a loss might kill chances to repeat as the SEC champion. LSU isn't just among the top two teams in the country, along with USC, but it also got the number one spot in the latest AP poll. A win this week would only cement the team's status, and while road trips to Kentucky and Alabama will be tests, this should be the last obstacle before going off to the SEC title game. So forget about last week's Florida loss; this is still the biggest game of the year so far.
Why Florida Might Win:
LSU might have the nation's number one defense, but it hasn't faced an offense with a pulse. South Carolina's attack isn't bad, but it's nothing special, and it had a measure of success through the air. Florida's offense didn't show its typical pop against Auburn, but it has the offensive line that should be able to neutralize, for the most part, the tremendous Tiger defensive front, and an efficient passer in Tim Tebow to prevent mistakes and keep the chains moving. The Gamecocks hung around LSU, but never really threatened. How will the Tigers handle being in a dogfight?
Why LSU Might Win: What happened to the Florida offensive weapons? Percy Harvin has turned into a tremendous receiver, along with being a great all-around playmaker, but the Gator attack has quickly turned into Tebow left, Tebow right, Tebow left, Tebow pass. When things got tight against Ole Miss and Auburn, all the other weapons seemed to disappear, and the offense stagnated. If LSU's job is to simply make sure Tebow doesn't run for 150 yards, then the linebackers will tee off. Florida will have to get extremely creative, and at times, since the running backs will likely be forgotten souls from the opening snap, it's going to have to open things up a bit.
Who to Watch: Derrick Harvey, your table is waiting. Everything is humming for LSU on both sides of the ball, except for one thing: pass protection. Tulane did a stunningly good job of generating pressure up the middle, and overall, the Tiger quarterbacks have had to eat the ball, rather than take chances and force bad passes that could turn into a game-changing interception. This is where Harvey comes in. The All-America Gator talent is coming off a two sack performance against Auburn, and has to be a fixture in the Tiger backfield early and often from the outside, while Jermaine Cunningham has to be a presences from several spots.
What Will Happen: It's not going to be the prettiest game. LSU has its flaws, with the offensive line about to be in for a bad day against the Gator defensive front, but this is still Death Valley. The arrest of Florida defensive back Tony Joiner this week isn't going to help the average UF secondary, while the offense will bog down way too often with a lack of help from the running backs. LSU will win, but everyone will start to question just how good the team really is compared to USC.
CFN Prediction: LSU 17 ... Florida 10 ... Line: LSU -9
Must See Rating: (5 Paris on Letterman - 1 Singing Bee) ... 5

SEC Thursday, Oct. 4

Kentucky (5-0) at South Carolina (4-1)  7:30 PM ET ESPN
Why to Watch:
 If Kentucky is going to change the college football world as we know it, it's going to have to reverse history week after week. Over the next three weeks, the Wildcats have to deal with home games against LSU and Florida, along with the trip to South Carolina, as it tries to beat the Gamecocks for the first time since 1999, having lost seven straight in the series. UK QB Andre Woodson is playing as well as anyone in America, with the Heisman talk starting to flow after a red-hot start. The Wildcats have won six straight, they're only 1-0 in SEC play, beating Arkansas, while South Carolina has come up with the tough win at Georgia, battled LSU, and beat Mississippi State. This is a great team, playing through big injuries and a quarterback benching to be a true contender for the SEC title. With North Carolina and Vanderbilt coming up next, USC needs this win to likely be 7-1 before dealing with the meat of the schedule.
Why Kentucky Might Win:
Kentucky could simply outbomb its way to the win. South Carolina's offense is improving, but it's not going to go on any big runs, and it's not equipped to hang around in a firefight. UK hasn't scored fewer than 40 points in any game this year, while South Carolina hasn't scored more than 38 in any game. Defensively, lost in USC's good start has been the struggles against the run, made worse with the loss of LB Jasper Brinkley. UK is known for its passing, but it's just as effective running the ball, while the mediocre pass protection won't have a problem against the non-existent USC pass rush.
Why South Carolina Might Win: The secondary is the real deal. Fine, so USC's number one ranking against the pass is partly a function of everyone running the ball on the occasionally porous defensive front, but the secondary isn't allowing anything. Georgia's Matthew Stafford struggled with his consistency, and LSU basically ignored the pass to pound away with several options. On the other side of the ball, UK can't stop the run. The D line is the Achilles heel, getting a minimal push into the backfield, and getting run by far too easily by Louisville, Kent State and Arkansas. That means ...
Who to Watch: Cory Boyd and Mike Davis should have huge games, as long as they're healthy. Boyd suffered a sprained knee against Miss State, while Davis suffered a leg injury. They're both expected to go, and they have to be effective to keep the clock rolling, keep the chains moving, and keep Woodson off the field. Also needing to come through with a big game is QB Chris Smelley, the young star who threw for 279 yards and two touchdowns with an interception, taking over the reins from an ineffective Blake Mitchell. Smelley doesn't have to outplay Woodson, but he has to limit his mistakes and take advantage of a UK secondary that'll load up the safeties on the line to stop the run.
What Will Happen: Woodson will look like a Heisman candidate at times, but he won't have enough big moments to overcome the 300 rushing yards the South Carolina offense will crank out. Smelley will make a nationally televised announcement that he'll be a player in the SEC race for the next few years.
CFN Prediction: South Carolina 34 ... Kentucky 30 ... Line: South Carolina -3.5
Must See Rating: (5 Paris on Letterman - 1 Singing Bee) ... 4
SEC Saturday, Oct. 6
Georgia (4-1) at Tennessee (2-2)  3:30 PM ET CBS
Why to Watch:
 The Florida loss to Auburn now opens things back up in the SEC East race, giving Tennessee new life, while giving Georgia more help as it tries to overcome the early loss to South Carolina. It's not a stretch to call this Tennessee's last stand, at least as far as the Phil Fulmer era, with early season blowout losses to Cal and Florida showing just how far the program is right now from being a top contender. If the Vols can get by with a win, things get relatively easier, missing LSU from the West, getting the two big names from the East out of the way, and having a nice four-game home stand starting in late October with the potential to go on a nice run. However, Tennessee is seen as a battered team with no defense, while Georgia is the younger, rising program with the potential to be special over the next few years. This game will go a long way to either changing perceptions, or cementing them.
Why Georgia Might Win:
Tennessee's defense has gone bye-bye. Struggling equally against the pass and the run, the Bulldogs can pick and choose how they want to move the ball. Most importantly for QB Matthew Stafford and his mediocre receiving corps, Tennessee isn't generating anything on the line. Stafford will have ten days to throw, and it'll all trickle down from there. However ...
Why Tennessee Might Win: It's not like Georgia is an offensive juggernaut. The Bulldog passing game is occasionally efficient, but it's hardly consistent, and it's hardly California or Florida as far as explosiveness, last week's game against Ole Miss aside. The Bulldog secondary has hardly been tested, with Alabama's John Parker Wilson the toughest quarterback it's had to deal with, and he almost came through clutch late in the overtime loss. Tennessee might be having problems defensively, but the offense is moving the ball thanks to the SEC's number one passing offense, led by a great year from ...
Who to Watch: Erik Ainge. With all his top targets off to the NFL, Ainge was supposed to regress a bit back to his sophomore form. It was the receivers who made him look good last year, or so said the conventional wisdom. All Ainge has done is throw for 10 touchdown with just two interceptions, and is coming off a marvelous 334-yard, four touchdown day against Arkansas State. He's had to press a little more with the defense not providing enough overall help, and the running game being merely average, but he's still not making mistakes. If Tennessee is going to beat Georgia, Ainge has to explode.
What Will Happen: This has been a strange series, with the road team winning over the last four years, and with the way Georgia has performed over the years on the road under Mark Richt, make it five in a row. Tennessee simply isn't doing enough on defense right now.
CFN Prediction: Georgia 30 ... Tennessee 21 ... Line: Tennessee -2
Must See Rating: (5 Paris on Letterman - 1 Singing Bee) ... 4

Vanderbilt
(3-1) at Auburn (3-2)  12:30 PM ET GamePlan
Why to Watch:
 Look who decided to join the SEC race. Auburn, being left for dead after doing nothing offensively against Mississippi State, and with the daunting task of dealing with a trip to Florida, stuffed the defending national champions, while getting a clutch last second field goal to win 20-17. There are still plenty of rough spots ahead, with road trips to Arkansas, LSU and Georgia to deal with, but at least the Tigers are back in the discussion. Vanderbilt beat Ole Miss and lost to Alabama on the way to a 3-1 overall start, but now it has to go on the road for the first time all year in search of its first win at Auburn since, well, technically, ever. The Commodores beat Auburn in 1948, but the Tigers lost that game in Montgomery. The last time Vandy beat Auburn anywhere? The 1955 Gator Bowl. Since then, Auburn has won 12 straight in the series.
Why Vanderbilt Might Win:
(Shouted through a megaphone) MEGA-LETDOWN SANDWICH GAME ALERT. Auburn can say all the right things about being pumped up to beat Vanderbilt and take another big step in its SEC season, but all the talk continues to be about the shocker in Gainesville last week, and one eye is looking ahead to a revenge game at Arkansas next week, and the LSU showdown the week after. The offense still isn't consistent, with no real passing game to speak off, while Vandy has been a rock so far in the secondary. Auburn didn't get much of a consistent pass rush over the first five games outside of Quentin Groves, and now he's likely out with three dislocated toes.
Why Auburn Might Win: Vanderbilt faced one living, breathing defense this year, Alabama, and the running game was shut down cold. WR Earl Bennett might be the star of the offense, but if the ground game isn't working, Vandy doesn't have much of a shot. Auburn's defense is holding teams to 113 rushing yards per game, and while it had a few problems with the running of Tim Tebow last week, for the most part, it was effective. South Florida's Matt Grothe only ran for 31 yards on 18 carries. Vandy QB Chris Nickson needs to get at least 75 rushing yards, and that's probably not going to happen.
Who to Watch: Where's the Auburn pass rush going to come from? Antonio Coleman has three sacks on the year, but it's Groves who made offensive coordinators sweat. On the plus side, the Tigers get a big boost for the offense with the return of RB Brad Lester from suspension. Ben Tate and Mario Fannin have been excellent, but Lester is the type of number one back the entire offense can focus around. He could be the key to the attack finally starting to show some consistency.
What Will Happen: It's not going to be anything to frame, but Auburn will get enough from its defense to overcome a lousy day from the offense. Vandy will have several chances to pull off the upset, and won't be able to come through. 
CFN Prediction: Auburn 23 ... Vanderbilt 14 ... Line: Auburn -7.5
Must See Rating: (5 Paris on Letterman - 1 Singing Bee) ... 2.5

SEC Fearless Predictions, Week 6, Part 2

  

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