A solid 14-6 week by Phillip, including correctly choosing LSU over Alabama and Arkansas over South Carolina, has him just one game behind Bryan, who finished the week 13-7. Bryan is 136-60 overall while Phillip is 135-61.
Just one game separates our fearless forecasters with three weeks of the regular season remaining.
Georgia (5-5, 3-4 SEC) at No. 2 Auburn (10-0, 6-0)
Phillip’s take: What a strange week it has been. As Auburn has prepared to play Georgia for the West Division championship, the focus has been on anything but the game. How will the Tigers and quarterback respond? My guess is they will take an “us against the world” stance and play with even more passion. The history of this series says Georgia has a real chance to sneak out of Jordan-Hare with an upset, but not this time against this team.
Auburn 45, Georgia 28
Bryan’s take: Will the intense media spotlight involving all the pay-for-play allegations finally get to Cam Newton? Or will Newton and a veteran Auburn squad ride out the storm and play like champions against the Bulldogs? I think Cam will be affected but not enough to keep the Tigers form clinching the SEC West.
Auburn 41, Georgia 21
Ole Miss (4-5, 1-4) at Tennessee (3-6, 0-5)
Bryan’s take: This is a pretty big game for both teams. Ole Miss is battling to become bowl eligible while Tennessee is looking for its first SEC win. I think the Vols finally get it done Saturday and the Rebs wrap up last place in the West. They’ll be home for Christmas.
Tennessee 26, Ole Miss 23
Phillip’s take: Two bad teams. I’ll go with the one playing at home, even though it’s dangerous picking anybody from the SEC Least to win a game against the West.
Tennessee 31, Ole Miss 28
Vanderbilt (2-7, 1-5) at Kentucky (5-5, 1-5)
Phillip’s take: Kentucky could easily have a better record than it does and can become bowl eligible with a win. Vanderbilt? Now we know why Bobby Johnson resigned last summer.
Kentucky 49, Vanderbilt 17
Bryan’s take: Kentucky can clinch a bowl bid Saturday against a Vandy squad that has four straight games. Make it five.
Kentucky 38, Vanderbilt 16
UTEP (6-4) at No. 14 Arkansas (7-2, 4-2)
Bryan’s take: Arkansas has a chance to win out, finish second in the West and go to a very nice bowl game, maybe even the Sugar Bowl. The Razorback offense should light it up against UTEP.
Arkansas 55, UTEP 10
Phillip’s take: I don’t think anyone in the SEC wants any part of the Razorbacks right now. UTEP surely doesn’t.
Arkansas 49, UTEP 10
Louisiana-Monroe (4-5) at No. 5 LSU (8-1, 5-1)
Phillip’s take: LSU lets a state school get a nice paycheck.
LSU 42, Louisiana-Monroe 6
Bryan’s take: LSU may still have a bit of a hangover after last week’s big win over Alabama but they should be able to sleep walk their way over ULM.
LSU 35, Louisiana-Monroe 17
No. 17 Mississippi State (7-2, 3-2) at No. 11 Alabama (7-2, 4-2)
Bryan’s take: Hmm. I wonder if Alabama’s defense was working against a scout team quarterback wearing No. 2 again this week or if they actually spent all their time working on State. On the other hand, could the Mississippi State recruiters, I mean coaches, pull themselves away from the phone long enough to prepare their team.
Looking aheaders 23, Unnamed sources 16
Phillip’s take: Mississippi State could turn a good season into a great one with a win at Bryant-Denny Stadium. But the Bulldogs aren’t quite for that. The Lord, as they say, is one the side of the heavy artillery.
Alabama 26, Mississippi State 14
No. 22 South Carolina (6-3, 4-3) at No. 24 Florida (6-3, 4-3)
Phillip’s take: There seems to be a lot of excitement about Florida all of a sudden because it beat Georgia in overtime and blew out Vanderbilt. The winner of this game goes to the SEC Championship Game only because the East Division is historically bad. I know South Carolina can’t play pass defense. I know Florida has more players. I know the Gamecocks were routed last Saturday by Arkansas. But something tells me …
South Carolina 28, Florida 24
Bryan’s take: The Ol’ Ball Coach returns to the Swamp in the battle for the SEC East. Unfortunately for Spurrier his team has looked mediocre in its last four games including an embarrassing home loss to Arkansas. Florida has won two straight after a 3-game losing streak.
Florida 31, South Carolina 23
Phillip’s picks: Oregon 56, California 31; Arizona 28, USC 21; TCU 28, San Diego State 14; Ohio State 27, Penn State 20; Iowa 34, Northwestern 24; Texas 31, Oklahoma State 30; Virginia Tech 21, North Carolina 20; Miami 28, Georgia Tech 24; Clemson 24, Florida State 20; South Florida 21, Louisville 16.
Bryan’s picks: Oregon 42, California 35; Arizona 27, USC 24; TCU 31, San Diego State 9; Ohio State 23, Penn State 18; Iowa 30, Northwestern 24; Oklahoma State 35, Texas 21; Oklahoma 38, Texas Tech 21; Missouri 28, Kansas State 21; Texas A&M 31, Baylor 30; Virginia Tech 17, North Carolina 14; Georgia Tech 34, Miami 24; Florida State 24, Clemson 14; South Florida 20, Louisville 17.