Here are my projections for week 9:
(10)Arkansas (6-1, 2-1 SEC) @Vanderbilt (4-3, 1-3 SEC), 12:20pm, SEC Network
The Hogs can’t be happy with the way they played last week. They basically took a nap and naptime doesn’t make Bobby Petrino too happy. QB Tyler Wilson has quietly had a stellar season to this point, and his running game has been a pleasant surprise even to Razorback fans without Knile Davis. The Dores, on the other hand, have been coming so close so often, but have never gotten a signature win yet under James Franklin. They’ll score some with new QB Jordan Rodgers leading the way, but they can’t match the nasty street speed of the Hogs.
Arkansas 41, Vanderbilt 21
Florida (4-3, 2-3 SEC) vs. (22)Georgia (5-2, 4-1 SEC), 3:30pm, CBS
The return of John Brantley, Jeff Demps and Andre Debose should restore the firepower to this offense that the Gators so sorely missed recently, especially against Auburn. Ronald Powell also returns, as does Caleb Sturgis. That’s too bad for Georgia, especially since they will be without Shawn Williams and Kwame Geathers for the first half. The game could be over by then, as Florida’s defense has been the silent assassin recently (if only they could force a turnover every once in while). I’ve got a sick feeling Georgia wins this game, but I made a promise after picking Georgia last year and missing, I’m going to pick the Gators here no matter what until Georgia wins three straight. And I’ll keep it.
Florida 24, Georgia 10
Mississippi (2-5, 0-4 SEC) @ (23)Auburn (5-3, 3-2 SEC), 7:00pm, ESPNU
The Rebels would do anything for a win after last week’s collapse. Sadly, they won’t get it against an Auburn team that’s steaming mad after being humiliated by LSU. Unlike Ole Miss, Auburn’s good enough to convert anger into a victory over their next opponent. They made have QB problems, but Mike Dyer and Onterio McCalebb have proven to be trustworthy playmakers. The Rebels do have some firepower of their own, however, in Donte Moncrief, Jeff Scott and Brandon Bolden, but health is a big issue for them. Auburn gets it done at home.
Auburn 34, Mississippi 12
Mississippi State (3-4, 0-4 SEC) @Kentucky (3-4, 0-3 SEC), 7:00pm, ESPN3
I’m shocked that an MSU team that reeled off 9 wins last year can find themselves looking at a potential winless conference season. Here’s their best chance for a victory, at a toothless Wildcats team that has had more than its share of problems. UK has made other teams feel welcome on their home turf, losing to Louisville and making the Gators look like the New Orleans Saints. That takes talent. The wrong kind of talent- and MSU will happily use their own talent (namely Chad Bumphis), that’s been hidden all year to finally get a win in the SEC.
Mississippi State 26, Kentucky 14
(13)South Carolina (6-1, 4-1 SEC) @Tennessee (3-4, 0-4 SEC), 7:15pm, ESPN2
I’m convinced that someday, the Gamecocks will get smashed by somebody. That day is not this weekend, not against a Vols team that has to use its third string quarterback. Carolina’s defense, not offense, is its best chance the rest of the season with everybody keying on Alshon Jeffrey and Tori Gurley and daring the rest of the offense to beat them. But this is a game for some running back on SC to break out and get 15 minutes of fame. Root for Tennessee but it’s not likely (though remember, anything can happen in the wild SEC).
South Carolina 31, Tennessee 13