We’ll be honest. This SEC schedule on paper looked pretty strong when the season started, but right now, it’s actually pretty week. Look, we get that the match-up Texas A&M and a suddenly-reborn Arkansas in JerryWorld is pretty cool. South Carolina’s got College Gameday coming to its doors for the visit of Maty Mauk and Missouri, and if Tennessee trip to Georgia’s as good as it was last season, the game’s going to be a treat. But otherwise? Kentucky’s actually got a GOOD CHANCE to get its first SEC victory, when it hosts Vanderbilt. Could be your sleeper SEC game of the week.

Anyway, here are our previews for Saturday.

For the record, I’m tipping Oklahoma State to beat Texas Tech pretty comfortably at home on Thursday night, and Arizona State to beat UCLA in a thriller in the late game, which SEC people will celebrate (makes their conference look great) and Pac-12 people will celebrate (makes their conference look great). 

Anyway, back to God’s conference….

TEXAS A&M (4-0) VS ARKANSAS (4-1) (JerryWorld)

Here’s some fun facts: The teams started their rivalry in 1903. They’ve played each other 70 times (so this rivalry’s not exactly new (and it’s pretty cool to have it back). Arkansas leads the overall rivalry 41-26-3, but A&M won both SEC games 58-10 and 45-33. And the Aggies are odds-on to win this game. On the SEC Football Blog’s Twitter feed, there’s been some great crap-talking between both sides. Arkansas fans are pretty excited because they went on the road and beat Texas Tech on the road pretty comfortably, while Texas A&M fans are also pretty excited because they are not only 4-0, but they beat the living daylights out their biggest opponent thus far on the road, South Carolina. And they’ve got a quarterback who could well be the next Johnny Manziel in a year or two’s time in Kenny Hill (Did we mention that we saw him play in High School down in Texas?). Arkansas probably has the better running backs in Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams, and their own QB in Brandon Allen hasn’t exactly been awful, hitting 61.4% of his passes for 552 yards and 8 TDs on what is the usual Bret Bielema offense of run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run. Anyway, this is going to be more fun than people think….even though we’re not great fans of the fact they are playing the game at JerryWorld. We’d rather it was a home-and-home, but Jerry Jones’ money speaks more volumes than anything else in this day and age.

PREDICTION: A&M is a 9-point favorite in Vegas. We’ll take the Aggies to win by 14 in a game that’s close and high-scoring almost all the way through. Arkansas will look very improved from previous years though, people.

MISSOURI (3-1) AT SOUTH CAROLINA (3-1)

If you believe what Steve Spurrier said after the Vanderbilt game, the Gamecocks have no hope of winning another game, let alone another SEC game. He HATES his team right now. He’s pissed, he’s angry, and we KNOW that he’d rather be watching or attending the Ryder Cup in Scotland than hosting Missouri in the ‘Battle of The Columbias’. Why’s he so pissed? Because at the moment, the Gamecocks can’t tackle. His team ranks 109th in the nation in points against (even though they’ve had one of the tougher opening schedules – which includes a win against Georgia), and 119th in passing yards allowed. That doesn’t exactly bode well for the visit of Missouri’s spread offense, with QB Maty Mauk, who is coming off a mediocre game against Indiana. But the kid can still pass, and Missouri’s wide receiving corps is still pretty good, despite the off-season departures. Listen, Spurrier’s still got a strong running back coalition of Brandon Wilds and Mike Davis, although some Carolina fans believe Mike Davis could lose a few pounds….and the team could use a team leader. Maybe Dylan Thompson will scare the life out of Missouri’s 40th-ranked defense…which lost against the first ‘good’ team that it played this year in Indiana.

PREDICTION: South Carolina’s a five-point favorite. While we’ll take Carolina in a shoot-out, we’ll also take the over of 62 points, too. We think it could get to 80. 

TENNESSEE (2-1) AT GEORGIA (2-1)

At the moment, Georgia’s got an 0-fer in the SEC after losing to South Carolina in controversial circumstances, and Tennessee’s 0-0. Mind you, Tennessee’s last game was against Oklahoma, where it lost by 24 in a game that they looked completely outclassed. Then again, this Volunteers team might be talented, but it’s exceptionally young. Georgia, by the way, blew out Troy 66-0, which was no surprise. Sony Michel’s apparently the next coming of Herschel/Knowshon/Todd after his tremendous opponents, but CALM DOWN FOLKS, IT WAS TROY. TROY IS TERRIBLE. Anyway, Georgia will giving the ball a lot more to Gurley in this game, because Tennessee might not be that good, but it ain’t Troy. Tennessee lost in a great game last time these two played in Neyland, and this game could actually be pretty good. The biggest factor in this game might be Georgia’s dreadful secondary, which is 45th in the nation in pass yards allowed. UGA safety JJ Green was ejected in the Troy game for targetting, but he’s not going to suspended for the Vols game. How he and the rest of the secondary will compete against Tennessee WR Marquez North, one of the best receivers in the SEC, will be interesting. This could well turn into the battle of the QBs. We’re not great fans of either Georgia’s Hutson Mason or Tennessee’s Justin Worley, although Worley does have better weapons. But Worley has a less experienced offensive line.

PREDICTION: Tennessee’s a 17-point underdog. We think Georgia’s going to win, but win by 14 in a close game. Why? The secondary, stupid! 

VANDERBILT (1-3) AT KENTUCKY (2-1)

Vanderbilt wasn’t awful in its loss to South Carolina, even though the gap in talent was plain to see. Vandy’s Darrius Sims’ will be fun to watch after housing two kick-off returns. Otherwise, the biggest factor in this game will be this: History. At the moment, Kentucky’s got a SEC losing streak of 17, which is pretty horrible (They’ve still got some Vanderbilt history to beat – the ‘Dores currently hold the record for SEC loser at 23. And they’ve also lost 22. South Carolina is third with 18). Anyway, this Saturday Kentucky is something that people don’t expect: A favorite. Maybe it’s because Mark Stoops is doing some good things at Kentucky. They lost at Florida in a three-overtime war (they maybe SHOULD have won that game if the SEC refs knew what a delay-of-game penalty was) last time out. Or maybe it’s because Vandy has been simply terrible for most of this season (Listen, when you celebrate a win over UMass with the joy that Derek Mason did, you know your team’s pretty lousy). UK soph QB Patrick Towles is a really good young QB and has already thrown for 900 yards this year, and Stoops knows how to spread the receiving love out: Five WRs have over 100 yards receiving.

PREDICTION: Kentucky’s a 17-point favorite. We’re taking KENTUCKY! WE’RE TAKING KENTUCKY! WE’RE TAKING KENTUCKY! By 21. 

And the rest of the games? Urgh.

OLE MISS (3-0) will beat Memphis (2-1) by more than the favored 21 points. Why? They are at home, they are red-hot at the moment, and they’ve got too much talent. Sure, Memphis frightened UCLA early on in the season, but as we’ve seen, UCLA really ain’t that good.

—- AUBURN (3-0) will WHIP Louisiana Tech (2-2) by more than the 33-point spread. If only to make the crowd happy.

—- LSU (3-1) will CRUSH New Mexico State (2-2), although by less than they are favored by (43). Why? Because Les Miles is probably going to give Anthony Jennings another chance to prove himself at QB. Even though everyone in their right mind thinks that Brandon Harris should be given the job.

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