Week 8 Recap
Week 8 was a bad week for the voters. They picked Texas A&M to cover the spread against Mississippi, and while I didn't pick that game, I would have picked the Aggies as well. Unfortunately for Texas A&M, it sounds like they are having some issues. Our voters went 2-3, correctly picking Arkansas and LSU, while missing on Alabama, Texas A&M, Missouri. My Arkansas pick was actually saved by a last minute touchdown drive by Auburn at the end of the fourth quarter, which forced overtime and led to Arkansas winning by a touchdown.
Lock of the Week: 7-3
Overall Votes: 22-24
Mississippi at Auburn (UM -7)
Sean White is the best quarterback in the SEC to not throw a touchdown pass this season. Since replacing preseason Heisman candidate Jeremy Johnson, White has started against MSU, San Jose State, Kentucky, and Arkansas, and has actually played well. He has only thrown one interception. Peyton Barber has sort of been his touchdown vulture, getting 11 touchdowns in the last 4 games. Barber can't really be a touchdown vulture because he is a starter, but his quarterback is helping him get in the endzone. I wouldn't advise predicting anything on this game, because Mississippi is the most unpredictable team in the nation. I can't think of any other teams in the past who won in Tuscaloosa but struggled with Vanderbilt, and couldn't beat Memphis. Of course, Memphis is much better than usual. If Auburn loses Saturday, they will need to either win at Texas A&M, or beat Georgia or Alabama at home just to go to a bowl game.
South Carolina at Texas A&M (TAMU -16.5)
Perry Orth is going to start at quarterback for South Carolina, and Lorenzo Nunez might be available. Connor Mitch is still out. Texas A&M's quarterback issues are discussed in detail in an article I linked in the top section. This game really shouldn't be close. The only position where South Carolina has an advantage is at linebacker. With the way Texas A&M has played recently, and South Carolina's slight improvement with the return of their runningback Brandon Wilds, this one could be closer than it should be.
Georgia vs Florida (UF -2.5)
Once again, Gary and Verne will unfortunately be your commentators for the most entertaining game of the weekend. Admittedly, my age demographic seems to dislike them more than everyone else does. The winner of this game should win the SEC East. Florida only has South Carolina and Vanderbilt left, and Georgia has Kentucky and Auburn left, which are games Georgia should win but could manage to lose. This is the only toss up game this weekend. This game really depends on how well Treon Harris plays, and he didn't play badly against LSU, who has one of the best pass defenses in the nation. I don't anticipate either team running the ball effectively, and Lambert has regressed to the level he was playing at UVA.
Tennessee Martin at Arkansas
For once this season, Bielema should have a low stress week.
Vanderbilt at Houston (UH -12)
Houston is undefeated, and hasn't really had a difficult time with any of their opponents except for Louisville. They have scored over 30 points every single game this season, so while the game itself doesn't sound very entertaining, Houston's offense versus Vanderbilt's offense is actually a very good matchup to watch this weekend. It is hard to gauge how good Houston is, because their schedule has been too easy for them. The Sagarin rankings (the former BCS contributor) rank Houston's schedule as 125th in the nation.
Tennessee at Kentucky (UT -8.5)
Tennessee actually has an outside shot of winning out to go 8-4, with Kentucky, South Carolina, North Texas, Missouri, and Vanderbilt left on their schedule. Even if Kentucky loses, they can win 2 out of Georgia, Vanderbilt, Charlotte, and Louisville to get to Stoop's first bowl game. If Kentucky gets a consistent game out of Towles, this could be a competitive game, but Kentucky's offense seems to be very up and down, and has struggled more in the second half of games. Tennessee is a better team than their record indicates, and they should run the ball well enough to beat Kentucky.
None of these picks really stick out, but I'll pick Florida.