A lot of people think the SEC Eastern Division race will hinge on the outcome of Saturday's South Carolina-Georgia game in Athens. Whether or not that's the Game of the Year in the SEC, it's certainly the Game of the Week.
This Saturday's conference slate features 12 games, several of which should be competitive. Florida at Miami, Toledo at Missouri, Arkansas State at Auburn and Western Kentucky at Tennessee project to be interesting contests.
Staffers Randy Moore and Danny Parker went 13-0 each on their Week 1 SEC Picks. Publisher Josh Woodward was a game back at 12-1 and rookie Riley Blevins another game back at 11-2.
Here's a look at this weekend's predictions:
RANDY MOORE (13-0)
Florida at Miami: This is typically a great game but the Gators just have too much defense. Florida, 24-10
Miami (Ohio) at Kentucky: The Big Blue is bad but the RedHawks lost 52-14 to Marshall last Saturday. Looks like Mark Stoops is about to register Victory No. 1. Kentucky, 38-14
Alcorn State at Mississippi State: The FCS Braves lost 56-0 to Arkansas State last fall in their most recent clash with an FBS opponent. Maybe "clash" is too strong a word. Mississippi State, 38-7
Toledo at Missouri: The Rockets gave Florida trouble last weekend but I'm giving the Tigers the edge mostly on home-field advantage. Missouri, 28-21
South Carolina at Georgia: Steve Spurrier has beaten Mark Richt three years in a row. I think the streak ends this weekend in Athens. Bulldogs, 31-24
Samford at Arkansas: Samford is pretty good by FCS standards but it lost 34-3 last fall to a woeful Kentucky squad. That's all I need to know. Razorbacks, 38-7
UAB at LSU: The Blazers jump up and play an SEC team tough from time to time. This won't be one of those times. Tigers, 42-7
Southeast Missouri at Ole Miss: The Rebels got a scare from Vandy in Game 1. Game 2 will go a lot more smoothly. Ole Miss, 45-10
Sam Houston State at Texas A&M: I'm sorry, but I can't take a team seriously that spells Bearkats with a K, even if they are a big deal in the Football Championship Subdivision. Aggies, 41-17
Arkansas State at Auburn: Gus Malzahn's old team visits his new team. That should make for an interesting evening on The Plains. Auburn, 31-30
Austin Peay at Vanderbilt: Rudely treated in Knoxville last Saturday, the Governors get another dose of beat-down in Nashville. Commodores, 49-7
Western Kentucky at Tennessee: Bobby Petrino is an offensive genius but 100,000 Vol fans will scream his team into submission. Vols, 31-24
DANNY PARKER (13-0)
Florida at Miami: Can the 'Canes get back on the map of relevance? Not against this defense. Florida, 18-9.
Miami (Ohio) at Kentucky: Surely the Wildcats won't start 0-2. Kentucky, 26-14.
Alcorn State at Mississippi State: Bulldogs get back on track against the SWAC. Mississippi State, 51-0.
Toledo at Missouri: Let's hope a W for the Tigers doesn't warrant fans chanting S-E-C, S-E-C! Missouri, 33-13.
South Carolina at Georgia: If I was a betting man...I'd avoid this one like the plague. Georgia, 21-19.
Samford at Arkansas: Quality scheduling in Fayetteville. Another cupcake to get the ball rolling before the Western Division provides nightmares. Arkansas, 36-8.
UAB at LSU: This one will not be pretty. LSU, 56-0.
Southeast Missouri at Ole Miss: Youth is served again and Bo Wallace puts up serious numbers. Ole Miss, 47-7.
Sam Houston State at Texas A&M: Remember The Alamo! Well, that worked like 177 years ago. Not so much this weekend. Texas A&M, 63-0.
Arkansas State at Auburn: Ole Gus faces his old team. Upset alert. This should be a good game. Auburn, 27-26.
Austin Peay at Vanderbilt: Interested to see the attendance figures for this one. Vanderbilt, 38-7.
Western Kentucky at Tennessee: These are not the '09 Hilltoppers. The Big Orange is in for a fight. Tennessee, 23-21.
JOSH WOODWARD (12-1)
Florida at Miami: This should be a great game. Florida gets a couple
of suspended players back on defense which should help. Miami's
quarterback wasn't that impressive week one. I will go with the road
team in this one 20-17 Gators
Miami (Ohio) at Kentucky: Well Kentucky got beat by Western Kentucky,
so I can see them getting beat this game also, but I don't think it is
going to happen. 24-21 Kentucky
Alcorn State at Mississippi State: This really shouldn't be a close
game although Miss State couldn't score last week. I'm taking the
Toledo at Missouri: Toledo didn't look bad against Florida so I'm
picking this as a close game. 20-17 Missouri
South Carolina at Georgia: The game of the week in the SEC, Georgia
coming off that emotional loss at Clemson. Can the Bulldogs bounce
back? I think they can. 28-20 Georgia
Samford at Arkansas: This should be a blowout for the Hogs. 48-10
UAB at LSU: This is another blowout for LSU. 52-9
Southeast Missouri at Ole Miss: Ole Miss is improving and you can see
it. Rebels win big here. 55-7
Sam Houston State at Texas A&M: I wouldn't mind seeing someone from
Sam Houston laying one on Mr. Heisman, but the Aggies will still win.
Arkansas State at Auburn: The fighting Gus's take the field on the
plains to play his old team, this game could be interesting since
Auburn is rebuilding. If Auburn doesn't come to play they will lose. I
believe they will come to play though. 37-20 Tigers
Austin Peay at Vanderbilt: After seeing Austin Peay in action last
weekend I can say they are one of the worst teams I have ever seen in
college football. James Franklin will likely run up the score to mend
his ego. 56-10 Dores
Western Kentucky at Tennessee: Tennessee is favored to win this game
by two touchdowns, I see this game being close going into the late
second quarter. After that Tennessee should be able to pull away.
RILEY BLEVINS (11-2)
Florida at Miami: Hopefully local retailers stocked up on bronzing oil, white sunglasses and jorts, because all of Florida should be watching this one. Florida wins in a tight one. Florida 28. Miami 17.
Miami (Ohio) at Kentucky: Miami (Ohio) at Kentucky: Could you imagine Kentucky's attendance numbers for the rest of the year if they lost this one? Good thing they won't. Kentucky 17, Miami (Ohio) 13.
Alcorn State at Mississippi State: The Bulldogs roll. With or without Tyler Russell. Mississippi State 35, Alcorn State 10.
Toledo at Missouri: Toledo played Florida pretty tough last week. They’ll hang around in this one for a while, too. Missouri 28, Toledo 17.
South Carolina at Georgia: Not even Jadeveon Clowney can stop Todd Gurley. Georgia won’t lose two in a row. But this will shape out to be a great game. Georgia 28, South Carolina 21.
Samford at Arkansas: Samford barley edged out Georgia State last week. They get crushed this week. Arkansas 42, Samford 10.
UAB at LSU: The mad hatter will eat some grass, do a little coachin’ and breeze to a victory. LSU 42, UAB 7.
Southeast Missouri at Ole Miss: Bo Wallace can hit frat row all night long Friday for all I care, Ole Miss won’t have to lift a finger. Ole Miss 35, Southeast Missouri 10.
Sam Houston State at Texas A&M: Johnny Football will run down, up and around Sam Houston State. Maybe Bearkats players will be lucky enough to get an autograph if they stick around after the game. Texas A&M 63, Sam Houston State 17.
Arkansas State at Auburn: You heard it here first: Arkansas State 35, Auburn 28.
Austin Peay at Vanderbilt: Jordan Matthews’ stat line is going to read something like this: 550 yards, 6 touchdowns. Maybe not. But close. Vanderbilt 51, Austin Peay 3.
Western Kentucky at Tennessee: I’ve gone back and forth on this one all week. I think this game will come down to the fourth quarter, but ultimately the Vols’ running game is too much. Western Kentucky will make things interesting on a handful of big passing plays. Tennessee 35, Western Kentucky 28.