Around the SEC this week

I’ve already covered Georgia’s trip to Lexington this weekend, so let’s take a look at the rest of the conference:

Wyoming at Tennessee, 1:00 PM, PPV; Knoxville, TN

The mood at Neyland Stadium should be really strange for this one. As everyone knows, Phil Fulmer was told that he wouldn’t be coming back to UT earlier this week. He announced it to the world in one of the most gut-wrenching press conferences you’ll ever see. Surely, this has been a big distraction this week, but they are playing Wyoming. Hopefully, Phil’s boys go to war for him in his next to last home game as head coach. Tennessee wins, but they don’t cover the 26.5.

Tennessee 30, Wyoming 10

Arkansas at South Carolina, 1:00 PM, no TV; Columbia, SC

Looks like Bobby Petrino finally has his team play reasonable competitive football. Still, Columbia is no picnic to walk into. Spurrier has what may be his best defense since he’s been at South Carolina and Stephen Garcia brings some competency and excitement to the OBC’s offense. South Carolina wins in a game that is not as close as the score indicates, but does not cover the 13.5.

South Carolina 24, Arkansas 17

Alabama at LSU, 3:30 PM, CBS; Baton Rouge, LA

Hey, I bet you didn’t know that Nick Saban used to be the head coach at LSU. I didn’t realize he left them and went to the NFL only to return to one of their biggest division opponents, Alabama. In case you couldn’t guess, that comment was laden with sarcasm. Seriously, this one is shaping up to be an 234 on a 10 point hate scale for LSU. Saban is taking a physical, dominating Alabama offensive line down to the bayou to play an LSU team with a front 7 that is as talented as anyone else in the country, but they are very inconsistent. Alabama has played down to inferior competition and throttled its opponent in all its big road games. I’ll never understand the hatred that LSU fans carry for Saban. The man did win you a damned national championship and left the program in great shape. He wanted to take on the NFL challenge. Nothing wrong with that IMO. If someone wanted to triple my salary, I’d probably take a stab at it too. I think Alabama is too fundamentally disciplined to give this one away, and they’ve shown no signs of losing focus at any point this season. Take Alabama to cover the 3.5 and the over/under on broken windows on the Alabama bus is 20 right now.

Alabama 24, LSU 10

Florida at Vanderbilt, 8:00 PM, ESPN; Nashville, TN

Is there any team in the nation playing better than the Gators right now? Fans in Lubbock, Tuscaloosa, and State College might argue otherwise, but I don’t think there’s any team better. Since losing an ugly turnover-marred game against Ole Miss on September 27th, the Gators have outscored the opposition 201-43 for an average margin of victory of 39.5 points. They aren’t going to wow you on offense like Tebow’s Heisman campaign, but are a solid, well-coached team that takes advantage of all its opportunities. This team has to be flying high after depantsing LSU and Georgia in the same season. Vanderbilt has promptly erased all the goodwill it accumulated earlier in the season when it started 5-0. They’ve since lost to three in a row to fall to 5-3 and still seeking that elusive sixth win to become bowl eligible for the first time since 1982. It seems like we’ve seen this movie before. This one should be over quick and won’t be close at halftime. Gators win easily and cover the 23.5.

Florida 45, Vanderbilt 13

That’s it folks, happy viewing this weekend.

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