Professor’s Picks and SEC Report

The SEC Report

Are you good at solving one of those Rubik’s Cubes?

Well, sorting out the SEC East is kind of like trying to get all those colored cubes to line up with one hand while completing a NY Times crossword with the other.

Tennessee is in control of the division after hanging on to beat South Carolina in overtime.

Should the Vols win remaining conference games over Arkansas, Vanderbilt, and Kentucky, they will be on their way to Atlanta.

If Tennessee stumbles, Georgia could win out by beating Auburn and Kentucky.

Should the Dogs lose … well, we better start spinning those cubes.

The West race is a bit clearer.

Alabama and LSU play the Miles-Saban grudge match this week. The winner controls the division.

The Tide would still have improved Mississippi State and Auburn left. LSU would have a road game with Ole Miss and a home finale with Arkansas. Third-place Auburn goes to Georgia before finishing with Bama on the Plains.

Here are our Halloween rankings … does your team get a trick or treat?

1. LSU … Treat: Bengal Tigers had week off to prepare for Bama. Trick: Scary Nick Satan awaits.

2. Alabama … Treat: Tide crushed Big Orange two weeks ago in signature win. Trick: One-eyed Purple People Eaters are heading to T-Town.

3. Auburn … Treat: Tigers still in title chase. Trick: Beware spooky Aggies trying to steal a coach.

4. Tennessee … Treat: Outfoxed the Evil Genius. Trick: Unlike Linus, fans just don’t believe in the Great Pumpkin.

5. Georgia … Treat: Gigged Gator is quite tasty. Trick: Harry High School personal foul antics looked like a silly gimmick.

6. Mississippi State … Treat: One more win for a bowl. Trick: May have to wait until Egg Bowl to get that win.

7. Florida … Treat: Still have Superman for two more years. Trick: Still have secondary for two more months.

8. Vanderbilt … Treat: One more win to dip into the Candy Bowl. Trick: Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, Wake Forest.

9. Kentucky … Treat: Woodson probably gets invited to Heisman ceremony. Trick: Memphis is nice in late December.

10. South Carolina … Treat: Program is now a contender in East. Trick: Lucy pulled the ball away one more time.

11. Arkansas … Treat: There are always weak teams needing a payday. Trick: None of them are in the SEC.

12. Ole Miss … Treat: NWS Demons at the Grove this week. Trick: LSU and Bullies on deck.

Pigskin Picks (2007 Record: 53-15; 5-1 last week … missing Miss State over Kentucky)

LSU at Alabama (5:00 ET CBS)
See SEC Game of the Week

South Carolina at Arkansas (8:00 ET ESPN2)
Arkansas is going to win a conference this season … too bad it’s the Sun Belt. The Razorbacks beat their third SBC foe of the year with an easy 58-10 win over 0-8 Florida International. South Carolina made a terrific comeback from a 21-0 deficit at Tennessee only to lose in overtime. SC handles the run pretty well, but the disappointment from that Rocky Top loss may linger a while.
Game Ball: Arkansas

Tennessee Tech at Auburn (2:30 ET)
Auburn pounded out a close methodical 17-3 win over game Ole Miss on the Plains. The Tigers outgained Ole Miss 420-193 and kept the ball thirteen more minutes, but still had to hold off the Rebels late. Brad Lester rushed for a career-high 96 yards and Ben Tate pounded out 72 more in the victory. The Golden Eagles of Cookeville have lost four in a row and have given up more than 40 points a game in those losses.
Game Ball: Auburn

Vanderbilt at Florida (12:30 ET LFS)

The Commodores are on the verge of breaking a 25 year streak of failing to qualify for a bowl game. One more win gets Bobby Johnson’s crew into the post-season plans. Getting that win will not be easy though. First, the Dores must try to beat Florida at the Swamp … then comes a home game with Kentucky, a trip to Tennessee, and a home finale with Wake Forest. Vanderbilt is winning with a stingy defense that is ranked 19th nationally. The Gators are physically banged up and probably psychologically dinged as well after losing 42-30 to Georgia. Gator QB Tim Tebow struggled noticeably with a sore shoulder, and the Gators rarely called his number on the ground. Should those issues continue this week, expect a low-scoring game.
Game Ball: Florida

Kentucky (Idle)
Next Game: at Vanderbilt 11/10/07

Mississippi State (Idle)
Next game: Alabama 11/10/07

Troy at Georgia (1:00 ET)
Georgia played its best game of the year in whipping Florida 42-30. The Bulldogs ran and passed effectively, and controlled (for the most part) Florida’s explosive offense. TB Knowshon Moreno continued to emerge as a star, gashing the Gators for 188 yards and 3 TDs. QB Matthew Stafford was an efficient 11-17 for 217 yards and 3 TDs, and was very effective downfield. With the win, Georgia moves into a tie for the SEC East lead, but will need help because Tennessee holds the tie-breaker courtesy of the Vol’s victory over Georgia earlier in the season. The Trojans enter the game on a six-game winning streak and should be a stern test. The Trojans run the spread attack with dual threat QB Omar Haugabook and TB Kenny Cattouse.
Game Ball: Georgia

Northwestern State at Ole Miss (2:00 ET)
Thank goodness the Rebels get to play the Demons again. Against Auburn last week, Ole Miss trailed 10-3 late but had the ball deep in Auburn territory before backup QB Brent Schaeffer (in the game because of an injury to Seth Adams) tossed up an INT in the end zone. Auburn put the game away 17-3 with a late TD. The 3-5 Demons should provide a nice tonic on Halloween week, as they are 1-4 in their last five and come into this one off losses to the mighty Texas State Bobcats and the Sam Houston State BearKats. Good nicknames … bad teams.
Game Ball: Ole Miss

LA-Lafayette at Tennessee (4:00 ET)
Wonder if all those disgruntled Big Orange fans were happy or upset with the Vols stirring come-from-ahead OT win against South Carolina. You know all of Rocky Top was happy with beating Steve Spurrier, but a segment of Tennessee boosters has had its fill of Phil. Will be tough for them to run off the coach of the SEC East champs and that’s very likely what Fulmer will be at the end of November. UT is in the driver’s seat of the division, tied with Georgia but holding a tie-breaker advantage. Win out and the Vols go to Atlanta. Ricky Bustle’s 1-7 Ragin Cajuns had a week off to prepare … oh, so what – Vols win.
Game Ball: Tennessee

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