SEC Fearless Predictions, Oct. 18
Georgia RB Knowshon Moreno
Georgia RB Knowshon Moreno
Posted Oct 14, 2008

The SEC is flying a bit under the radar this week, at least compared to the showdowns in the Big 12, but there are some terrific matchups. Can Knowshon Moreno leap over Alabama for the win? Check out the Previews and Predictions for the Week 8 SEC Games.

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

- SEC Fearless Predictions Aug. 30 | Sept. 6 | Sept. 13 | Sept. 20
- Sept. 27 | Oct. 4 | Oct. 11

How are the picks so far? SU: 33-13 ... ATS: 16-22

- SEC Fearless Predictions, Week 8, Oct. 18, Part 2 (LSU vs. So. Carolina)

SEC Game of the Week

Vanderbilt (5-1) at Georgia (5-1), 12:30 EST, GamePlan
Why to watch: Vanderbilt’s bubble might have popped last week with a 17-14 loss to Mississippi State, but the SEC East dream is still there for the taking. Despite producing a fat load of nothing on offense, struggling a bit against the run, and getting points every once in a while, the Commodores still have the makeup and the formula to win with. There aren’t many turnovers, the offense takes advantage of every opportunity, and the special teams are solid. Meanwhile, Georgia bounced back from the rough loss to Alabama with a 26-14 yawner of a win over Tennessee. The national title hopes are far from dashed, but there’s no margin for error anymore. With four games away from Athens to follow, and all of them (LSU, Florida, Kentucky and Auburn) nasty, the Dawgs need to get through this game quickly and easily. That’s far easier said than done. Vanderbilt provided a push in last year’s 20-17 loss, and it stunned Georgia between the hedges in 2006 with a 24-22 win.
Why Vanderbilt might win: It’s not like Georgia’s offense is setting the world on fire. The offense leads the SEC averaging 430 yards per game, but it’s hardly been a juggernaut that can’t be held in check. Alabama’s defense shut out the Dawgs in the first half, South Carolina lost 14-7, and Tennessee did a good job of keeping things under wraps even with no help from the offense. If Vandy can keep this close into the fourth quarter, and if it can do something, anything to get a little bit of passing production, the collar might get tight around the Dawg’s neck and the chance for the upset might be there.
Why Georgia might win: Georgia’s run defense is allowing 52 yards per game. Alabama ran for 129 yards, and that represents the high water mark for the brick wall of a D. Tennessee, a team with a solid offensive line, Arian Foster, and Montario Hardesty, netted one rushing yard. One. Vanderbilt’s passing game is non-existent and the offense is dead last in the SEC and 117th in the nation in yards averaging just 250 per game.
Who to watch: QB Chris Nickson was one of the key reasons for Vanderbilt’s hot start, but he hasn’t gotten the passing game going and he has a shoulder injury that’s clearly becoming a limiting factor. Mackenzi Adams will get the start, but he struggled a bit when he got time to work last week completing 5-of-9 passes for 47 yards with an interception. He netted -3 yards. If he’s not running well, he’s not going to be effective.
What will happen: This is an awful matchup for Vanderbilt. While there’s been success against the Dawgs over the past few years, the Commodores don’t have the offensive punch to keep up. Georgia will score on its first two drives and Vandy won’t have an answer.
CFN Prediction: Georgia 27 … Vanderbilt 14 … Line: Georgia -14.5
Must See Rating: (5 The Real Housewives Of Atlanta – 1 Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew) … 4
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Saturday, October 18

Ole Miss (3-3) at Alabama (6-0), 3:30 EST, CBS
Why to watch: A lopsided rivalry over the years, with Alabama going 23-4 over Ole Miss since 1970, all of the history and all of the Rebel pain will be eased with what would be the program’s biggest win since the 48-23 victory 38 years ago. The Rebels are 1-2 in SEC play, but they could just as easily be 3-0 having battled Vanderbilt and South Carolina in nail-biters. But they could also just as easily be 0-3 if Florida could’ve executed a bit better late. Houston Nutt has a tremendous defensive line, an emerging offensive front, and a playmaker in QB Jevan Snead to bring it all together. He also has a fearless team. His bunch was cool and calm in the big moments in the Swamp while Florida fizzled. Beating Bama at Bama will be an even bigger test. The Tide is No. 2 in the poll that matters, but it might as well be No. 1 considering the respect it has on a national basis for beating Georgia in Athens. The defense has been dominant in Nick Saban’s second season while the offense leads the SEC in rushing averaging 226 yards per game. With Tennessee, next week’s date, struggling and Arkansas State to follow, Ole Miss might just be the toughest test before the showdown at LSU on November 8th.
Why Ole Miss might win: The defensive line should give the Bama offensive front fits. The Tide got tagged with 10 penalties for 92 yards against Kentucky, with several of them on the O line for holding. Greg Hardy is just now starting to find his groove, while Peria Jerry is having a nice season in the middle. The Rebel run defense has been excellent, allowing just 113 yards per game, and if it’s able to keep the Tide ground game in check, and if the front seven can tee off on John Parker Wilson on obvious passing downs, the score could be kept low.
Why Alabama might win: Ole Miss has to be perfect, and it likely won’t be. Turnovers have been an issue, giving it away 15 times, and it’s not like the Rebels can keep the offense under wraps. Chances will have to be taken, Snead will have to force a few throws, and that’s exactly what Alabama wants. The Rebels aren’t going to be able to run too much, and while the Tide secondary will give up yards, it allows 211 yards per game, it’ll win its share of battles.
Who to watch: The NFL scouts will be playing this one back over and over again. LSU’s Ciron Black might have something to say about it, but this game should be a showcase for the two premier offensive tackles for the 2009 NFL Draft, Alabama’s Andre Smith and Ole Miss’s Michael Oher. Smith is a junior, but it’s widely acknowledged that he’ll be a top five pick whenever he comes out. There are several concerns about Oher, but he has the look of a cornerstone for a pro line. When Hardy lines up on Smith’s side, that’ll be a matchup of future multi-millionaires in a battle that’ll be overscrutinzed for the next six months.
What will happen: Alabama will have too much offensive balance. After a sluggish performance against Kentucky, the Tide has been beaten on by the coaching staff for the last few weeks and will come out roaring. The Rebels have to try to survive and early surge, and they won’t be able to do it.
CFN Prediction: Alabama 30 … Ole Miss 14 … Line: Alabama -13
Must See Rating: (5 The Real Housewives Of Atlanta – 1 Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew) … 4
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Arkansas (3-3) at Kentucky (4-2), 7:00 EST, ESPNU
Why to watch: Kentucky has been strong, but it lost the last two weeks by a total of 10 points to Alabama and South Carolina. The defense has been terrific, leading the SEC, and ranking third in the nation, allowing 10.5 points per game, but the offense has been a major issue averaging a mere 317 yards per outing. Arkansas was floundering in the early part of the Bobby Petrino era, with square pegs trying to fit into round holes, and then came last week’s 28-22 win over Auburn and everything has turned around … sort of. The offense is still sputtering, the defense is a wreck, even after the great game against the woeful Auburn offense, and the offensive line is struggling. After all the problems, a win over Kentucky would mean a 4-3 start and a real shot at a bowl game with winnable games against Ole Miss, Tulsa, and Mississippi State ahead. UK needs the win this week with road games at Florida and Mississippi State to follow.
Why Arkansas might win: The Kentucky offense is hit-or-miss. It struggles to put points on the board and it has to take the lead from its defense, needing turnovers and field position whenever possible. While the Wildcats have shown the ability and the potential to move the ball on occasion, the passing game is wildly inefficient and the ground attack ineffective, for the most part. Remembering the offense only came up with one touchdown against Louisville, UK has only averaged 19.5 points per game against FBS teams.
Why Kentucky might win: The Arkansas offensive line won’t be able to handle the Kentucky defensive front. The Hogs did a stunningly great job against the Auburn defensive line last week, but Kentucky’s defensive front has been better at getting into the backfield. Arkansas QB Casey Dick won’t have much time to throw, while the run defense that’s allowing just 108 yards per game should be able to bottle up ...
Who to watch: … Arkansas RB Michael Smith. The little mighty-mite was suspended for the season opener, but he came out roaring against ULM with 157 yards and two touchdowns. Last week he ripped apart Auburn for 176 yards and a touchdown on 35 carries, and while Petrino wants to throw the ball, he’ll run his junior back as long as he’s effective. Job one for Arkansas is to get Smith in space as both a runner and a receiver.
What will happen: Kentucky’s defense will prove to be far tougher than Auburn’s, while the UK running game will show up for the first time all year.
CFN Prediction: Kentucky 26 … Arkansas 14
Must See Rating: (5 The Real Housewives of Atlanta – 1 Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew) … 3
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- SEC Fearless Predictions, Week 8, Oct. 18, Part 2 (LSU vs. So. Carolina)