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SEC Game Projections For 10/22/11

Below is a condensed version of our usual rundown of SEC action, including television information (all times Eastern), the latest odds from Las Vegas, and our own predictions and projections.  Have at it…

Jacksonville State at Kentucky
12:00pm on ESPNU

Why It Matters:  A loss to the FCS Gamecocks would be devastating for Joker Phillips’ struggling program.

What Vegas Says:  No Line, FCS Opponent

What We Say:  The Cats are 2-4 on the season and their two wins over Western Kentucky (14-3) and Central Michigan (27-13) were struggles.  Jacksonville State — now featuring ex-Georgia tailback Washaun Ealey — won at Ole Miss last season.  An upset at the hands of 5-1 JSU would not shock us… and that tells you all you need to know about UK’s inability to move the football.

Prediction:  Kentucky 27, Jacksonville State 17

Arkansas at Ole Miss
12:21pm on SEC Network

Why It Matters:  Houston Nutt might be coaching to save his job and no one on Earth would like to deliver the death blow like Arkansas fans.

What Vegas Says:  Arkansas by 15.5 (opened at -16.5)

What We Say:  Ole Miss is decimated on defense and the Rebels weren’t particularly strong in that area before the injuries.  Upsets happen in the SEC and Nutt is usually a guy who can pull one, but UM’s banged up secondary matched against the Razorbacks’ top-ranked passing attack… well… we don’t smell an upset brewing this time around.

Prediction:  Arkansas 41, Ole Miss 20

Auburn at LSU
3:30pm on CBS

Why It Matters:  LSU is trying to stay unbeaten and #1 in the BCS rankings.  Auburn is trying to build on a surprising 5-2 start.

What Vegas Says:  LSU by 20.5 (opened at -22.5)

What We Say:  Well, first, we’d say someone should smack Spencer Ware, Tyrann Mathieu and Tharold Simon upside their heads for getting suspended right as LSU enters its home stretch.  Incredibly stupid, selfish behavior on their part.  Even for 20-year-olds.  How many trials and tribulations can one team fight through before cracking?  At some point, even Tigers run out of lives.  As for the Tigers on the other side of the field, “gunslinger” Clint Moseley should find passing a little easier without Mathieu on the field.  But this is still his first start and there’s no telling how he’ll hold up. 

Prediction:  LSU 24, Auburn 13

Army at Vanderbilt
7:00pm on ESPNU

Why It Matters:  If the Commodores can snap a three-game losing streak, they’ll sit at 4-3 with Kentucky, Tennessee and Wake Forest still to come on the schedule.  That’s right, Vandy is in bowl contention in late-October.

What Vegas Says:  Vanderbilt by 11 (opened at -9.5)

What We Say:  The triple-option offense can be tricky to defend.  But Army is 2-4 with losses to Ball State and Miami (OH).  Vanderbilt — now with Jordan Rodgers at quarterback — should take care of business at home.

Prediction:  Vanderbilt 27, Army 16

Tennessee at Alabama
7:15pm on ESPN2

Why It Matters:  Alabama is trying to stay unbeaten heading into their November 5th showdown with LSU.  Tennessee needs to give its disappointed fans some reason to believe in Derek Dooley.

What Vegas Says:  Alabama by 29.5 (opened at -28)

What We Say:  Considering what Dooley inherited, it’s ridiculous for anyone to be upset with him at this juncture.  But many Vol fans are.  And once they see arguably the most talented team in the country pound UT just as LSU did a week ago, they’ll be even angrier.  Yet another SEC “scrimmage” for the strengthening Tide.

Prediction:  Alabama 41, Tennessee 10


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