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OPINION | WALLY HALL: SEC East flexing some early league muscle

by Wally Hall | October 15, 2021 at 2:24 a.m.

It is a little intriguing that the Arkansas Razorbacks opened as 3 1/2-point favorites over Auburn and that went to 4 1/2 on Thursday.

It is amazing how close those oddsmakers can be on a regular basis, but they aren't perfect either.

Speaking of not being perfect: Went 5-2 on the picks last week to bring the season total up to 49-17.

After Saturday, the SEC will have only one undefeated team, and it won't be Alabama, and in fact, it won't be a team from the Western Division.

Surprising Kentucky is 6-0 and travels to not-surprising 6-0 Georgia, which is ranked No. 1 in the country after the Crimson Tide fell to Texas A&M.

Kentucky is a run-oriented team, and yes, after years of wide-open offenses, the trend does seem to be to run more this season. Georgia likes to pound the ground, too, but it leads the SEC in rush defense, allowing just 66.5 yards per game.

That game is part of a CBS doubleheader with Auburn at Arkansas opening the day.

If you are driving home after the Arkansas game, you should be home in time to see a very intriguing game between Ole Miss at Tennessee. The Rebels' only loss was to Alabama, and the Vols are coming off big wins over Missouri and South Carolina which are both 3-3 on the season and winless in SEC play.

Earlier this week, it was reported David Bazzel's birthday was Thursday. Well, sorry, but it was Wednesday and the former Razorback linebacker and MVP of the Liberty Bowl turned 50-something.

Here are this week's picks:

Auburn at Arkansas

If the Razorbacks haven't made adjustments on defense this week against the deep ball, they will find themselves in trouble. Auburn quarterback Bo Nix has thrown only one interception this year. The Tigers are physical and will try to control the line of scrimmage. The only way they can do that is slow the Razorbacks' running game and contain KJ Jefferson. Arkansas 27-21.

Alabama at Mississippi State

The Bulldogs lead the SEC in passing, averaging 372.4 yards per game and the Crimson Tide are No. 5 against the pass, allowing 195.2. The Tide are in a rare position of having something to prove after rallying back against the Aggies and then letting the game get away. They probably prove they are better than the Bulldogs. Alabama 38-24

Florida at LSU

While much of the world thinks every game could be LSU head coach Ed Orgeron's last game, most don't realize he has a $20 million buyout if fired without cause. Don't know if the Tiger brass has been able to find the cause, but all the rumors and speculation could be affecting the Tigers on the field. Florida 31-21

Kentucky at Georgia

Georgia has the better defense and the teams are fairly even on offense. If the Bulldogs get their starting quarterback back from injury, they are capable of running their record to 15-0. This one might not be settled until the fourth quarter. Georgia 42-31

Ole Miss at Tennessee

The Vols may not have an answer for Rebel quarterback Matt Corral, who is a dual-threat on every offensive play. Ole Miss 49-44

Texas A&M at Missouri

Will the Aggies build off its win over Bama? Considering the Tigers defense is giving up more than 37 points per game, A&M might not have a choice but to improve. Texas A&M 49-28

Vanderbilt at South Carolina

Both come into the game looking for their first SEC game. Vandy will still be hunting after the game. The Gamecocks are very balanced, averaging 22 points per game and allowing 22 points per game. South Carolina 22-17

Print Headline: SEC East flexing some early league muscle


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