SEC predictions: Week 8

Go ahead and throw me in the SEC’s Eastern Division.

That’s about where I belong with my mediocre record for picking games to this point.

I might have to pull an Urban Meyer and do an extensive self evaluation to see where it’s going wrong. Then again, I’m not ready to say I’m struggling as much as the Florida offense.

At least, not yet.

Anyway (as the Head Ball Coach would say), I was 4-2 last week and am now 43-13 (.768) for the season. I missed Kentucky’s win over South Carolina and Mississippi State’s win over Florida.

I need to start taking more chances if I’m going to get back to that .800 plateau. The tricky part is knowing when to take those chances. Where's Les Miles when you need him?

To get some of that Miles karma working this week, I had my hat sitting directly on top of my head in Miles-esque fashion when I made my picks. I can assure you there is a sincere want to achieve victory this week, but I will hold in abeyance any braggadocios chatter about what my record will be once we cease competition.

Here goes:

Auburn 28, LSU 24: This one was perhaps the toughest of the season so far to call. LSU is terrific on defense. Auburn is terrific on offense. Both teams have made a ton of clutch plays to get to this point. In the end, I just don’t see LSU being able to score enough points to keep up with Auburn, which has been a juggernaut in the fourth quarter this season. They're already stocking up on toilet paper at Toomer's Corner.

Alabama 27, Tennessee 10: It’s not the Third Saturday in October this year, and it hasn’t been much of a rivalry since Nick Saban arrived in Tuscaloosa. The Crimson Tide have won three in a row, although Terrence Cody’s blocked field goal saved them last season. Cody won’t be around to save them this season. But it won’t matter. The Vols simply don’t have the horses and will be fortunate to even keep it close.

Georgia 35, Kentucky 31: The last time Georgia ventured up to the Bluegrass, it was a track meet with the two teams combining for 80 points. This one has that same feel. The Bulldogs are a different offense with A.J. Green in the lineup, and the Wildcats have playmakers all over the field. Kentucky has been awfully resilient this season, but Georgia looks like it’s hitting its stride at just the right time and finally starting to put it all together.

Arkansas 38, Ole Miss 28: The Houston Nutt Bowl III doesn’t have quite the drama the first two did. It’s sort of become old hat now, although I’m not sure Nutt and Arkansas’ Bobby Petrino are exactly pen pals. Nutt has yet to lose to the Hogs since he left, but this will be the best Arkansas team he’s faced. In the end, the Rebels won’t be able to slow down the Hogs defensively.

South Carolina 28, Vanderbilt 17: The Commodores have been hard on the Head Ball Coach. In fact, Bobby Johnson sort of owned him these past couple of years. Johnson’s retired now and playing golf, and the onus is on Robbie Caldwell to figure out a way to get this game into the fourth quarter. The Gamecocks are still smarting from their loss at Kentucky last week, but they’ll find a way to snap their seven-game SEC road losing streak.

Mississippi State 31, UAB 14: There’s a lot of momentum right now in the Mississippi State program. The Bulldogs are playing well, playing with confidence and getting a little national love with their first appearance in the Top 25 polls in nine years. They get a chance to run their winning streak to five straight games Saturday. There might be a little bit of an emotional letdown coming off such a big win, but not enough to lose this game.