** LSU [Current 7-0 (4-0), Predicted 9-3 (6-2)] – Well, it’s looking less like 9-3 is possible for this band of nasty Tigers. LSU continues their methodical romp through their schedule and really only face two more difficult teams – Alabama and Arkansas. The Bengal Tigers tussle with the Auburn Tigers this weekend, but should survive unscathed.
** Alabama [Current 7-0 (4-0), Predicted 11-1 (7-1)] – Another team that’s methodically thumping their opponents each week. It’s possible for Tennessee, Mississippi State and Auburn to upset the Tide, but not very likely. If the Tide takes care of business this weekend against the Vols, it sets up this year’s game of the century Nov. 5 against LSU.
** Arkansas [Current 5-1 (1-1), Predicted 10-2, (6-2)] – Arkansas is six games into the season, but has only played two conference games, so the bulk of their work is ahead of them. Other than Alabama, the Hogs remain the only other team capable of beating LSU. This bunch has an excellent shot of finishing 11-1 or 10-2.
** Auburn [Current 5-1 (3-1), Predicted 4-8 (1-7)] – Color me impressed. The Tigers have fought their way above my expectations and aren’t finished yet. Last Saturday’s win over Florida means the Tigers have a great shot at 7-5 or better. Regardless of the quality of their opponents, that’s something to be proud of for this young team.
** Mississippi State [Current 3-4 (0-4), Predicted 7-5 (3-5)] – The schedule actually gets a little easier for the Bulldogs for a couple of weeks. An off week and then games against Kentucky and Tennessee-Martin await the Bullies before the Tide comes to town Nov. 12. Believe it or not, with wins over Kentucky, Tenn-Martin and Ole Miss, a bowl is still possible for this team.
** Ole Miss [Current 2-4 (0-3), Predicted 7-5 (4-4)] – Well, this is one prediction I won’t get right this year. The Rebels have fallen and fallen hard. There’s a chance the RBBs can make this season a little less disgusting with wins over Kentucky, Louisiana Tech (not a given) and Mississippi State. Those aren’t gimmes, though.
In the West, I still have to say Auburn is the biggest surprise. On paper, their October schedule looked horrible and this is a very young team. But as September turned to October, Auburn’s defender appeared to grow up a bit. Couple that with Steve Spurrier’s questionable offensive game planning and a John Brantely sprained ankle and voila – the Tigers are sitting pretty at 5-1.
Alabama and LSU are still on track for their Nov. 5 showdown, as expected.