It’s going to be a monster weekend in the SEC this weekend. And all of the games are going to be in the West, which is promising to get wilder as we go on with this 2014 journey.

The West is so strong right now (Arkansas might go winless in the West, and STILL be one of college football’s strongest teams) – that it’s been spoken of that the team might have TWO teams in the play-off.

Week 6 – with the match-ups on offer – are going to go a long way to decide this. Alabama go to Ole Miss, which brings in the attractions of College Gameday and the promise of the ‘Biggest Game Ever Witnessed in Oxford’ (add more superlatives here). And that might not even be the biggest day. Across the state, we have the 12th-ranked Mississippi State hosted 6th-ranked Texas A&M. Oh, and we have the small matter of LSU visiting Auburn. Oh, and in the East, we have the Battle Of Two Used-To-Be Contenders in Florida and Tennessee playing, as well as Georgia- Vanderbilt and South Carolina vs Kentucky. Missouri (and Arkansas) play Bye Week.

Anyway, here are our thoughts:

No.3 ALABAMA  (4-0, 1-0) at No.11 OLE MISS (4-0, 1-0)

This is going to be a grand ole weekend in Oxford. With College Gameday FINALLY deigning itself to come down to Oxford (it’s been to Fargo, ND twice in comparison) now that the Rebels are somewhat competitive and Alabama’s in town, The Grove is going to be even more packed with partiers. They could be having a lot of fun, until, you know, the game. Bama’s a 7-point favorite and we’ve been screaming to anyone listening to take the Tide and run with it, and will do it again. While we believe in the mood and momentum of Ole Miss’ defense, their offense has struggled/been awful almost all year long, and I’m sorry, but I can’t trust Bo Wallace against Alabama’s defense. And Alabama’s offense? Nick Saban will continue his love affair with Lane Kiffin if Blake Sims can continue throwing the bombs, and with wide receivers like Heisman candidate Amari Cooper will be there to catch them. This could be as bad as last year, Rebels fans, when your team was just DOMINATED in Tuscaloosa.

PREDICTION: Alabama by 14 in a game that won’t seem that close.

No.6 TEXAS A&M (5-0, 2-0) at No.12 MISSISSIPPI STATE (4-0, 1-0)

We at our @SECblog Twitter feed managed to piss off a bunch of A&M fans because we accused them of having a lousy travelling fanbase, because their school gave a bunch of tickets back to Mississippi State this week. The reason why? College Station to Starkville is an 11-hour run, and Starkville doesn’t have an airport. And some A&M fans said if they wanted to go to a football game on the road to Mississippi, they’d prefer to go to Oxford.

Texas A&M’s comeback victory against Arkansas in Jerryworld split the viewers. Half of them were talking about A&M’s great comeback, and how ‘good teams come over adversity’, while half of them said: “This team really is pretty overrated, and we got lucky in Arlington”. Ourselves? We’re on the fence. Sure, Arkansas shot themselves in the foot last Saturday, and A&M came out with the victory in a game that they really had no right to win. Their defense was markedly improved in the second half to the first, but do we blame Bret Bielema’s change in offensive strategy during that game, or Mark Snyder’s excellent DC work? We just don’t know. We do know this: Kenny Hill’s got some fantastic weapons at receiver, and they are going to cause Mississippi State problems in Cowbell-land, in the same way that Mississippi State QB Dak Prescott and the speedy Josh Robinson could cause Snyder heart attacks. This is going to be a lot of fun. MSU is a 3-point favorite to win.

PREDICTION: If the No.12 team in the nation beats the No. 6 team in the nation, we class it as an upset. Therefore, we think Mississippi State in the upset, winning by 7 in a game that’s got more excitement in maybe a quarter than what we’re going to be seeing in Oxford for about 3 hours. However, Vegas doesn’t think that Texas A&M will win on the road, so MSU is the favorite. Damn it’s all so confusing. Anyway, we’re calling for Mississippi State to win.

No.15 LSU (4-1, 0-1) at No. 5 AUBURN (4-0, 1-0)

Every time we think of the Auburn vs LSU rivalry, we think of it as being one of the closest rivalries in the SEC. Maybe because the atmosphere at both Jordan-Hare and Tiger Stadium is pretty awesome. 2003-2008’s games were all really close. Since then LSU’s gone 4-1 against the ‘other’ Tigers, which included handing Auburn their only loss of the 2014 season. Since then, LSU has lost a lot of its identity, recovering from a double-digit talent losses to the NFL. Mississippi State beat them at home for the first time since 1999 and the first time at Tiger Stadium since 1991. And they didn’t just beat them. They owned them. The Tigers had a starting quarterback in Anthony Jennings who nothing short of garbage. Oh, and the vaunted defense? Not only can it not tackle, but they’ve lost key DB Dwayne Thomas for the season with a torn ACL. On the Auburn side, things are going pretty well, actually. Despite a struggle on the road at Kansas State (in a game they should really have lost), the Tigers have beaten other opponents pretty comfortably, and the break-neck offense will cause LSU a ton of problems. Vegas seems to agree, which is why Auburn is an eight-point favorite.

PREDICTION: Despite a good showing from Harris, Auburn wins by 10. 

FLORIDA (2-1, 1-1) at TENNESSEE (2-2, 0-1)

REMEMBER WHEN THIS GAME USED TO BE BIG? If you believe in the power of young talent, then Butch Jones has got all the guns blazing in Knoxville. Tennessee was unlucky to have encountered Todd Gurley in Athens last week, because they probably would have won the game. Marquez North is a great receiver, and Justin Worley has been pretty good as the Vols’ QB. The young offensive line – which we envision is going to be a problem on Saturday against a speedy Gators’ defense – has given up 12 sacks this season. The problems for the Gators are many, but the biggest one is its offense, which is once again terrible, despite the hiring of Kurt Roper to turn things round. Jeff Driskel has been so bad that we can only hope that he’s got some good grades when he graduates. The good thing about this game? Neyland Stadium could look pretty neat if the crowd pays attention to the checkerboard ‘movement’ going on and wears either orange or white. We’re fine if the student section decides to rebel, and wear whatever color. Oh, and one thing’s for certain: If Florida coach Will Muschamp loses this game, he’s Dead Man Walking.

PREDICTION: Tennessee’s a 3-point favorite, and we’re taking the Volunteers. By 7. 

VANDERBILT (1-4, 0-3) at GEORGIA (3-1, 1-1)

Georgia can thank Todd Gurley – who put up 200 yards last Saturday – for the reason that it squeezed by Tennessee on Saturday. The kid’s unreal. Georgia will be hoping for the same (and for Gurley not to get injured) against Vanderbilt – especially as QB Hutson Mason – like a lot of SEC quarterbacking ‘talent’ this year – has struggled. Georgia fans are excited that talented receivers Malcolm Mitchell and Justin Scott-Wesley are returning, but they should also be praying that their awful secondary can hold up against Vandy’s offense. Mind you, if it can’t hold up against Vandy’s offense, then Georgia fans might well burn their team in the hedges.

PREDICTION: Georgia’s a 34-point favorite. We’ll take Georgia to win, but by 28. Vegas is being too generous.

SOUTH CAROLINA (3-2, 2-2) at KENTUCKY (3-1, 1-1)

Steve Spurrier isn’t happy in South Carolina. And while we got a sense that he wasn’t particularly happy last year with his constant back-and-forth with Jadeveon Clowney, the HBC seems extra pissy this year. One week he hates his defense, then he hates his offense, then he hates his special teams, and then hates himself for not going for the two-point conversion in the loss to Missouri. There’s a lot of hate in Columbia right now. Anyway, his Gamecocks go into Lexington, Kentucky against a team who snapped a 17-game losing streak against Vanderbilt last week (it wasn’t pretty, but it will do), as 4-point favourites. We’d argue that Kentucky QB Patrick Towles is playing better than his counterpart Dylan Thompson right now, and despite the fact they’ve got less talent on paper, South Carolina will be for the fright of its life.

PREDICTION: This could well be the 2nd-best game in the SEC this week. South Carolina’s a 4-point favorite, but we’re going for Kentucky to get the upset. UK by 3. 

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