SEC Fearless Predictions, Nov. 24
Alabama's J.P. Wilson & Auburn's Brandon Cox
Alabama's J.P. Wilson & Auburn's Brandon Cox
Posted Nov 21, 2007

It's the week SEC fans have been waiting for as LSU tries to keep its national title hopes alive against Arkansas, Tennessee tries to clinch the East against Kentucky, and Alabama and John Parker Wilson tries to break an ugly streak against Brandon Cox's Auburn. Check out all the picks and analysis in the Week 12 SEC Fearless Predictions.

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. 6Oct. 13 | Oct. 20Oct. 27 | Nov. 3Nov. 10 | Nov. 17Dec. 1 

How are the picks so far? SU: 70-18 ... ATS: 46-30-2

SEC Fearless Predictions, Week 13, Part 2

SEC Game of the Week

(8-3) at Kentucky (7-4)  1:30 PM  CBS
Why to watch
: There might be several more intriguing SEC battles this week with Alabama-Auburn and Arkansas-LSU generating more interest, but this is the league's most important game since it determined the SEC championship. Everyone else is in the clubhouse. LSU has won the West, Georgia will face the Tigers with a Kentucky win over the Vols, and Tennessee will be in with a win. This might be the best Kentucky team in decades, and it'll have to be after losing 22 straight to the Vols with the last win coming in 1984. The Cats have struggled down the stretch losing three of their last four games with the one-time killer offense having problems consistently producing points. Tennessee has gotten hot at just the right time winning four straight and seven of the last eight, but Georgia has gotten even hotter. Many fans would rather see the all grown up Bulldogs get their shot against LSU, but Tennessee isn't planning on letting that happen. 
Why Tennessee might win: The Kentucky offense has been fine, but it hasn't been anything special over the last few weeks. Bumps and bruises have been a problem, but the lack of rushing production has been the biggest issue. When the attack was rolling, it was getting good balance to take some of the pressure away from Andre Woodson, but the Cats have only generated 100 yards in one of the last four games after going over 100 in the first seven games. It's no coincidence that all three games that UK didn't hit the century mark resulted in losses. The UT run defense has hardly been a brick wall, but it's just good enough to not be a liability.
Why Kentucky might win: The Vols haven't been great on the road. 7-0 at home, they're 1-3 on the road with the one win coming over Mississippi State. In Andre Woodson's final home game, he should get all the time he wants to operate behind a struggling offensive line that won't have problems in pass protection against a Tennessee defensive front that's not generating any pressure whatsoever. The Vols have only come up with 15 sacks on the year and just 55 tackles for loss. On the defensive side, the secondary has been terrific and should be able to keep the big pass plays to a minimum.
Who to watch: The NFL scouts will be scrutinizing the key final regular season games for both quarterbacks. Woodson is considered the far better prospect than Tennessee's Erik Ainge, but if the Vol senior can produce under pressure and pull off the win, his stock could quickly go up further. While Ainge hasn't had the talent around him he enjoyed last year, he has come through with a tremendous season with 20 touchdown passes and just five interceptions with no picks thrown in the last three games. He hasn't always been sharp, but he has produced when he has had to. A win here would prove he can make everyone around him better while leading the way to a title. For Woodson, he needs to get back a bit of the mojo he had after beating LSU and rolling against Florida. He has hardly been bad, but he hasn't been the No. 1 overall pick type of playmaker some were making him out to be just a month ago. It's all about generating a buzz, and he needs to create one by knocking Tennessee out of the SEC race.
What will happen: Tennessee has answered every challenge and come through with every clutch play over the last month to be in a position to play for the SEC title. Kentucky will change all that by breaking the long series losing streak with a huge day from Woodson. The UK pass defense will do just enough to slow down Ainge with a big late stop to get the party started in Athens.
CFN Prediction: Kentucky 31 ... Tennessee 27 ... Line: Kentucky -3

Must See Rating: (5
The inside of your eyelids after eating two pounds of turkey  - 1 The inside of a gym with every 120 calories equaling a mile on the treadmill) ...3.5

SEC Friday, November 23rd

Ole Miss (3-8) at Mississippi State (6-5)  12:30 PM  GamePlan
Why to watch
: Mississippi State has come up with its best season since 2000 with a 6-5 season that'll lead to a bowl game, and now it's about closing out with a win over its rival to secure an even better 13th game. Losers of four of the last five in the Egg Bowl, the Bulldogs have their best chance to establish dominance in the state with a win, and to possibly finish third in the final SEC West standings. For Ole Miss, the season-finale is a chance to finally get something positive out of another lost year. 0-7 in SEC play and joining Vanderbilt as the only SEC teams not eligible for a bowl (with the Commodores getting a shot at the sixth win this week), a win over Mississippi State would do wonders for the program's attitude going into the off-season. Head coach Ed Orgeron isn't going to be fired, but things could get steamy if his Rebels lose in a blowout.
Why Ole Miss might win: All of a sudden, Ole Miss has a little bit of offensive balance with the running game rumbling as well as it has all season long. Part of the reason is more production from the quarterbacks, and part of it is BenJarvus Green-Ellis getting back on track. The Rebels got 210 rushing yards on Northwestern State, and then proved the production wasn't a fluke with 201 yards against LSU.  MSU's strength is its pass defense and can be pushed around a bit by a good running game. Ole Miss will have to get Green-Ellis going early, and it'll have to get QB Brent Schaeffer scrambling like he did against LSU.
Why Mississippi State might win: The Bulldog defensive line could control the game from the start. The Rebel offensive front hasn't been bad, with Michael Oher having an all-star of a season, but it gives up sacks and will give up a few plays in the backfield. Titus Brown leads a strong front wall that's just good enough to disrupt the Ole Miss running game and put enough pressure on Schaeffer to force a few mistakes. On the other side of the ball, MSU will want to run as much as possible, and it shouldn't have much of a problem cranking out yards in chunks against a Rebel run defense that's allowed 200 rushing yards or more in three of the last four games.
Who to watch: Is Schaeffer going to close out with a bang? After a strange, tumultuous, disappointing career that started as a hot prospect at Tennessee before finding his way to Oxford, he can change his legacy with a win in his final game. He finally, finally started to play like the all-around weapon Rebel fans were hoping he'd be with 208 passing yards and 94 rushing yards in the loss to LSU. He provided a spark as the type of playmaker who could make the offense dangerous, and he'll need to do even more to come away with a win.
What will happen: This rivalry usually follows form with the better team almost always coming through. The two teams are more even than the records might appear, but MSU is playing far, far better defense. The Bulldog defensive front seven won't let Schaeffer have his second strong game in a row.
CFN Prediction: Mississippi State 31 ... Ole Miss 20 ... Line: Mississippi State -6.5

Must See Rating: (5
The inside of your eyelids after eating two pounds of turkey  - 1 The inside of a gym with every 120 calories equaling a mile on the treadmill) ...2

Arkansas (7-4)
at LSU (10-1)
  2:30 PM  CBS
Why to watch
: Get your red No. 5 jersey out, Ohio State fans. Find your Arkansas pom-poms out, West Virginia die-hards. LSU might be the unquestioned No. 1 team in America at the moment, but it has a nasty two game finishing kick against the Hogs and in the SEC Championship game to get through before it can let out a big exhale and make plans for New Orleans in January, and not on the first. On a four-game winning streak, it's all there for the taking with a fifth win in a row in the series. For Arkansas, it's already headed to a bowl game, but it could use a great win, with the only victory of note so far this year coming against South Carolina, a huge national statement for the Houston Nutt résumé, for whatever he ends up doing after this year, and it's a chance for Darren McFadden to make one final statement in the Heisman race. Out of the mix at the moment, if he cranks out a huge day and the Hogs win, he'll be right in the thick of the chase again.
Why Arkansas might win: The LSU run defense has statistically been tremendous, ranking among the best in the country all year long, but it got worked on a bit by Ole Miss last week and hasn't faced a ground game anywhere near as potent as this one. The Hogs are getting Felix Jones back, who missed almost all of the MSU game with a deep thigh bruise, while McFadden is overdue for one more blow-up performance after being held in check over the last two weeks. The Hog offensive line is just good enough to allow its backs to get to the second level, and then all bets are off. Last year McFadden tore off 215 yards and a score against the Tigers, while Jones cranked out 137 yards and a touchdown
Why LSU might win: If you can throw the ball overhand, you can probably torch the Arkansas secondary. Mississippi State and Wesley Carroll, not exactly Texas Tech East, threw for 421 yards and four touchdowns on the Hogs. South Carolina bombed away for 364 yards and two scores. Oddly enough, the Hogs won those two games and lost to Tennessee when it allowed just 128 yards through the air. Offenses aren't afraid to push the ball deep on the Arkansas safeties, but the real key for LSU will be the yards after the catch. If Matt Flynn can get the ball to Early Doucet and the rest of his targets on the move, the chances will be there for some back-breaking home runs.
Who to watch: What made last year's game so wild wasn't that Arkansas was able to run amok, it was that it was able to run amok with absolutely no threat of a passing game for the Tiger secondary to worry about. In the end, Casey Dick's nightmare performance cost the Hogs the game, which didn't really matter since they'd already won the SEC West, but his 3-of-17, 29-yard, one touchdown, one interception game is the stuff off SEC legend. Fast forward to last week when he came up with the best game of his career completing 14 of 17 passes for 199 yards and four touchdowns against Mississippi State, and now there's hope he can add a little balance against an LSU defense that'll tee off on McFadden and Jones if the passing game isn't clicking. Dick doesn't have to throw for 300 yards, but he has to hit his open receivers and he has to keep the chains moving.
What will happen: Arkansas is the SEC's wild card because of McFadden, Jones and the running game. While the Hogs might have their moments, the defense isn't going to do nearly enough to slow down an LSU offense that'll come up with its best performance in a big game since early September.
CFN Prediction: LSU 45 ... Arkansas 24 ... Line: LSU -12

Must See Rating: (5
The inside of your eyelids after eating two pounds of turkey  - 1 The inside of a gym with every 120 calories equaling a mile on the treadmill) ...4

SEC Saturday, November 24th

Wake Forest (7-4) at Vanderbilt (5-6)  2:00 PM
Why to watch: By beating NC State last Saturday, Wake Forest locked down back-to-back bowl games for the first time in school history.  You’ll have to forgive a green-with-envy Vanderbilt, which hasn’t bowled since 1982, and blew an ideal opportunity last week in Knoxville to end the drought leading Tennessee by 15 points in the final quarter before the bottom fell out in one of the most crushing defeats of the Bobby Johnson era.  Vanderbilt has gone the distance with the Volunteers, Georgia, and Kentucky before losing each game by 11 points combined.  At 6-6, the ‘Dores will be bowl eligible, which is code for one win shy of an invitation.  Wake has been Wake all year, wowing no one, yet scaring everyone that mistakenly takes it lightly.  The Demon Deacons will be looking for win No. 8 in Nashville along with a chance to improve their postseason positioning.
Why Wake Forest might win: After last week’s collapse at Tennessee, how in the world does Vandy get back up for a non-conference game?  Commodore QB Mackenzi Adams has shown flashes of potential as a sophomore, but his progress will be temporarily halted by an aggressive Deacon secondary that’s filled with thieves.  Wake Forest has picked off 16 passes, led by gambling CB Alphonso Smith’s six, a concern for a young hurler that’s been battling inconsistency.  If the SEC’s worst pass offense doesn’t click, the Deacons can focus their attention to stopping Cassen Jackson-Garrison and the running game.
Why Vanderbilt might win: The Commodores have been able to stay with more talented this fall because the defense has been outstanding in all but the Florida game.  Led by LBs Jonathan Goff and Marcus Buggs, and S D.J. Moore, Vanderbilt has held opponents to 21 points and 327 yards a game.  The methodical and predictable Wake Forest offense will have a tough time moving the chains on a veteran defense that limits the long plays and doesn’t miss many tackles.
Who to watch: If there’s a headliner on the Wake Forest offense it’s WR Kenny Moore, who may not have jets, but possesses terrific football speed.  The most versatile player in Winston-Salem, he has a school-record 78 catches for 860 yards and five touchdowns, adding 34 carries for 307 yards and three more scores.  Oh, he’s also one of the league’s most dangerous punt returners, so Vanderbilt figures to have No. 21 in the crosshairs at all times.
What will happen: If moral victories counted toward bowl eligibility, Vanderbilt might be packing its bags for the Music City Bowl.  The Commodores will lose another close one, bowing to the Wake Forest defense late in a toss-up game.
CFN Prediction: Wake Forest 27 ... Vanderbilt 21 ... Line: Wake Forest -2

Must See Rating: (5
The inside of your eyelids after eating two pounds of turkey  - 1 The inside of a gym with every 120 calories equaling a mile on the treadmill) ...2.5

SEC Fearless Predictions, Week 13, Part 2


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