SEC Week 7 Predictions

So here we go. LSU passed the “gut check” against Florida and sits as the undisputed No. 1 team in the country. The Tigers” reward is to hit the road to take on No. 18 Kentucky for the first time since the Wildcats doused their coach in Gatorade and their fans rushed the field to celebrate the Bluegrass Miracle (I mean, they must know not to celebrate until you”ve won, so I have to assume they were just really happy for us).

Sounds like a setup for a Kentucky upset. And, sure, it could happen. Playing in the SEC, on the road, against a team that doesn”t necessary suck and has a lot of motivation to beat you is always a challenge. But looking at the teams, I don”t like Kentucky”s prospects in this game.

Sure, the “Cats are 5-1, and there was a time when it was believed they had two quality wins. But now, their victory over Louisville looks about as impressive as their win over Kent State, and Kentucky”s only other respectable win was over 3-2 Arkansas (three wins: Troy, North Texas, Chattanooga). And against South Carolina, former Heisman Trophy candidate Andre Woodson was embarrassed.

Against their weak schedule (Sagarin rank – 76), Kentucky has racked up a lot of points (42.7 per game) and yards (474 per game) with a balanced offense, but they netted far less than that against the Cocks (23 points, 384 yards) while yielding South Carolina 38 points and 342 yards. The reason – the Cocks” defense totally rattled Woodson.

Mr. Woodson, meet the nation”s No. 1 defense.

Defensively, the “Cats give up 24.7 points and 377 yards of offense per game. LSU puts up 37.8 points per game and averages 432 yards in total offense. LSU is balanced and can play the run, play the pass and play the spread. In four of LSU”s six games, the Tigers are their opposition”s highest-scoring team so far, and in all games the Tigers put up more offense than their opponents” average allowed.

So, in short, nothing surprises me in the SEC, and the Tigers could be brought back to Earth by a decent Kentucky team, but Les and the boys should take care of business.

LSU 45 – 24

Elsewhere in the SEC:

No. 10.5 South Carolina at North Carolina – North Carolina is 2-4 coming off a win against Miami, and three of their four losses have been respectable. The Cocks are 5-1 coming off a win against Kentucky, and two of their five wins have been respectable. Spurrier is gaining respect and Butch Davis is seeking it. I could see an upset here, but I”ll go with the Cocks. South Carolina 24 – 21.

No. 23 Georgia visits Vanderbilt – Hey, I”m gonna be in Nashville, too! The Dawgs were embarrassed last week at Tennessee, the “Dores were themselves and got blown out by Auburn. Third place in the SEC East is at stake in this one. Georgia 24 – 20.

No. 25 Auburn at Arkansas – Wins over Troy, North Texas and Chattanooga don”t impress me, nor does getting blown out by Kentucky. The Hogs have a lot to prove, and Auburn seems to have found an offense after a horrible start. Auburn 31 – 24

No. 26 Tennessee visits Mississippi State – OK, Vols, I believe you. Tennessee 41 – 13.

No. 43.5 Alabama at Ole Miss – Oh how Fonzie has fallen. Things looked so damned good after the Arkansas game, then came the OT loss to Georgia, the worthless performance against Florida State and the stinker win over Houston. The Tide should be happy they”ve got Ole Miss this weekend. Alabama 19 – 14

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