Are you a believer in Auburn luck? Do you believe in the Alabama injury curse for wide receivers? Last week gave you plenty of evidence for both. In spite of losing do-everything playmaker Jaylen Waddle, Alabama is poised to run roughshod through the SEC once again as the most deep and talented team. There's a steep drop to the next level of contenders and then there is the bottom of the conference which is more populated than usual. Get ready for a spooky weekend of football.
Each week this column will give you readers a breakdown of the SEC football schedule. Last week I went 2-2 with the picks bringing my total record to 20-10, 66%. (All times listed below are CT.)
SEC GAMES OF THE WEEK
Georgia (3-1) @ Kentucky (2-3)
11 AM - SECN
Georgia comes off the bye week in need of a reset following another second half collapse against Alabama. Kentucky is in freefall mode on offense. Maybe it's time to find another wide receiver to run a permanent wildcat for the Wildcats because what they are doing now is just plain bad. Meanwhile the Bulldogs need to just keep doing what worked in their wins; run the ball, use playaction to go down the field, and play stingy, attacking defense. These are two teams trending in opposite directions and should not be much of a contest.
Georgia 34, Kentucky 13
LSU (2-2) @ Auburn (3-2)
2:30 PM - CBS
LSU has found itself on offense and figured out enough on defense to steady the ship. They aren't what they were in 2019, but they are still formidable. Auburn is getting by on smoke, mirrors, a one-man run game, and a mountain of luck. Take away that run game and Auburn's offense is barely serviceable. The Auburn defense is soft up front and should let LSU dictate the pace and control the game. Expect Ed O's Tigers to maintain dominance over Gus's worn out, malfunctioning bus .
LSU 31, Auburn 20
Ole Miss(1-4) @ Vanderbilt (0-3)
3:00 PM - SECN
As of this writing there are serious doubts if this game is going to happen due to Vanderbilt's continuing struggles with COVID-related player outages. Not that having a full roster would help the Commodores; they are a dumpster fire with no end of tamping the blaze. Ole Miss isn't much better; I'm hard pressed to remember a worse tackling defense fielded in the SEC. The Rebels are not pristine on offense either often turning the ball over at the worst times. Assuming the game happens, give a slight edge to Ole Miss for having playmakers on offense but don't expect this to be pretty.
Ole Miss 24, Vanderbilt 20
Mississippi State (1-3) @ Alabama (5-0)
6 PM - ESPN
The real horror show of Halloween weekend comes in the form of this game. Much like the 1951 classic The Thing From Another World, Mike Leach and Mississippi State have crash landed in the SEC. And much like the humans did to the giant carrot in that movie, Alabama stands at the ready to vaporize these alien invaders with their high powered, practically unstoppable offense. The Bulldogs will probably throw it 70 times which will give the Crimson Tide defense a workout. Alabama's offense should be able to score at will and once again stand supreme as defenders of the SEC galaxy.
Alabama 48, Mississippi State 20
Arkansas (2-2) @ Texas A&M (3-1)
6:30 PM - SECN
Keeping with the niche-horror theme, Arkansas is the slug invaders from Night of the Creeps and Texas A&M is the salty dog grizzled detective played by Tom Atkins ready to take them to the salt mines. Neither team does anything flashy on offense. The Razorbacks defense is improving but still not very good. The Aggies should be able to run the ball, control the game, and grind up these pesky nuisances but don't expect a lot of thrills.
Texas A&M 24, Arkansas 10
Missouri (2-2) @ Florida (2-1)
6:30 PM - SECN Alternate
The Florida Gators return after dealing with their own COVID-related issues and are in desperate need of a win to remain in the SEC East race. While no one was looking, Missouri started playing competitive, balanced football again and are way ahead of schedule. Florida's defensive woes mean Missouri should be able to score in this game. However, the Tigers defense, while improved, is no match for the speed of the Gators passing attack which should find plenty of room to run through their Swamp to another victory.
Florida 34, Missouri 24
You can hear Jay weekly on The Gridiron Breakdown which streams live on Facebook Wednesday nights at 8. www.facebook.com/thegridironbreakdown or listen to The Gridrion Breakdown Show podcast where ever podcasts are found (www.thegridironbreakdown.com).