The college football season gets another week older, and many eyes will be focused on the SEC. Here is a rundown of the key storylines to watch for around the conference as Kentucky will have its Bye Week.
1. A Must Win for Georgia
In the biggest game of the weekend, No. 2 Georgia will travel to Baton Rouge to play No. 13 LSU. It may not seem like it at first, but this is a must win for Georgia.
LSU has already dropped a game in the SEC, plus they still must play the Crimson Tide and they look unbeatable. Georgia on the other hand plays Florida, Kentucky, and Auburn in three straight games after today’s game.
In a stretch like that anything can happen. I think the Bulldogs are a better team from top to bottom when compared to the Tigers. At this point, I’m not sure Georgia is that much better than Auburn or Florida. If the Bulldogs are serious about winning the SEC East, they must win this game.
Georgia is currently a seven-point favorite and I think that is about right. With this contest being at LSU, the environment should be an incredible scene. However, I just don’t trust Joe Burrow against that Bulldog defense.
I sang his praises last weekend, but after I saw how he performed against Florida I don’t trust Burrow at all against any team that has an elite defense.
When it comes to the Bulldogs, I need to see more from D’Andre Swift. Before the season started he was talked about by many as being the best back in the conference. Now, he isn’t even the best back on his team as Elijah Holyfield has turned in a strong first half of the year.
Elijah Holyfield with the knockout punch. @FootballUGA pouring it on. pic.twitter.com/5iheUQzyJp
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) October 28, 2017
Overall, I think Georgia has the best quarterback in this game and I think that will be enough to win a close, physical contest in Death Valley.
2. Florida Is Back
If you have been reading my articles, you know I have been saying that the Florida Gators would be back with a force this season. I even went as far as to say that they would win double their win total from last season.
Safe to say that’s been my best take so far this college football season.
As of right now, the Gators are ranked in the top 15 and already have won more games than they did in 2017. Yes, this Florida team looked terrible at home against Kentucky, but this is a very different squad from that bad loss.
Dan Mullen has made all the difference in the world as he has the Gator defense playing elite and quarterback Feleipe Franks playing much improved. Last season Franks’ TD-INT ratio was 9-8. In just six games that ratio is now 13-4.
"I've never felt the energy in Gainesville like this."
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) September 2, 2018
After last week’s huge win over LSU, the Gators will travel to Nashville to take on Vanderbilt. I don’t think the Commodores stand a chance here against a team that red-hot. Florida is only favored by 7.5 points which makes no sense. My guarantee of the week is that the Gators cover the spread easily against Vandy.
3. Alabama’s First Test?
I say this with a question mark because I honestly don’t think this will be much of a game. Maybe on paper this looks interesting with a talented quarterback like Drew Lock going against the Crimson Tide defense.
However, this is a Missouri team that just gave up 37 points to South Carolina. Yea, this one should not be close at all. I can see Alabama realistically scoring 60 points on the Tigers at home.
What will be somewhat interesting to watch will be just how many points Missouri will score. In every game this year the Tigers have managed to score at least 29 points. So, I can easily see a score that will be something like 59-28.
I usually take this time in my weekly columns to talk about Tua, but instead this week I’m putting the spotlight on wide receiver Jerry Jeudy. With just 23 catches on the season, Jeudy is second in the SEC in receiving yardage (58), first in yards per catch (24.26), and first receiving touchdowns (8).
— Young Shiner 💫 (@MindedSoldier) October 10, 2018
Eight touchdowns on just 23 receptions in the SEC is just mind boggling to think of. If Tua wins the Heisman he will do it in large part thank to the exceptional play of Jeudy.
4. Amber Alert for Auburn’s Offense
What on earth has happened to the Auburn Tigers? And more importantly where has their offense went??
First, they lose a game they should have won against LSU. Then they don’t show up at all last week against a Mississippi State that was in shambles.
This has everything to do with their offensive struggles. Out of 14 SEC team, the Tigers are ranked 11th in total offense which is just so puzzling. Star quarterback Jarrett Stidham has yet to get in a groove yet as the offensive line has not been reliable.
With a team that is this talented, it makes zero sense how they can only accumulate 9 total points against a Mississippi State team that Kentucky dominated.
The good news is that they are playing Tennessee this weekend, so this should be a good time for the offense to gather itself with an easy victory. With Georgia and Alabama still on the schedule, this Auburn team better figure things out fast or they will be looking a very disappointing year.
It’s time for Jarrett Stidham to take control and get this season back on track.
🎥 Amid frustrations, Jarrett Stidham was asked about his leadership style, and positive disposition in the face of struggles:
🗣️ “Everybody’s got a different way of doing that.”
— AUBlog (@AUBlog) October 10, 2018
5. The Aggies Make a Move
Despite losing two games on the season already, Texas A&M has rebounded nicely with a huge win over a vastly improved Kentucky team. Now they find their selves back in the top 24 and near the top of the SEC West.
Even more surprising has been the play of quarterback Kellen Mond who looked liked a complete bust last season. Now with Jimbo Fisher in town Mond finds himself fourth in the conference in passing yards while completing 60% of his passes.
Impressive stat about Kellen Mond:
He faced 3 defenses that rank in the top 11 nationally in scoring. In those games, he averaged 333 yards from scrimmage. #GigEm
— Connor O'Gara (@cjogara) October 8, 2018
Kellen Mond throws a LASER to Kendrick Rogers for the @AggieFootball TD!
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) September 9, 2018
This week Texas A&M gets a favorable matchup on the road against South Carolina. Remember, the Aggies play a very similar style to that of Kentucky and we all saw what the Wildcats did to the Gamecocks.
I believe the spread is only favoring Texas A&M by three points and that seems way too low to me. Despite getting a good win last week over Missouri, South Carolina is still a little overrated in my opinion. This seems like a game that Jimbo wins in his sleep. The Aggies mean business, folks.