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Welp. I was almost perfect in Week 7 Predictions, improving to 14-8. I only missed one game....and it was the game that mattered. In a eerily similar situation to the LSU game in 2013, Auburn had no chance in Starkville as they fell behind early.
Week 8 doesn't offer the slate of games we have had the past two weeks.
Georgia at Arkansas
It's amazing that UGA sits at the 10 spot sporting only 1 loss. A lot of us COMPLETELY wrote them off when Gurley was suspended. Yet, UGA stormed into Columbia and ransacked the Tigers. The backup to Gurley, Chubb, turned in an amazing performance. Even 3rd Stringer, Douglass, managed to find the endzone. In a bit of brilliance, I picked up Chubb on my fantasy team almost immediately, and then traded him for a more long term player. Defensivly, the Dogs held the typically high flying Tigers to zero points. But, to me, it was about how bad Mauk played, not how well the Dogs defended. Mauk was absolutely dreadful.
Arkansas had a pretty good showing against Alabama last Saturday. But, it left a lot of us wondering if Arkansas has come that far, or if Bama has gotten that bad. The fact is, Alabama is really struggling and did so against a team that they had outscored 104-0 in the last 2 years. Though the Hogs played tough, they were unable to win the game when it was given to them in the last 4 minutes of the game. I have a tough time giving credit to a team who was unable to make hay when it matters.
Arkansas is playing much better defense, but CANNOT throw the ball on offense, which is where the UGA weakness on defense is. Additionally, UGA proves..once again...that it recruits great backs, but can make running room for anyone. The Hogs are getting close, but will get beaten up inside by the Dogs run game. Mason has the limited ability to make throws in the play action pass.
Kentucky at LSU
Is Kentucky for real? If there was ever a time for UK to knock off an SEC West team, this could possibly be it. UK has recruited some play makers on the perimeter. But, do they have the overall depth? Let's be real, aside from the Refs failure in the swamp, Kentucky should be unbeaten. Towles has looked incredible in the first half of the season, having thrown for 1500 yards. But, the running game has really struggled, having 500 yards total between the top rushers. On the other side of the ball, Kentucky has given up points.
LSU is putting a lot of weight on the shoulders of it's very young stars. After getting curb stomped by Auburn, they went into the Swamp and won. Sure, Florida isn't any good. But, it was still a tough road win. What better way to get put on the map than a home win against a good team?
Florida at Missouri
Battle for the bottom! Aside from Vandy, these two teams are possibly the worst teams in the SEC. Florida has been in a lot of very close games, winning one against UK and losing one against LSU. At least they are scoring SOME points. Missouri, on the other hand, was BLANKED at home against UGA.
I put faith in the Florida defense. They cause turnovers in handfuls.
SEC Game of the Week
Texas A&M at Alabama
A week ago, I would have taken Alabama at home by a wide margin. Well, not really. I don't respect this current Bama team and I said so months ago when I predicted 3 losses. But, I respect TAMU even less. They are 2 1st Quarter turnovers away from a trainwreck each and every week. It's the nature of the offense they run and the lack of defense they field. They may be able to move it between the 20s against Bama, but they will be unable to score on sustained drives. Sure, they may be able to get a long TD or two, but I don't think they can consistently score. On the other hand, Bama's offense is struggling to find identity, having put the first half of the season almost entirely on Cooper's shoulders. The dominate run game just isn't there as it has been in Saban's tenure. This is a good week to get back to that. The TAMU defense will struggle against the constant thumping of the 15 Star backfield.
So, back to what I was saying. I would take Bama by 2 TDs and a field goal. But, that would be stupid because they can't kick field goals.
So, Bama by 14.