Florida Gators offensive linesman Max Garcia (76) celebrates after they beat the Tennessee Volunteers at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
After a perfect showing in Week 6, Daily Post staff correspondent Andrew Hall is now 40-7 in predicting SEC football games. Here’s his take on this week’s schedule:
No. 25 Missouri
at No. 7 Georgia
Missouri’s first-ever trip to Athens will see the Tigers looking to move to 6-0 with a win over the short-handed Bulldogs. Points will abound in this game even as Georgia tries to find its way without three of its best wide receivers and its two best running backs. Experience will make the difference in this game. This will be the Bulldogs’ fourth game against a ranked opponent this year. Meanwhile, Missouri has yet to play an opponent with a winning record against FBS opposition. Georgia is battle-tested and will prevail.
Our pick: Georgia by 10.
No. 14 South Carolina at Arkansas
Saturday, 12:21 p.m./CBS
It’s hard to believe that just a few short weeks ago some pundits were ready to hand Jadeveon Clowney the Heisman Trophy before the season even began. Those same media personalities are now bashing him for not playing through injuries. While that headline continues to steal the show, South Carolina is a team desperately looking for an identity and Arkansas is a team looking to pull off an upset. The Razorbacks’ running game just might do it.
Our pick: Arkansas by 3.
Saturday, 2:00 p.m./PPV
If you’re looking for a storyline in this obvious Auburn win, focus on quarterback Nick Marshall. Marshall has been progressing in both his passing (he threw for 339 yards and two touchdowns against Mississippi State a few weeks ago) and his running (he ran for 140 yards and two touchdowns on just 10 carries last week against Ole Miss). He could have a monster game against a Western Carolina team that gave up 62 points to Samford.
Our pick: Auburn by 35.
No. 17 Florida
at No. 10 LSU
Saturday, 3:30 p.m./CBS
As talented as Florida’s defense may be, a lot would need to go right for the Gators to win this game. Specifically, Florida’s defense would need to be successful in stopping the nation’s ninth-best scoring offense, and Florida’s offense would need to find a way to move the ball. Sadly, Florida’s offensive display against Arkansas was the best we’ve seen from the Gators all year and it resulted in just 355 yards and 30 points. Florida may limit LSU’s offense, but not to an extent that will make up for the Gators’ still lacking offense.
Our pick: LSU by 10.
No. 1 Alabama
Saturday, 7 p.m./ESPN2
The most underrated losing effort in the SEC last weekend belonged to the Kentucky Wildcats, who clawed their way to a seven-point loss to South Carolina on the road. The Big Blue is rewarded this week with a date against the nation’s top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide team. Look for the Tide to begin to put each phase of the game – offense, defense, special teams – together for the first time all year. It won’t be close.
Our pick: Alabama by 28.
at Mississippi State
Saturday, 7:30 p.m./Fox Sports Net
At 2-3, Mississippi State is dangerously close to falling out of bowl contention. With seemingly sure losses to South Carolina, Texas A&M and Alabama remaining, things are looking bleak. It’s safe to assume a win against Bowling Green, but improvements need to be made by Dan Mullen’s squad.
Our pick: Mississippi State by 10.
No. 9 Texas A&M
at Ole Miss
Saturday, 8:30 p.m./ESPN
Ole Miss was brought back to reality thanks to a two-week tour of the State of Alabama that left the Rebels reeling with consecutive road losses to Alabama (expected) and Auburn (not so much). Things won’t get any easier for the Rebels this week against Texas A&M or next week against LSU. As always, Johnny Manziel will be hard to stop and any potential success for Ole Miss will hinge on doing so.
Our pick: Texas A&M by 14.