Around the SEC, Week 6: This Time We Sort Out the Also-Rans

It's not great to be a Florida Gator right now. Sure, losing handily to Alabama is one thing, but to be down to a true freshman QB going on the road to a hostile arena is just difficult. John Brantley is out for at least this week, and there's a joke to be made about losing a critical guy to injury right before a critical game, but that hits a bit too close to home and since we get the Alabama-LSU gauntlet on back-to-back weeks too, I'm thinking eschewing that is probably for the best.

As far as the rest of the conference goes, there's fortunately only one real dud on the calendar. Not surprisingly, Mississippi State is involved! How'd you know? (And yes, I am turning on them like a spurned lover. I believed in you, Chris Relf, and this is how you repay me?) I don't really know how UAB wrangled a home game out of the Bulldogs, but hey, whatever works, right?

Incidentally, I'm not sure if the Vanderbilt Commodores - Alabama Crimson Tide and Kentucky Wildcats - South Carolina Gamecocks games should go above or below the jump. South Carolina probably should; they've done nothing to deserve the below-the-fold treatment, and I've been rightfully ragging the tar out of Kentucky. As far as Alabama ...well, it's Vanderbilt. And they seem to be busy doing Vanderbilt-like things, so let's just put them above the jump and out of their misery. (Incidentally, between our game and all the above-the-fold games, plus with Ole Miss being off, the entire lower half of our SEC Power Poll is above the fold. So that seems convenient, and appropriate.)

Arkansas Razorbacks (-10?!) v. Auburn Tigers

This line seems ...interesting. I don't know if I see a 10-point gap, even if Clemson (who, and it scares the tar out of me to say, was far better than Auburn, and have been demonstrably better than anyone they've faced so far - this is a dark and scary world we live in) was able to roll Auburn fairly convincingly. Then again, I have absolutely no read on this Arkansas team. The only positive I can see from Arkansas' perspective is that their running game showed signs of life last week against a real opponent. Before Knile Davis took over, their ground game was this weird contingent of Davis, Ronnie Wingo, and Dennis Johnson - until the end zone or short yardage situations. Then Broderick Green would come in and bulldoze the pile. Arkansas did that against Texas A&M, and they'll probably continue to do it. It's wonky, but effective, especially since it's the Tyler Wilson and Jarius Wright show. See, you don't need a feature back, but ..er, you know if I use this argument in justification of our running game it's just going to end in tears. Anyone think Ben Bartholomew can handle carries?

As far as Auburn goes, well, they have a running game at least, and a fairly opportunistic defense. Barrett Trotter, on the other hand, is quickly entering garbage fire territory. I wonder when, and if, Keihl Frazier will get the reins. Michael Dyer did a good job seizing the reins as the primary running back last week, which bodes well. It also bodes well for Auburn that Arkansas spent most of last week getting gashed by Texas A&M. It will likely be a similar game - apparently Auburn isn't that much different than Texas A&M at this point, save for one thing: they're lucky. That may very well be enough.

LSU Tigers (-12) v. Florida Gators

Again, this game was a lot more fun before Brantley went down. Now the LSU defense can key on Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps, and ...um, that doesn't sound good, right? Not for Florida, at least. (And really, I don't know what to make of Jon Brantley being key for Florida. This does not jive with my memories of John Brantley. This must be like trying to reconcile pre-Georgia Jonathan Crompton with post-Georgia Crompton.)

For what it's worth, I actually think the bigger questions are on the other side of the ball; LSU hasn't faced a front seven on par with Florida's so far, and it's not like Jarrett Lee is going to evoke memories of a competent quarterback either. Still, given a true freshman starting his first game on the road in Death Valley, I'll take the home side. But it's Les Miles, and ...riding with Miles? I don't know how I feel about that.

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