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Vince’s Vibe: Week 8 Picks

Here’s the complete schedule of SEC football games this weekend with details, analysis and a score prediction for each game.

My record last week was 6-1. My record after week 7, straight-up, is 53-10 (84 %.)

Schedule of Saturday, Oct. 20 Games

*Rankings are AP first/Coaches second

#6 LSU (6-1, 2-1 SEC) at #19/20 Texas A&M (5-1, 2-1 SEC)

12 p.m. ET / 11 a.m. CT • ESPN

College Station, Texas • Kyle Field (82,589)

Vince’s Vibe: There’s some definite intrigue between these two former old-time rivals that met in last year’s Cotton Bowl (41-24 LSU) that now are fellow SEC West mates. This game may very well come down to the play of key freshmen. LSU played much better last week in the home win over South Carolina. A big reason for that was the hard-running and productivity of freshman RB Jeremy Hill (124 yds on 17 carries and 2 TDs.) Texas A&M freshman QB Johnny Manziel (aka Johnny Football) has been record-setting great. In last week’s thrilling 59-57 win over Louisiana Tech, Manziel became the first player in SEC history to have two 500-plus total offense yardage games in a season. He combined for (passing and running) 557 yards vs. Arkansas and 577 yards vs. Louisiana Tech. He had half-game success vs. Florida in a home loss. I see a similar scenario this week. Plus, the leaky Aggies defense is a huge problem.

Winner: LSU 31-27

Auburn (1-5, 0-4 SEC) at Vanderbilt (2-4, 1-3 SEC)

12:21 p.m. ET / 11:21 a.m. CT • SEC Network

Nashville, Tenn. • Vanderbilt Stadium (40,550)

Vince’s Vibe: Auburn is a touchdown underdog to Vanderbilt? To steal a line from WWE Superstar “The Miz”…”Really? Really? Really? Really?” Crazy thing is, it’s warranted. Vandy has shown life and spunk. Auburn has been embarrassing. Gene Chizik says the team has “urgency” this week. It better win this game or else Auburn may only get to 3 wins this seasons. We could see more in-season coordinator changes first however. Vanderbilt’s excellent pass defense won’t be tested this week. I think the Commodores win a fairly low-scoring game.

Winner: Vanderbilt 24-15

#8/9 South Carolina (6-1, 4-1 SEC) at #4/3 Florida (6-0, 5-0 SEC)

3:30 p.m. ET / 2:30 p.m. CT • CBS Sports

Gainesville, Fla. • Ben Hill Griffin Stadium / Florida Field (88,548)

Vince’s Vibe: This game won’t be THE game to decide the SEC East, but it will play a big role in it. Florida has been dominant in second-halves, and especially in 4th quarters. Florida QB Jeff Driskel has followed that same course. The Gamecocks disappointed me last week when I bucked the majority and believed in them avoiding the letdown. Earlier in the week I thought about going with SC on the bounce-back theory. Between injuries and the flu forcing a long list of players to miss practice time this week, I’ve changed my feeling on the game. RB Marcus Lattimore and DT Kelcy Quarles haven’t practiced this week. DE Jadeveon Clowney, DT Byron Jerideau, and DT JT Surrant are all dealing with injuries and could be limited in the game. Then there are all the sick players that have missed practice time. That’s too much for the Gamecocks to overcome. I’ll take the Gators at home in another close, defensive battle.

Winner: Florida 16-13

Middle Tennessee (4-2) at #16/15 Mississippi State (6-0, 3-0 SEC)

7 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. CT • ESPN2

Starkville, Miss. • Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field (55,082)

Vince’s Vibe: Middle Tennessee has a win at Georgia Tech but also opened the season with a loss to FCS McNeese State at home. The Blue Raiders’ worst loss this season however is stud running back Benny Cunningham (600 yds, 6.2 yds per, 11 TD) for the season with a knee injury. Cunningham was 3rd in the FBS in scoring. MSU QB Tyler Russell should continue to look sharp versus the nation’s #96 pass defense. This will give the Bulldogs at least one week against a team with a winning record, for one week at least.

Winner: Mississippi State 38-17

#1 Alabama (7-0, 3-0 SEC) at Tennessee (3-3, 0-3 SEC)

7 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. CT • ESPN

Knoxville, Tenn. • Neyland Stadium / Shields-Watkins Field (102,455)

Vince’s Vibe: There are plenty of storylines in this heated rivalry game that Alabama has owned as of late. Alabama has won five-straight in the series. The last win by Tennessee was 16-13 in 2006 in Knoxville. Tennessee has plenty of Alabama transplants: DC Sal Sunseri, CB coach Derrick Ansley, Administrative intern for the defense Nick Gentry and current DE Darrington Sentimore. Former Tennessee assistant coach & recruiting coordinator Lance Thompson is LB coach now at Alabama. Plus, Derek Dooley and Nick Saban have worked together on numerous staffs. Sal’s son Vinnie Sunseri will be a big part of Alabama’s defense against his dad’s team. Mom won’t go to the game, but many family members will, according to Vincenzo (aka Vinnie) Sunseri. Alabama has been focused and sharp from the get-go in road games this season. I have a hunch that won’t be the case this game. I wouldn’t be surprised by a hot start by the Volunteers. However, Alabama will finish strong because it has that kind of ability and because Tennessee just can’t seem to play well in the 4th quarter in an SEC game. It would take by far the worst performance and effort of the year by Alabama combined with Tennessee’s best performance and effort of the three-year Derek Dooley era in order for the Vols to pull the upset. The physicality, run-game and (surprise) big-play capability of the Crimson Tide offense makes it hard to envision anything other than a comfortable Alabama win.

Winner: Alabama 45-21

#12/13 Georgia (5-1, 3-1 SEC) at Kentucky (1-6, 0-4 SEC)

7 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. CT • FSN

Lexington, Ky. • Commonwealth Stadium / C.M. Newton Field (67,942)

Vince’s Vibe: Georgia has been stewing over its awful loss at South Carolina for two weeks. I think the Bulldogs take it out on the injury-depleted and talent-deficient Wildcats. This should get ugly. If not, we’ll learn a little more about the maturity of Georgia.

Winner: Georgia 42-10

OPEN:  Arkansas (3-4, 2-2 SEC); Ole Miss (4-3, 1-2 SEC); Missouri (3-4, 0-4 SEC)

 

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