SEC to square off Saturday

Zach Anderson

Zach Anderson

The showcase of Southeastern Conference football will be at a premium this week, as the league tries to sort out who is the best in the league. The SEC West Division will probably find a clearer picture of who is the favorite to win and Florida will have to defeat LSU in Baton Rouge if they want to be the clear favorites to win the SEC East.

No. 3 Alabama vs. No. 20 Ole Miss

In a prime matchup of SEC West teams, Alabama will take on the Rebels of Ole Miss. Alabama dominated Kentucky 38-20 with defense on Oct. 3, to build their record 5-0. With the score 14-6 in favor of Alabama, Courtney Upshaw picked up a fumble and returned it 45 yards to put ‘Bama up 21-6, sealing the win. Ole Miss is coming off a 23-7 victory over Vanderbilt in which quarterback Jevan Snead threw for 237 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions.

Pick: Alabama will force Snead to make more of the same mistakes he did against Vanderbilt and Alabama should roll to an easy victory over the talented but vastly overrated Rebels. Alabama wins by 17.

No. 1 Florida at No. 4 LSU

LSU has looked sloppy this season with a last-second win over Georgia on Oct. 3. A goal line stand the week before against Mississippi State showed some fatal flaws in this year’s Tigers. The Tigers were also aided by a questionable unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. As of Oct. 5, doctors hadn’t cleared Tim Tebow to play against LSU. If Tebow isn’t able to go, that would mean an appearance from backup quarterback John Brantley.

Pick: It all hinges on Tebow. My guess is that Tebow will play and the Gators will find a way to defeat LSU. LSU’s offense hasn’t played well all year (321.6 yards per game, 99th nationally) and will have to get past Florida’s defense that only allows 7.3 points per game. LSU’s end of game miracles streak will end at home and Florida will show why they are the favorites to repeat as national champions. I don’t think LSU has the offense to get it done even if Tebow doesn’t play. Florida wins by two touchdowns.

Surprise Team of the week

Auburn – This year, the Tigers are 5-0 and ranked No. 17 after beginning the season unranked. The five wins match last year’s win total when the Tigers went 5-7 and failed to go to a postseason bowl game for the first time since the 1998-1999 season. With a win over Tennessee on Oct. 3, the Tigers moved into the rankings for the first time this season. Running backs Ben Tate and Onterio McCalebb are second and fifth in the SEC in rushing. Auburn is looking for a sixth win against Arkansas on Oct. 10 to mark their first 6-0 season since 2004, when they had a perfect 13-0 record and won the Sugar Bowl. The Tigers will challenge both Alabama and LSU to see who will win the SEC West. They will most likely play Florida in the SEC championship game in Atlanta in December.